Guide to methodological innovation in e-learning


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“The knowledge becomes learning when pedagogy comes into play”. Taking this as our starting point, we can construct the paragraphs that sustain these guidelines, which try to serve as an instrument, a support tool when we attempt to transform knowledge into learning. The team, who has participated in its elaboration, has always aimed to design a real material suitable for different teaching realities. The goal of innovating application of teaching methodologies can be extrapolated to any reality in which the learning, formal, not formal or informal, can be carried out at any time in our life. They will be possible users of this guide: professional teachers who want to innovate and carry out new alternative teaching methods; company teachers who want to replace traditional methods and want to meet the needs required by the new business environment; organizations that want to incorporate e-learning as a way of learning innovation; university professors who stand for innovation as a way to adapt to Europe and the new knowledge society requests; institutions and organizations that use ICT’s for teaching learning. Finally for everybody that needs “learning to learn” the new rules of the 21th century environment.

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Guide to methodological innovation in e-learning

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  3. 3. 04 Beginning and end of featured content on the same page Beginning and end of featured Coordination content on different pages Francisco José García Aguilera y Silvia Luque Ávila. Authors Ainhoa Otamendi Herrera, Diego Aguilar Cuenca, Francisco José García Aguilera, José Álvarez Huete, María García Álvarez, Raquel Morilla Gutiérrez, Silvia Gómez Torres, Sign indicating chart on stand- Silvia Luque Ávila, alone page Yolanda López Carrillo. Edited by Indicador de comienzo de capítulo Programa Espacio Virtual de Aprendizaje(EVA)delaConsejería deInnovación,CienciayEmpresa Sign indicating beginning of a point de la Junta de Andalucía y la Red de EspaciosTecnológicos de Andalucía (RETA). Graphic design bRIDA Traduction Dialoc (traductores)
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  5. 5. 06 066 050 2.0 3.0 084 4.0 094 1.0 5.0 106 010 B. 6.0 198 G. A.2 124 186 7.0 178 A.1 8.0 158 152
  6. 6. 07 Index 1.0_Introduction to pedagogical model. 010 2.0_Methodological innovation. 050 3.0_Tools. 066 4.0 _Teaching Materials. 084 5.0_Open Content. 094 6.0_Training Programme Design. 106 7.0_The bussiness of consultancy in an e-learning context. 124 8.0_New trends. 152 Appendix 1_Tool Files. 158 Appendix 2_Integration of Innovative Teaching Methods, Resources and Physical Classroom Learning and Online Tools. 178 Glossary. 186 Bibliography. 198
  7. 7. PROLOGUE 09 Of all the conclusions reached at the Virtual Learning Environment Program- that are primarily based on teletraining. European Council of Lisbon in March me (EVA Programme) of the Andalusian It is clearly meant to be practical when 2000, the most comprehensive was the Regional Ministry of Innovation, Science explaining how to implement methods following idea: “Lifelong learning is an inte- and Enterprise and the Technological that integrate tools for optimising virtual gral part of policy for the development of its Network of Andalusia (RETA) implements or semi-classroom learning processes. citizens, social cohesion and employment”. the key strategies captured in the PIMA Each section of this guide will introduce (Innovation and Modernisation Plan for the criteria that must direct the creation The Memorandum on Lifelong Learning rela- Andalusia) and aims to meet organisa- of any type of course, whether in an e- tes the mandate of the European Coun- tions’ lifelong learning needs. Recogni- learning format or combined with other cils to make lifelong learning a reality tion for professionals’ qualifications and formats such as classroom learning. and there are various key messages that the need to permanently update them suggest the need to implement a com- are two of the major objectives of the Moreover, it covers quality criteria and in- prehensive and coherent strategy for EVA Programme, the identifying mark of dicators that will be helpful in assessing lifelong learning that aspires to “develop which is that it is an innovative pedago- the design, execution and evaluation of effective teaching and learning methods and gical model that integrates various me- lifelong learning using various methods. contexts for the continuum of lifelong and li- thods based on virtual teaching and the fewide learning”. integration of innovation and ICT in the teaching-learning process. So, as we focus on applying these princi- ples within the Autonomous Community As a way to achieve these objectives and of Andalusia and using the Innovation with a strategy for implementing innova- and Modernisation Plan for Andalusia tive lifelong learning methods, the EVA (PIMA) as a reference document, we shall Programme has created this “Guide to Me- highlight the fact that in the section on thodological Innovation in E-learning”, knowledge-based industry and universi- which aims to be a reference for crea- ty policies, reference is made to several ting training programmes and courses plans that reflect this same idea. These plans are linked to the need to integra- te methodological innovation and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching-learning Ángel Garijo Galve processes. Secretary General of Telecommunications and the Information Society Based on these principles and with a par- Consejería de Innovación, Ciencia y Empresa ticular emphasis on virtual learning, the Junta de Andalucía
