Effective online learning_whitepaper

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Effective online learning_whitepaper

  1. 1. FROM EVOLUTION TO REVOLUTION: THE EFFECTIVE E-LEARNING MODEL BUILDING BETTER ELEARNING IN 2009Cynthia Larson-Daugherty, Ed.D. Spectrum Pacific Learning Company National Universityclarson@spectrumpacific.com Coleman Cooper Walker, M.S. Spectrum Pacific Learning Companycwalker@spectrumpacific.comSpectrum Pacific Learning Companyhttp://spectrumpacific.com858-642-811903/09/09 - Update 1
  2. 2. AbstractE-learning has grown at a record pace over the last decade, especially in the academic sector(Eduventures, 2008; Sloan Consortium, 2008; E-Learning Magazine, 2009; Roman, 2006). This growthhas prompted an onslaught of changes, challenges, questions, and an incredible opportunity to re-examine how we process information, learn and apply it in both educational and business-settings. Itwas recognized early on that e-learning (a.k.a. online learning, web learning, desk-top learning) wasdifferent than the classroom and as such should be treated differently; most notably by the creation ofthe effective e-learning model (“e2L”) in 2003 (Larson-Daugherty & Cooper, 2004). The e2L model putthe proverbial ball in play and set the initial precedent for examining and re-examining the delivery oflearning online (Larson-Daugherty & Mossavar-Rahmani, 2007). The e2L model continues to evolve asthe online learning journey continues and as researchers and practitioners alike continue to furtherutilize this forum for learning. The 2009 updates offer propositions to both the theoretical construct andthe model’s practical application which focuses on designing, developing and delivering e-learning in themost effective way to yield results. 2
  3. 3. Table of ContentsAbstract ......................................................................................................................................................... 2Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 4 Corporate Learning Today. ....................................................................................................................... 4 Academic Learning Today. ........................................................................................................................ 4e2L: In the Beginning .................................................................................................................................... 6E-Learning: Evolution to Revolution ............................................................................................................. 8 e2L (v.3, 2009) ......................................................................................................................................... 11Build Better e-Learning Now ....................................................................................................................... 11References .................................................................................................................................................. 13 3
  4. 4. IntroductionThe status of online learning today is impressive when we consider its roots are roughly just a little overa decade old. Consider the two venues that have seen the most growth in e-learning utilization:corporations and academic institutions.Corporate Learning Today. Trend data (Chief Learning Officer, 2007; www.elearningguild.com)indicates that corporate entities are utilizing online learning more and more; however, the interestingpart to this fact is how it is being used in the workplace: supplements to classroom training and hybridtraining (a mix of onsite in the classroom and online). Based on recent research data, classroomtraining is still taking up the largest chunk of corporate training budgets.Per Chief Learning Officer’s review of a Global Industry Analysts, Inc. report (2007), “E-learning is nowthe method companies use second-most often to deploy learning and development, according to thestudy, “ and “the U.S. e-learning market is the world’s largest, as its 2007 revenues are expected toexceed $17.5 billion (for e-learning). Further, the U.S. corporate e-learning market share is more than60 percent.” Conversely, Europe is the second largest e-learning user and positioned at 15 percent.It is suggested that with the current economic climate, we may see a trend of greater utilization ofonline training and less onsite classroom training in the next 12 to 24 months. Businesses are lookingfor ways to maximize the yield on resources and this includes those left after downsizing and massivelayoffs. It is therefore reasonable to deduct that more will have to be done with less. The opportunityfor increased utilization of e-learning is more prevalent in society today as the level of comfort andinteraction with digital data is increasing.Academic Learning Today. Academic institutions, especially higher education, have experiencedthe greatest growth in the last decade (Eduventures, 2007; Sloan Consortium, 2007). More students aretaking online courses now, either mixed in with an on-campus program or fully online programs, thanever before (Eduventures, 2007; NY Times, 2008). With an increase in demand, the marketplace hasbeen saturated with a multitude of traditional and non-traditional institutions offering single courses,certifications, programs, and degrees. The greatest opportunity in this situation is for the learner tohave a better learning experience based on increased competition. It is proposed that no longer willstudents accept text files and PowerPoints as a quality learning experience. Not only does learning 4
