eLearning – Opportunities and Challenges Nigel Gibson [email_address] Sussex Learning Network – 21/06
 
Agenda <ul><li>I am going to try to map some of the issues surrounding online provision and supporting learning online </l...
Before we start.............. <ul><li>I don’t have all the answers </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know all the questions (and d...
Assumptions I’ve made <ul><li>Some people in here are already engaged in some form of eProvision </li></ul><ul><li>Some pe...
The landscape
What are we talking about? <ul><li>People bandy around terms like “eLearning” and “blended learning” without much thought ...
Words <ul><li>“Blended learning” describes a mix of face to face (f2f) and online provision </li></ul><ul><li>“Online” see...
A scale What is a PC??? No paper 121 email discussion Web site supporting course Online group discussion Most/all course m...
Spaghetti western <ul><li>Good </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modesty aside – The OU are doing some exciting stuff </li></ul></ul><...
An example of a blended course <ul><li>The Aichi Prefectural University (Japan) uses a blended approach to teach an Englis...
Not just learning <ul><li>Learn Direct  - and others - now offer information, advice and guidance online </li></ul><ul><li...
Some considerations
Handy terms ( or “Death by jargon” ) <ul><li>VLE – Virtual learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>LMS – Learner management...
“Chat” <ul><li>This might take the form of social chat </li></ul><ul><li>Course specific “chat” </li></ul><ul><li>An onlin...
Technical stuff <ul><li>Many VLEs now are based on browser access, i.e. no need for any additional software on the learner...
Speed of light <ul><li>Content can be quickly and easily updated </li></ul><ul><li>Participants might expect “always on” –...
Content <ul><li>Not just tutor notes on a web page! </li></ul><ul><li>Using online technologies content can be; </li></ul>...
Non-linear? <ul><li>Learning online can allow learners to select a path through the materials and set their own pace (the ...
Open Content? <ul><li>There are a number of international Open Content projects underway </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Open Co...
Some Open Content providers  <ul><li>Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Utah State University </li...
Pedagogy <ul><li>Simple web pages can be didactic, “transmission based” </li></ul><ul><li>Conferencing,  groups of learner...
What’s round the corner?
Just connecting…….. <ul><li>The key principle of using online technologies to support learning is connecting </li></ul><ul...
Convergent technologies <ul><li>In the olden days a computer was a computer </li></ul><ul><li>and a game was Cluedo  </li>...
eLearning isn’t (just) about PCs <ul><li>As technologies come together the range of connection opportunities increases </l...
Playstations and mobile phones? <ul><li>The Sony PSP and Palm Treo </li></ul>
TESSA <ul><li>Teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa uses the Palm Treo mobile phone/PC to teachers, in training, across ...
PSP  <ul><li>The latest Sony Playstation is a fully featured, wireless enabled, computer </li></ul><ul><li>It has a high d...
Olden days again <ul><li>I’m over 21 and I have a couple of “O” Levels </li></ul><ul><li>My mum (probably) has all my old ...
Be afraid! <ul><li>Rheingold has a lovely term…….. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children (and young adults now) are  digital native...
Closer to home…. <ul><li>Sussex is considerably more compact, and with better communication networks, than Southern Africa...
Summary <ul><li>It can be a scary place this online stuff </li></ul><ul><li>It allows people to interact in different ways...