  8. 8. 010 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model 049 1.0 010
  9. 9. 011 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model Introduction Pedagogical Model In this section, we will discuss: The evolution of distance education The concept of e-learning Learning theories Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  10. 10. 013 1.1 Conceptual Framework 1.1.1. Distance Education Several years have passed since e-learning first became a topic of discussion, and even more if we go back to the beginnings of distance education (Distance Ed). This section will briefly summarise the evolution of Distance Ed and how, in some cases, it has been confused with e-learning. Finally, the section will conclude with an explanation of the evolution that e-learning has undergone in recent years and how this evolution affects the focus that is given to teaching-learning processes today. Distance Ed has its roots in the United States in the middle of the 18th century when an ad appeared in the Boston Gazette offering teaching material and tutoring by mail (García Aretio, 1999). It reached Europe to a significant degree at the end of the 19th century and saw its greatest growth in the second half of the 20th century, probably as a result of the major economic and social changes that affected all areas of education in general. Distance Ed in Spain began in 1960 as a public administration initiative when the go- vernment established new teaching and study methods that could cover the needs of the rural population and those who lived far away from city centres. This new way of teaching and learning expanded throughout the following decade until distance stu- dents accounted for one-third of the entire student population. During that decade, the Spanish General Education Law (LGE) of 1970 was enacted, approving distance education as a way to achieve school enrolment at all educational levels. Various ad- ministrative authorities were created out of this law, such as the National Institute of Higher Secondary Distance Education (INBAD) and the National Centre for Basic Dis- Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  11. 11. 014 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model tance Education (CENEBAD), to oversee basic education and the National University of Distance Education (UNED) to oversee higher education. Years later, in 1992, the Centre for Distance Education Innovation and Development (CIDEAD) was created in order to meet the educational needs of adults through conti- nuing education. There was a new push for Distance Ed during these years as various public and private initiatives began to appear, starting in 1995, with regards to lifelong training. 1.1.2. Distance Education and E-learning Many debates have evolved around whether e-learning is a type of Distance Ed or if, in fact, it is a brand new way of teaching. Without wanting to delve too much into this debate, we will define this type of training while also clarifying the similarities and differences between e-learning and Distance Ed, as summarised in the following table VER CUADRO 01 / PAG. 015 From the beginning, Distance Ed has had a fundamental role in enabling people who live in geographically remote areas, far away from any educational institution, to ac- cess training. It has also made access to education possible for people who do not have enough time or money to travel to cities where universities or professional schools are located. Distance Ed has benefited substantially from the use of new technologies, but it continues to fulfil a fundamental role in training from a distance. Although it can meet this objective for the most part, e-learning has a clear technologi- cal component as ICTs are an essential requirement for its use. On the other hand, and perhaps what most differentiates the two, is that e-learning, as it is viewed today, is not exclusive to distance training, but can also be used in corporate
  12. 12. CHART 01 015 DISTANCE E- LEARNING EDUCATION Formal education based at an institu- Using new multimedia technologies tion where the learning group is separa- and the Internet to improve the quality DEFINITION ted and where interactive telecommu- of learning by accessing long-distance nications systems are used to connect resources and services and collaboration the students, resources and instructors and exchanges (www.elearningeurope. (M. Simonson, 2006). info). They may be synchronous or asynchronous. SIMILARITIES Connection between students and resources with mediation from the instructor. Many resources to connect the students and/or The resources are almost exclusively based on teaching staff: Internet, snail mail, radio, televi- new technologies (ICT): Email, Internet, multime- sion, satellite, etc. dia products, mobile devices, etc. Separation between instructor and student The separation between the instructor and student (temporal and intellectual). is not always temporal (e.g.:videoconference) Interaction is much more likely between students DIFERENCES Interactive telecommunication desirable, but and between students and teaching staff due to not essential.. the very nature of the technological resources used. The information does not always come quickly, Both the information as well as the updates to the nor is it possible to update it immediately.. information can be immediate.. Learning styles may vary from passive to Thanks to the communication, collaborative lear- participatory-constructive.. ning between students is encouraged through instruction mediation. A passive learning style is much less often chosen with this method..