  5. 5. theory indicate that engaging content is essential to create an effective learning experience (Gagne, R.et al, 1992; Knowles, M. 1984), offering audio, visual and kinesthetic learning opportunities but isincreasingly becoming a requirement.With such tremendous growth in a delivery modality for learning that is relatively young in comparisonto the traditional classroom, there is incredible opportunity to reflect and assess not only what has beenlearned but also what paradigm changes have occurred as a result. How does the corporate world see areturn on its investment in online training dollars? How do higher education institutions demonstrate toboth its students and accrediting bodies that they are offering a quality learning experience worth theinvestment of time and money? Of particular interest in both academic and business circles is how e-learning has changed the way we design, development and deliver “learning”. By designing,developing, and delivering effective online learning, it is suggested we can answer these essentialquestions.In late 2003, the effective e-learning model (e2L) was developed (Larson-Daugherty & Cooper, 2004;Larson-Daugherty & Mossavar-Rahmani, 2007) in response to the initial growth of online learning. Evenin its infancy, many recognized e-learning was different than classroom learning and mechanisms todesign, develop and deliver in this medium should be given consideration. Taking into account earlyresearch on learning content design and development by Gagne (1992) and Knowles (1984), theresearchers were able to set the foundation for the next evolution of learning with the e2L model(http://www.splclients.com/e2l/). The next section will provide brief reflection on the e2L developmentphase.In 2005 - 2006, the creators of the e2L model and authors of related research (Larson-Daugherty &Cooper-Walker) examined both academic and corporate online learning by:- reviewing scholarly research and popular press,- accessing online courses and programs in both sectors, and- interviewing and surveying faculty, students, trainers, and trainees.The intent and ultimate goal was to gauge current practices and best practices for that period of time asit related to online learning. The findings were telling because they demonstrated the speed of onlinelearning evolution.Since that time both online learning and blended learning (a mix of online and onsite) have continued to 5
  6. 6. experience record growth in both the academic and corporate sectors. Most telling is that the academicsector has seen most of the growth in fully online programs whereas the corporate sector has seen mostgrowth in blended programs (a mix of onsite and online). In addition to recent literature reviews, theauthors again collected data within the past six months to assess the “state” of online learning and workto ensure the e2L model continues to provide a framework for creating, delivering and measuringengaging and effective online learning experiences.e2L: In the BeginningIn the early years (circa mid-to-late 1990s), online learning development and deployment content wereessentially onsite classroom curriculum placed in electronic files (i.e., Word, PDF, PowerPoint) andplaced in a virtual classroom space. Today this would be described as an e-library of documents or an e-document warehouse. This was not necessarily effective online learning; however, it was the firstiteration or generation, as practitioners and educators were foraging new territory.Developed in late 2003, the initial proposition of the effective e-learning model (e2L) was clearlycentered around formulating a foundation by which creators of online learning content could operate byand know that the key elements that help enable the learning process were in place as high qualitycontent was identified as a key indicator of online learning success (Boehle, 2005). The image thatfollows reflects the first model. 6
  7. 7. In the original publication by the e2L developers (Larson-Daugherty & Cooper, 2004) the model wasdescribed as follows:The premise of the model is (whether it is corporate training or an academic course) concepts, theoriesand practical application are the core concepts that are delivered by key design and delivery elements.Of paramount importance in the design is the factoring in of learning styles of participants engaging withthe content; consider the following: “to be conveyed in the learning environment. Furthermore, the learning needs to address the three primary learning styles as the population is broken down in to the approximate segments: - 10% to 15% by audio (i.e., lecture, hearing) - 20% by visual (i.e., pictures or watching) - 60% to 70% by kinesthetic (i.e., hands-on). In layman’s terms one might suggest having the material presented in a way that allows the learner the option or integrated mix of being able to “see it, hear it and / or do it.” This allows them to identify with the delivery that best meets their learning styles, requirements and needs. In addition, we understand now that particularly for adults, the learning needs to be engaging, interactive and in most cases pertinent to their job or life. In response to the identified requirements for effective e-learning, members of the management team of a growing e-learning solutions and service provider developed the Effective e-Learning Model (e2L). The goal was to create a model that would evolve as e-learning grows as a modality for learning. This group of professionals also recognized the need to address the three primary learning styles and ensure that e-learning was engaging. The team that developed the model has a broad background in online learning, training and development, and education. As the model took form, it was critical that it be articulated that every