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eLearning – Opportunities And Challenges (Sln)

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eLearning – Opportunities And Challenges (Sln)

  1. 1. eLearning – Opportunities and Challenges Nigel Gibson [email_address] Sussex Learning Network – 21/06
  2. 3. Agenda <ul><li>I am going to try to map some of the issues surrounding online provision and supporting learning online </li></ul><ul><li>I will offer a very “fast pass” over the landscape and I’ll try to pick out some of the points of interest </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll highlight some questions we might try to answer while considering eLearning </li></ul><ul><li>Then I’ll look at some possible futures </li></ul>
  3. 4. Before we start.............. <ul><li>I don’t have all the answers </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know all the questions (and don’t understand many of them) </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve been in this “e-world” for about 10 years as a learner, an educator and an observer and the arena is shifting so quickly it makes me dizzy </li></ul><ul><li>You may leave with more questions than you started with! </li></ul>
  4. 5. Assumptions I’ve made <ul><li>Some people in here are already engaged in some form of eProvision </li></ul><ul><li>Some people are new to all this </li></ul><ul><li>Some are eConverts while others are eCynics </li></ul><ul><li>(Isn’t it great that all we have to do is add “e” to words to change the meaning?) </li></ul>
  5. 6. The landscape
  6. 7. What are we talking about? <ul><li>People bandy around terms like “eLearning” and “blended learning” without much thought of what they really mean! </li></ul><ul><li>Oliver and Trigwell ask whether blended learning is lost (Oliver M and Trigwell K, Can ‘Blended learning’ be redeemed? , E-Learning, Vol 2 November 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>When we talk about “e”-anything we need to agree common points of reference </li></ul>
  7. 8. Words <ul><li>“Blended learning” describes a mix of face to face (f2f) and online provision </li></ul><ul><li>“Online” seems to cover everything from email to web pages and includes peer discussion between learners </li></ul><ul><li>Some “eLearning” takes place in a controlled environment – the learners and educators are co-located. Some eLearning is less bounded by time or geography. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of our negotiation of terms might look to situating where we think we are (or might wish to be) </li></ul>
  8. 9. A scale What is a PC??? No paper 121 email discussion Web site supporting course Online group discussion Most/all course material delivered online No f2f! Limited meetings
  9. 10. Spaghetti western <ul><li>Good </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modesty aside – The OU are doing some exciting stuff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I won’t name names but many providers simply post lecture notes online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ugly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cumbernauld Shopping Centre </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. An example of a blended course <ul><li>The Aichi Prefectural University (Japan) uses a blended approach to teach an English Thesis Writing course </li></ul><ul><li>Students meet for one hour each week and work in English </li></ul><ul><li>They have 24/7 access to a series of Yahoo groups (password protected so that only members of the class can participate) where they exchange ideas and work together on group exercises </li></ul><ul><li>Very low tech - very low cost!!! </li></ul>
  11. 12. Not just learning <ul><li>Learn Direct - and others - now offer information, advice and guidance online </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners (from any discipline) can meet, online, and create communities of interest and/or practice to share ideas (this harks back to the start of online communities) </li></ul>
  12. 13. Some considerations
  13. 14. Handy terms ( or “Death by jargon” ) <ul><li>VLE – Virtual learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>LMS – Learner management system </li></ul><ul><li>CMS – Content management system </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki – “What I know is…” and also Hawaiian for quickly or hurry – an area that to which many can contribute (Wikipedia) </li></ul><ul><li>Blog – Web log, anything from an online journal to a polemic raging against the world. Free, easy to create and update – low skill requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Conferencing – using an online area to “chat” </li></ul>
  14. 15. “Chat” <ul><li>This might take the form of social chat </li></ul><ul><li>Course specific “chat” </li></ul><ul><li>An online exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Any of the many things we do when meeting face to face </li></ul><ul><li>Usually asynchronous </li></ul><ul><li>Also known as forums </li></ul><ul><li>Access usually restricted to participants on a specific course, wider level might be all students at an institution </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous chat using instant messaging services (MSN, Yahoo, etc) </li></ul>
  15. 16. Technical stuff <ul><li>Many VLEs now are based on browser access, i.e. no need for any additional software on the learner’s PC </li></ul><ul><li>Some are available at no cost – Elgg and Moodle for example </li></ul><ul><li>We can’t assume that everyone involved (educators as well as learners) has the necessary basic skills </li></ul><ul><li>If offering 24/7 access who makes sure the system is available? </li></ul>
  16. 17. Speed of light <ul><li>Content can be quickly and easily updated </li></ul><ul><li>Participants might expect “always on” – this can put pressure on support services </li></ul><ul><li>Managing expectations and setting an appropriate pace is important </li></ul>
  17. 18. Content <ul><li>Not just tutor notes on a web page! </li></ul><ul><li>Using online technologies content can be; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalised </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-linear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimedia – voice, animations, text, film, podcast….. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The growth of “Open Content” initiatives means that materials can be sourced externally and mixed with locally written material </li></ul><ul><li>Two points there I will enlarge on….. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Non-linear? <ul><li>Learning online can allow learners to select a path through the materials and set their own pace (the Distance Learning model) </li></ul><ul><li>This may be appropriate where students are joining from different disciplines, i.e. some may need to study certain areas in more detail </li></ul>
  19. 20. Open Content? <ul><li>There are a number of international Open Content projects underway </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. [ Open Content Alliance ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher education institutions worldwide face significant challenges related to providing increased access, while containing or reducing costs. Meeting increasing and increasingly varied demand for quality higher education is an important consideration in the policy debate and institutional development in many countries. And it is particularly important in the case of developing countries, for whom demand often greatly exceeds capacity in the existing higher education system. [ UNESCO Virtual University ] </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Some Open Content providers <ul><li>Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Utah State University </li></ul><ul><li>MIT Open Courseware </li></ul><ul><li>The Open University (UK) </li></ul><ul><li>There are also a large number of consortia bringing together Open Content portals – places to access materials for specific disciplines from a range of providers </li></ul>
  21. 22. Pedagogy <ul><li>Simple web pages can be didactic, “transmission based” </li></ul><ul><li>Conferencing, groups of learners accessing the same area to read and post messages, allows for a constructivist approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use conferences to refer participants to specific web pages, a “reading list”, and then invite them back to discuss what they found. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite participants to find resources about their discipline and bring them to the online conference </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. What’s round the corner?