  13. 13. 016 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model contexts, as a supplement to classroom training, etc. In short, training via e-learning does not necessarily have to be located in areas that are geographically remote or unable to access any other type of training. Instead, choosing it is fundamentally based on the potential that ICTs contribute to the training and on the new learning styles associated with the methods used in these environments. 1.1.3. E-learning in Spain Jesús Salinas (2005) distinguishes three phases in the evolution of e-learning in Spain: 1st phase: Focus on technology. The discussion of e-learning within organisations focused on the development of technological platforms or on implementing market solutions. Above all, this phase reflects developments in the first few years of e-learning, some of which still occur in some cases. 2nd phase: Focus on content. During this time, many companies set up technological platforms that were not capable of delivering quality training activities. The solution began to be seen through the use of sophisticated materials that provide more quality. 3rd phase: The third phase Salinas refers to focuses on the student and is where all decisions made are based on pedagogical criteria. We advocate the full development of this third phase. ICTs are necessary and essential for e-learning, but only if they are used for a pedagogical purpose and in an appro- priate manner. It is no longer worth it to use ICTs ‘just because’. Content is essential, of course, but it must be quality content. However, putting all the weight on the content is a mistake if the student becomes a passive receiver. Accessing quality content is ea- sier than ever these days, precisely because of new technologies. So, what added value
  14. 14. 017 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model can we offer? That is where this third phase comes in – when the role of the student finally acquires real significance in the teaching-learning process with the appropriate combination of content, expert teachers and new technologies in accordance with pedagogical criteria. In short, as we see the teaching-learning process, the student must be the centre of the educational process. The content that is covered facilitates the improvement of the quality of the learning and students are provided with the intensive use of the Internet and ICTs, which also helps transmit these technological values in the organi- sations and/or entities that carry out some kind of training programme in the Virtual Learning Environment SEE CHART 02 / PG. 018 1.1.4. Learning Theories All the elements of a training programme are important (students, experts, content, ICT, etc.) and must be framed within a pedagogical model that sustains them, as far as the understanding of the teaching-learning process, didactic methods, learning stra- tegies, tools, figures in the teaching-learning process, evaluation, etc. are concerned. Pedagogical models are supported by learning theories and principles that shape the organisational and didactic aspects of a training programme. As Moreno and Bailly-Baillière (2002) point out, there is no ideal pedagogical approach to the methodological design of an e-learning course, but rather it is best to imple- ment a mixed strategy between a behaviourist and constructionist perspective as per the aspects at hand. Behaviourist Theories Organisational aspects: The formulation of objectives, content structuring, evaluation planning, etc. Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  16. 16. 019 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model Constructionist Theories Didactic aspects: Designing teaching strategies, learning activities, etc. Different learning theories have contributed in different ways to designing online ma- terials and training activities. Behaviourism enables the creation of structured content aimed at specific knowledge objectives and, through exercises and evaluations, provi- des reinforcement that indicates correct and incorrect answers to the students in a sti- mulating manner so as to obtain certain responses from the students when repeating topics and/or exercises that have already been covered. With constructionism, students learn through interaction with their classmates as well as their teachers during the knowledge building process, with feedback being a fun- damental factor in the final acquisition of content. Nowadays, teletraining platforms such as Moodle exist, which are based on this theory and therefore feature a structure that facilitates the production of learning based on these ideas. Finally, there is a new tendency within the e-learning world to talk about connectio- nism (Siemens, 2006), which is a learning theory for the digital age that attempts to explain the effect that technology has had on the way we currently live, communicate and learn. This theory begins with the individual, who obtains all their information from a network that is continuously receiving feedback; this new information makes the previous information obsolete. The vital skill is in being able to discern what infor- mation is important and what is trivial, as well as recognising when this new informa- tion alters the decisions made based on past information. In this regard, we can see how this theory comes together with the new technologies of the digital age, where the information flows from multiple points and where it is crucial to know how to differentiate the essential from the trivial. Otherwise, we could fall for what Alfons Cor- nella (2000) defined as “infoxication”, or an excess of information or of the quality of this information, which generates anxiety in the individual due to not being able to assimilate it. Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  17. 17. 020 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model
