An part of my role at CMD Training Institute, I piloted a blended learning programme for FÁS, Ireland’s National Training and Employment Authority.
The National Training Authority had been looking fora way to incorporate online methodologies into their classroom based training courses in 2009. The main objective of the blended learning pilot scheme was to develop a model for ‘best practice’ and evaluate the effectiveness of blended learning for delivering FÁS training programmes. The experience gained from the pilot was to be usedin the decision to roll out blended learning nationally.
The blended learning training programme for ECDL involved a mix of training materials and delivery methods. I was required to provide a number of classroombased workshops in addition to the online element of the course which was delivered using Moodle.
Aim of Blended Learning Pilot• Establish a pilot blended learning programme in 3 different geographical locations for ECDL• Determine best blend of tools and technologies for this programme• Create exemplar models for online delivered training
Aim of Blended Learning Pilot …• Create standardised guidelines for instructional design• Create standards of evaluation• Determine the best mix of mediums for communicating with learners
My TacticsEstablished Vision• Clearly articulated vision for blended learning course to learners and outlined the importance of online learning• Set learner and tutor expectations• Established rules of engagement for learner and tutors
Pedagogical• Created a sense of dynamic interaction• Experimented with various materials and E-Learning technologies• Established a clear tutor persona for learners i.e. [importance of being considered a real tutor in the online environment]• Created online materials to promote learning
The Learning Environment• Created an environment that makes it easy for learners to contribute to and collaborate with classmates• Clearly conveyed course instructions• Established a clear format that links and guides learners into resources in the course management system and also the Web• Continually adjusted course material in response to learner feedback
Students• Identified ideal student profile• Communicated the importance of learner ownership and their responsibility to learn• Provided opportunities for learner participation i.e. [online group chats] as well as the creation of their own personal profile• Constant motivation of learners through the most appropriate means
Tutor• Communicated expectations to learners and expected high standards from all learners• Actively undertook actions to avoid learner isolation in the online environment, in order to minimise withdrawal from the course• Constant focus on excellence and quality standards• Created an open dialogue and rapport with learners and maintained regular contact
Results• Established creditable blended learning programme for FÁS• Following the success of the pilot the scheme was rolled out nationally• Created standards of evaluation which FÁS use for evaluating the success of their blended learning programmes
RecommendationsDavid Kennedy:E-Learning & Learner Support Manager @ FÁS
Olivia Moran Learn more about me and check out more of my presentations at www.oliviamoran.me