  23. 24. Just connecting…….. <ul><li>The key principle of using online technologies to support learning is connecting </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting whenever and wherever learners want to connect </li></ul><ul><li>And however they want to connect……. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Convergent technologies <ul><li>In the olden days a computer was a computer </li></ul><ul><li>and a game was Cluedo </li></ul><ul><li>Now……………………. </li></ul><ul><li>A phone was a phone </li></ul>
  25. 26. eLearning isn’t (just) about PCs <ul><li>As technologies come together the range of connection opportunities increases </li></ul><ul><li>Some schools are already using text messages to contact students </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking outside the (beige) box can pay dividends </li></ul>
  26. 27. Playstations and mobile phones? <ul><li>The Sony PSP and Palm Treo </li></ul>
  27. 28. TESSA <ul><li>Teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa uses the Palm Treo mobile phone/PC to teachers, in training, across Africa </li></ul><ul><li>A real example of partnership online learning – partners include; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The African Virtual University, BBC World Service Trust, The Commonwealth of Learning, Egerton University (Kenya), Kigali Institute of Education (Rwanda), Kyambogo University (Uganda), Makerere University (Uganda), National Teachers' Institute (Nigeria), The Open University of Sudan, The Open University of Tanzania, The Open University (UK), South African Institute for Distance Education, University of Cape Coast (Ghana), University of Fort Hare - South Africa, University of Education, (Winneba, Ghana), University of Pretoria, University of South Africa (UNISA), University of Zambia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They coordinate much of the work online </li></ul>
  28. 29. PSP <ul><li>The latest Sony Playstation is a fully featured, wireless enabled, computer </li></ul><ul><li>It has a high definition TFT screen and a USB socket for transferring files </li></ul><ul><li>A learning platform for the future? </li></ul>
  29. 30. Olden days again <ul><li>I’m over 21 and I have a couple of “O” Levels </li></ul><ul><li>My mum (probably) has all my old school exercise books “somewhere safe” </li></ul><ul><li>My 12 year old daughter has a tablet PC (provided by her school) and a memory stick (1Gb = £15) which will store all her school and university work </li></ul><ul><li>I can carry all the work for my degree and my Masters in my pocket and keep copies on the web! </li></ul>
  30. 31. Be afraid! <ul><li>Rheingold has a lovely term…….. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children (and young adults now) are digital natives </li></ul><ul><li>Those of us over 21 are digital tourists” </li></ul><ul><li>They have grown up with ICTs – we are struggling to keep up! </li></ul><ul><li>Educators and anyone engaging with learning in the 21 st C should remember that our learners take all this stuff for granted! </li></ul>
  31. 32. Closer to home…. <ul><li>Sussex is considerably more compact, and with better communication networks, than Southern Africa! </li></ul><ul><li>The OU in the South East (East Grinstead) is going to be working with the SLN to; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Map current provision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish eLearning networks and collaborative partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop shared resources/knowledge and expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Progress staff development using these resources and expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disseminate best practice </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. Summary <ul><li>It can be a scary place this online stuff </li></ul><ul><li>It allows people to interact in different ways, it can enhance and extend the opportunities to engage with learners and learning. It’s also an excellent way of learning from and with peers </li></ul><ul><li>It’s can be very exciting and demanding and fast moving and great fun……….. and isn’t that what learning and teaching should be all about? </li></ul>

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