  18. 18. 021 1.2 Pedagogical Model We will now delve into the pedagogical model that supports this guide. We shall clarify that this model can be found in each of the sections of this guide, in the statements that are made herein and in the uses proposed for the various tools and methods. This pedagogical model is geared towards e-learning and its many varieties and, thus, se- veral references are made to teletraining platforms, web tools, etc. It also goes without saying, however, that many of the indications shown in this guide are perfectly appli- cable to other environments, as they are pedagogically based. We shall clarify that at all times we are referring to adult lifelong training and, more specifically, to training professionals from a competency management point of view. Therefore, when we talk about students in this guide, we are referring at all times to adult professionals. As we mentioned previously, training programmes in which the principal method is teletraining are characterised by intensive use of the Internet and ICTs to improve the quality of the learning by facilitating access to content and resources as well as com- munication and collaboration among students and tutors, regardless of scheduling or Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  19. 19. 022 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model geographical limitations. The pedagogical strategies and methods linked to an e-learning model that is set in a context of lifelong learning must contemplate the following principles.: Learning to learn Making the professional - the student - the active main figure in the process of teaching and learning Collaborative learning Encouraging active participation among professionals through various activities as part of the training activities, as well as the creation of learning communities Compatibility and connection with professional realities Offering programmes that are useful to professionals and which allow the learning to be put into practice immediately in their professional realities The use of ICTs in the learning process Promoting new means for professional development and facilitating access to lifelong learning opportunities By placing the students in the centre of the teaching and learning process, the training programmes we design will bring together an entire system of resources aimed at facilitating their learning, based on the principle of “learning to learn”. This way, the
  20. 20. 023 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model learning scenario is structured in such a way that makes all the resources needed to optimise learning available to students and, at the same time, provides the tools that enable interaction and participation with all the other agents in the learning commu- nity in which they participate. Pedagogical strategies that guide and direct learning will be implemented in order to make the path towards achieving the objectives esta- blished in the courses easier. 1.2.1. Learning Guidance System Next, the elements necessary for putting the principles of the pedagogical model into practice through a learning guidance system are provided. We also highlight some basic figures that are responsible for guaranteeing it and the pedagogical tools that come into play. 1.2.1.A. Keys to a Learning Guidance System A learning guidance system consists of establishing everything from the design of the training plan itself to the instruments, mechanisms and tools that enable students to reach their goals: to learn, to acquire, to train, and so on. In other words, the professio- nal competencies that are to be studied in the training activity in question. Learning, acquiring, training + = DESIGNING DESIGNGING THE the professional THE ACTUAL INSTRUMENTS, competencies that TRAINING PLAN MECHANISM AND are to be studied in TOOLS the training activity in question Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  21. 21. 024 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model The keys to a learning guidance system are teaching activities that provide students with: Autonomous work. Assuming responsibility and control for their own learning by establishing their own rhythm and evolution in the process in such a way that the elements students need to approach the learning individually and autonomously in accordance with their learning styles will have to be defined. Collaborative or group workIn parallel, group activities and actions must be consi- dered, in which students can share what they have learned with all the other agents in the educational process. From this perspective, it is very important to make students feel like members of a community and ensure that knowledge, experiences, points of view, etc. are shared. “My learning scenario.” . Students must find themselves in a learning environment that they assume as their own: their learning scenario. This scenario should provide optimum possibilities for establishing the learning guidance system. Moreover, it is very important for there to be a particular area within the platform (student’s area), both because of the information it contains and because it is the students themselves that manage it. To do this, tools are available that contemplate these requirements, such as journals, blogs, personal data sheets, etc. Teaching strategy for guidance.This is the principal element to be considered. The team of instructors must act as the principal agents for the student’s learning guidan- ce. Their teaching involves incorporating guide elements, orientations, etc. that help boost participation, the creation of communities, interaction, and so on. All of these key elements will be shared in the student instructional guide, which will cover the following sections SEE CHART 03 / PG. 025 Autonomous learning, which is frequently a must with e-learning, requires the tea- ching strategy of using a course syllabus that indicates a series of aspects to students, thereby facilitating the autonomy that is asked of them. The following should be in- dicated to the student: the estimated time needed for daily study, the key sections to check and key information for studying, the recommended study sequence, the need
  22. 22. CHART 03 025 1 2 3 GENERAL AND SPECIFIC CONTENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES BLOCKS METHOD FOR EACH MODULE Clear definition of the General outline of Sequence of goals students are the training activity, content and concept expected to attain indicating the outlines timing 4 5 6 7 RESOURCES DIDACTIC AND TOOLS FOR EVALUATION RECOMMEN- ACTIVITIES COMMUNICATING CRITERIA DATIONS AND FOR THE PARTICIPATING WORK An essential part of guidingthe learning is At all times, students stating the criteria by which An explanation of must know what resources the student’s learning is going the activities to be and tools will be available to be evaluated on each topic. Course syllabus to completed by the for the training activity This includes criteria that not optimise the learning students, individually as in order to develop their only refers to the content, but process well as in groups learning processes also to participation and interaction in the learning environment