concept, theory and application be delivered in a strategic presentation mix that includes audio, visual and hands-on opportunity to process the information. Other research suggested that there be subject matter interaction, student community interaction, brief chunking of the information in the online environment, both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to interact, assessments through- out the learning experience so both the learner and facilitator can understand their evolving levels of knowledge. And as Horton (2001) noted in his research, evaluation of the e-learning process and its content is critical. The link http://www.splclients.com/e2l/ provides a visual and audio representation of the e2L.” (p. 9-10)From 2002 to 2007, as e-learning continued to grow at a rapid pace, research continued and the mostnotable discovery from the learner perpsective was the chunking of information. Initially the modelproposed 7-minute clusters or chunks based on processing of information and synthesis by learners.What was gleened through research, particularly in the academic setting, was that online learnersdescribed wanting information in smaller chunks for easier processing. For example, around a specificconcept the learner could receive an overview of the concept, theoretical construct data and practicalapplication delivered in audio, visual and kinethestic learning formats with a pre-assessment and post-assessment, as well as subject matter validation in 3 to 5 minutes and increase the engagement level 7
  8. 8. just by condensing it into a shorter time-span. That stated, additional information and resources arealways offered (i.e., more detailed documents, audio files), but the highest probability to click on, stayon, and remember was in shorter chunks.As a result, a modification was made to the e2L model in 2007 that shifted from 5 to 7 minute clusters to3 to 5 minutes clusters of information (ModelIillustration by David Montes De Oca).As we consider all the growth of online learning and how far we have come, fast forward from 2007 to2009. Today, there continues to be implications for design, development and delivery. The next sectionoffers an update and proposition for consideration.E-Learning: Evolution to RevolutionMost notably over the last several years has been the recognition of an evolutionary process regardinghow we learn and process information in the traditional brick and mortar classroom (group setting) andonline (individual setting). The classroom has historically been driven by lecture (auditory); whereasonline initially started out very text / document heavy (visual) and has slowly shifted to intentionallyinclude auditory and kinesthetic (hands-on) learning opportunities to intentionally reach the various 8
  9. 9. learning styles that individual brings to the learning experience (Knowles, 1984). This is what theauthors call from evolution to revolution in online learningThe 2009 update to the model is presented. The updates are based on the research and developmentsthat have evolved through what we have learned about the way people “learn” online. This data hasbeen drawn from both the academic and corporate sectors primarily on their increased utilization of e-learning.Critical updates to the e2L model include adding:- both linear (already exists) and decision-tree learning options (coming into play more and more)- analytics that further validate learning is occurring (beyond benchmarking and assessment)- Interactive Learning Objects (aka multi-functional digital learning assets)- Individual (1) – Group (2) content design and delivery (focusing on individual engagement with the content as the primary driver in the experience)Linear learning design online has been the most common practice in terms of design and development(i.e., complete this section and then move to this section). Decision-tree learning allows for learners tobe routed back to the specific areas where more work is required to move through the content, and alsoallows them to move forward faster if there already exists mastery of specific content items.Analytics around online learning are becoming increasingly more important. Organizations/institutionsproviding the learning experience, the learners, as well as governing and/or accrediting bodies arestarting to seek higher levels of validation and verification that learning is actually occurring in thislearning medium.Digital Learning Assets (DLAs) are “any form of content and/or media that have been formatted into abinary source which include the right to use it for the purpose of facilitating learning. A digital filewithout the right to use it is not an asset. Digital learning assets are commonly categorized in threemajor groups which may be defined as textual content (digital assets), images (media assets) andmultimedia (media assets)” (van Niekerk, A.J. 2006, Larson, C. 2009). DLAs are commonly found inonline learning (academic course work, corporate training, etc).Individual (1) – Group (2) content design and delivery recognizes what we have learned in the lastseveral years regarding the online learning experience (I(1) – G(2) Illustration). Online learning isprimarily engaged from the individual “domain” (1) of thinking and processing first, and foremost, and 9