  23. 23. 026 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model for self-scheduling by determining a fixed and continuous timetable and, finally, an online assistance service should be available with permanent help from someone that guides the student on these aspects - the programme facilitator, a figure that will be discussed in more depth later. 1.2.1.B. Learning to Teach Team A learning guidance system is needed in any teaching and learning process, even more so when the distance and lack of physical contact must be managed so as not to become barriers to the students’ learning. The teaching teams will have to implement this learning guidance service with the help of resources and teaching strategies. It is not enough to be experts on the content, they must also be advisers, guides and a constant source of support for students. The institutions that carry out e-learning programmes must therefore be staffed with expert professionals in psycho-pedagogy who provide instructional advice on these new needs. This is referred to as the Learning to Teach Team (LTT) and, together, they form a multi-disciplinary team that designs and runs the courses. Role and Qualifications of the LTT The LTT should be a working group that is continuously in the process of instructional innovation, the objective of which is to provide the various teaching teams with the tools necessary to design and implement the various programmes. They shall oversee and be responsible for guaranteeing the pedagogical qualifications of all the teaching figu- res involved in the learning process, thereby becoming a transversal team for all of the organisation’s training programmes. This will guarantee the pedagogical adaptation of the programme designs, as well as the teaching qualifications of instructors, tutors, me- diators and experts in the different knowledge areas . SEE CHART 04 / PG. 027
  24. 24. CHART 04 027 ROLE OF LTT To guarantee the To guarantee the pedagogical To provide the teaching adaptation of programme pedagogical quality of all teams with tools to design designs as well as the teaching the teaching figures and and implement qualifications of instructors, roles involved in the learning training programmes tutors, mediators and experts process on the various areas of knowledge 1 2 3
  25. 25. 028 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model This is all part of a training plan that will be made available to these teaching teams as a part of their professional development. We believe that the LTT should have the following professional qualifications. Expert knowledge in programming and designing teaching materials. Able to teach instructional tools, techniques and instruments. Able to offer psycho-pedagogical orientations in training programmes. Able to establish teaching strategies to guarantee the pedagogical model in the training programmes. Able to encourage creativity and innovation. Able to promote the use of innovative teaching methods. Able to ensure the appropriate use of new technologies applied to training. Controls the use of virtual learning environments Controls tutoring techniques and learning guidance 1.2.1.C. Learning Guidance Process As has already been seen in previous sections, e-learning requires students to be suffi- ciently autonomous. Therefore, it is necessary to have a process that helps guide and
  26. 26. 029 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model direct their learning. The learning guidance system must be a transversal element in any training activity, with all the agents involved in the training process (those who design, tutor, teach, facilitate, etc.) being responsible for implementing it. Four phases can be defined in the guidance process: Preparation, beginning, body of the course and the end SEE CHART 05 / PG. 030 We will now take a look at the main functions of the guidance process in a training activity. To Inform Establish a system for ongoing information and communication with students: • Information on the instructional development of the training activity (dates, begin- ning, end, handing in activities, etc.) • Information on the educational content • Information on the tools and resources available to learn better To Motivate Incorporate a system to motivate learning: • Adaptation to students’ learning needs. This involves the need to first analyse the training needs. • Clear definition of the learning objective (goal to be reached); what the student is expected to learn from the training activity. Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  27. 27. 030 CHART 05 At the beginning of each training activity, the The learning guidance strategy learning guidance process is set must first be seen as a strategic up in which teachers and progra- part of the pedagogic model for any mme facilitators are responsible for organisation that offers e-learning guiding the students. This is the phase programmes. Secondly, each training in which the didactic guide is made programme must integrate the stra- available to the students, specifying tegy, beginning with the design and all the elements that were mentioned planning. above. This is the time to jointly establish “the game rules”. 1 PREPARATION BEGINNING 2 3 DURING THE END 4 COURSE Most of the At the end of learning guidance work the training activity comes into play during the and with the evaluation training activity. Students must criteria established for the lear- be made aware of what goals they ning in mind, the training activity are to achieve, what they have to do, must be closed by clearly informing how, where, what resources are avai- the students how they intervened in lable, etc. Above all, they must not feel the learning environment and of the abandoned. Therefore, encouraging results of these evaluations. To do so, participation and motivating learning the system for monitoring student will be two aspects to which careful learning must have been previously attention must be paid in this established (in the preparation phase of the process. phase).
  28. 28. 031 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model • Define and make a system available to students for participation and interaction so that he or she becomes involved in his own learning process. • Create a feeling of belonging for the student in the training activity. In other words, the student should feel like an integrated member of their learning group. All of this will help avoid loneliness (even abandonment) in the learning environment. • Permanent feedback. The student’s contributions and interventions must be consi- dered at all times, thus enabling multi-directional communication, and response times should be immediate. • Encourage group activities that generate virtual communities, collaborative work, teamwork, etc., in which individual actions have consequences and are valuable to the group. • The activities must always be practical and useful in the student’s working environ- ment, so that they can be used immediately and help with professional development. Along with all of this, teaching activities that allow students to self-evaluate their lear- ning process are also necessary. To Guide Implement an orientation system: • Orientation to the learning environment. Working in the teletraining platform: how to correctly use the various platform tools and resources. • Orientation in terms of the process itself. In other words, guiding and helping students in their individual learning processes with regard to selecting information, academic organisation, study times, etc. In short, helping students build knowledge autonomously and in a way that it fits with their approach to study (learning style). Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  29. 29. 032 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model To Advise Running a learning advisory system: • Instructional recommendations to optimise learning through the use of the guidan- ce strategy defined in the course syllabus. • Permanent online assistance from the programme facilitator through various chan- nels and tools (email, telephone, web messaging, videoconference, etc.). 1.2.1.D. Tutoring in E-learning E-learning tutoring has a very important place in this analysis of the pedagogical mo- del. The role of the tutor is not limited to the transmission of knowledge but rather requires a new teaching role in which he/she acts more like an adviser or learning gui- de. Their role is similar to that of a training consultant, learning facilitator, adviser, etc. who helps the student in their learning process so that they can reach the instructional objectives set out. The interaction between instructors, students and content becomes a common de- nominator in e-learning, based on the constructionist concept of teaching, learning and guidance strategies. The e-tutor is the key to the learning guidance process as their instructional intervention is necessary when implementing the process defined above. Clarke (1986) cited by García Aretio (1999-2002) says: “The action of tutoring is a means to assist and reinforce the self-learning process, it is never just an act of information transmis- sion which leads to a relationship of dependency”. In section 1.3 of this guide, New learning scenarios, we shall delve deeper into the pedagogical qualifications of the instructor’s profile in this new environment.
  30. 30. 033 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model Programme Facilitator The role of the facilitator is one of the keys we find in e-learning as their coordination task will be fundamental to the success of the training programmes. This person mo- nitors the students individually throughout their learning journeys, motivates them not to give up, maintains direct contact with them throughout the training process and is the reference point for resolving any questions or incidences. For all of these reasons, this figure is a useful tool, the main objective of which is to provide teaching support. The main functions of this key figure can be seen in the following diagram ( SEE CHART 06 / PG. 034): The Programme Facilitator’s qualifications profile must include the following as- pects: • Coordinator • Organiser • Virtual leader • Perseverance • Facilitator • Empathy generator • Discipline In terms of professional qualifications, he/she must have: • Knowledge of Internet tools • Knowledge of online content design and development • Skills to motivate, guide and communicate in the learning process • Written communication, with the use of clear, concise and direct language, facilita- ting messages that are adapted to any user level, from basic to advanced or technical • Advanced knowledge of the e-learning platform Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  31. 31. 034 TEACHING SUPPORT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE TEACHERS 1 2 3 TECHNICAL EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES SUPPORT Transmit platform Carry out possibilities as to Welcome to student control resources, tools and students and tracking uses that start up educational programmes Communicate and inform Register in platform about the course notable and matriculation events Realization and Control elaboration teaching academic guides, didactic planning books, materials... Impulse the motivation and participation, learning constructivist conception and students CHART 06 creativity sense