  10. 10. the group (2), i.e., classmates, is an ancillary part of the experience. This is not dismissing thatcommunity interaction in the learning experience is helpful, if not essential (i.e., live discussions/chats,discussion threads, group projects), but when the learner is asked why online learning was identified(from a higher education perspective) it is the flexibility/ accessibility that he/she can do on their owntime and not in the confines of a traditional brick and mortar classroom group-setting (Johnson, J, et al,April 2005; Eduventures, 2007). As such, the reality is the engagement with the material comes from aframework of “self” first. This is where and why understanding learning styles and ensuring audio, visualand kinesthetic learning opportunities became even more important in the development of onlinelearning.These additional components to the model and the reorganization of the existing components providean opportunity for easier understanding and application in online learning development.The e2L model has experienced three revisions since its development in 2003 and it is anticipated it willexperience more as technological advances are made, and we continue to learn more about how weinteract with technology and use it to learn (Model Illustration by David Montes De Oca). The revisions,as noted, have not been major but more an evolutionary process. The goal is to consistently be able tooffer an engaging online learning experience that easily demonstrates results with impact. 10
  11. 11. e2L (v.3, 2009)Build Better e-Learning NowFrom those that run organizations to those that help the organization run, they all know results arenecessary regardless of the endeavor at-hand. How do we create tangible results for our organizationsfrom e-learning programs (whether it is a business or an institution of higher education)? The short andeasy answer is, create effective learning experiences. The simplicity of the answer provides the “contextby which to operate”:- Define the goal(s) – expected specific end-results to be achieved by the e-learning experience (academic program or training module)- Engage key stakeholders (including those that will participate in the e-learning, do not create in isolation)- Benchmark where your entity is today and create milestones that will help you assess goal achievement – drive the process by evaluation and utilizing the analytics (applies to both academia and corporate environments)- Design by the effective e-Learning model- Create ability to “go back” to e-learning any time to make it just-in-time (works for both academia and business)- Provide reinforcement tools 11
  12. 12. - Corporate: in the workplace - Academia: virtual learning communities- Evaluate and adjust, and understand it’s an evolutionary process.It is suggested that designing by the e2L alone will offer results, but creating this strategic mix will yieldthe greatest impact. The research validates this proposition, and the research must continue as noted incontext by which to operate - it’s an evolutionary process. 12
  13. 13. ReferencesBoehle,Sarah. (September, 2005). “The State of the e-learning Market.” www.traininmag.comCarabaneanu, L. http://www.codewitz.net/papers/MMT_106-111_Trends_in_E-Learning.pdfChief Learning Officer Magazine. (September, 2007). http://www.clomedia.com/in-the- news/2007/September/1916/index.phpEduventures. (2007) www.edvuventures.com Learning Collaborative for Higher Education Online Higher Education Program Custom Inquiry Report May 10, 2007Gagne, R., Briggs, L. & Wager, W. (1992). Principles of Instructional Design (4th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: HBJ College Publishers.Horton, William (2001). Evaluating E-Learning. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Developmenthttp://www.2elearning.com/no_cache/markets/corporate-business/latest-news/latest-news-single/article/e-learning-high-growth-documentation-in-report.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=565&cHash=bfa4a74d51http://www.astd.orghttp://www.elearningguild.com http://www.elearningguild.com/research/archives/index.cfm?action=viewonly2&id=106&referer=ht tp%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eelearningguild%2Ecom%2Fresearch%2Farchives%2Findex%2Ecfm%3Faction %3Dview%26frompage%3D1%26StartRow%3D1%26MaxRows%3D40http://www.splclients.com/e2l/ The e2Ldescribed audio/visual (Flash)http://www.spectrumpacific.comhttp://www.trainingpressreleases.com/newsstory.asp?NewsID=340Johnston, J., Killion, J., Oomen, J. Student Satisfaction in the Virtual Classroom. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. April 2005. Volume 3 Number 2. http://ijahsp.nova.edu/articles/vol3num2/johnston.htmKarrer, T. (2007) http://astd2007.astd.org/PDFs/Handouts%20for%20Web/Handouts%20Secured%20for%20Web%20 5-17%20thru%205-22/SU309.pdfKnowles, M. (1984). Andragogy in Action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Larson, C. (2009). Digital Learning Assets defined. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_learning_assets 13
  14. 14. Larson-Daugherty, C. and Cooper, C. (2004). Building Better Online Learning An Evolving Model. Article may be found at http://www.clomedia.com/whitepapers/index.aspLarson-Daugherty, C. & Mossavar-Rahmani, F. (2007). Supporting the Hybrid Learning Model: A New Proposition. http://jolt.merlot.org/vol3no1/larson-daugherty.htmMontes, De Oca, D. (2009). Designer/Illustrator. www.spectrumpacific.comNew York Times (2008). http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/11/education/11colleges.html?em&ex=1215921600&en=fc200a a836d883c2&ei=5087%0ARomano, Lois (2006). Online Degree Programs Take Off. Washington Post, May 16th.Sloan Consortium (2007). http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/pdf/online_nation.pdf http://www.sloan-c.org/news/index.aspShrivastava, P. (1999) http://technologysource.org/article/online_learning_trends_and_the_online_learning_paradox/Young & Norgard, The Internet and Higher Education 9 (2006) 107-115van Niekerk, A.J. (2006) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_asset 14

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