  32. 32. 035 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model 1.2.2. Types of Training Activities As we continue to explain how to put the principles of the pedagogical model into practice, we shall propose types of training activities, with the main criteria being the student’s level of autonomy in his/her learning process. This classification will depend on whether the student needs more or less support, which, in turn, is determined by the degree of complexity and level of learning. 1.2.2.A. Type I Training Activities (Autonomous Learning) Type I training activities are characterised by providing students with the possibility of learning autonomously based on some pedagogical guidelines and criteria defined for each course. Digital content plays a central role because it features a highly instructio- nal and self-explanatory component. For this kind of training activity, the programme facilitator is a key figure who directs the students and ensures that the requirements of the learning plan are fulfilled. The self-evaluation process will be completed using automatically corrected questionnaires SEE CHART 07 / PG. 036 1.2.2.B. Acciones Formativas tipo II (Aprendizaje guiado) This type of training activity will be determined by tutored monitoring by a mediator, who will be a figure of reference for students and will accompany them in their lear- ning process. Guided learning will be supported by teaching materials that require Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  34. 34. 037 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model instructional orientation from the mediator. The learning is continuously evaluated through the use of achievement criteria established for each course of this kind. SEE CHART 07 / PG. 036 1.2.2.C. Type III Training Activities (Learning with Experts) Type III training activities require more extensive control by expert professionals in specific knowledge areas. Once the method is defined (e-learning, blended learning), it may be combined with personalised coaching sessions. The evaluation process re- quires continuous supervision, which enables a formative and summary evaluation with various types of quantitative and qualitative VER CUADRO 07 / PAG. 036 1.2.3. Pedagogical Structure of Training Activities This section looks at how to structure the training activities pedagogically. First, the information that must be considered for all courses – instructional documentation – is presented and, secondly, how it should be organised within the teletraining platform – the pedagogical architecture. 1.2.3.A. Instructional Documentation The instructional documentation that accompanies any training activity includes two components, the first of which is material for the students: Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  35. 35. 038 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model Student Instructional Guide. A reference document for students on the characte- ristics and unfolding of the entire training programme. General and specific objecti- ves, method, content blocks (modules/topics), duration, credit hours, evaluation cri- teria, etc. Didactic guides for each module/topic.For each module or course topic, the tea- ching team must create and make available a didactic guide for students that outli- nes the learning objectives, method, content, duration, evaluation criteria, head ins- tructors, tools for communication, guidance for learning, etc. for the module/topic in question. Instructional manual. A manual with course content that must be made available to students as soon as the teaching team deems appropriate. Depending on the na- ture of each training activity, this manual may be handed out in modules/topics or at the end of the course. In order to comply with all current laws, those responsible for creating the instructional manual must follow all requirements with regards to inte- llectual property The second component is the material for the teaching team: Instructor’s guide. A reference document for the team of tutors (instructors), which outlines in detail everything that is needed for each didactic unit. In other words, it is the document that describes how the course should be taught. All the modules and topics are described in a didactic manner in such a document. 1.2.3.B. Pedagogical Architecture Pedagogical architecture refers to the way that the learning areas are organised in the teletraining platform, which are structured in the following way: Required Content. Materials that students are required to study for the optimal de-
  36. 36. 039 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model velopment of their learning process. This content may be presented in many different formats: lAdvanced digitisation in training pills, flash, e-books, etc. Example of Eva learnings pill. lPDF documents created by an expert on the subject, based on a document that combines text and images (PowerPoint, Word, etc.) lLinks to open Internet content Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  37. 37. 040 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model lAudiovisual content: video recordings, audio files, etc. Example of audiovisual channel (EVA Educational Channel) Supplementary Materials. Articles, links, references, etc., that supplement the re- quired content and allow students to obtain additional information and delve deeper into areas in which they are interested. This content will be reinforced with individual as well as group activities. Individual Activities. Articles, links, references, etc., that supplement the required content and allow students to obtain additional information and delve deeper into areas in which they are interested. This content will be reinforced with individual as well as group activities. Group Activities. Activities that require participation from the group of students. These activities must fulfil the pedagogical principle of encouraging team and colla- borative work.
  38. 38. 041 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model All the training activities carried out in a virtual learning environment must be ac- companied by tools for communication and tutoring that enable interaction between students and the teaching team which assist this team in invigorating the student’s learning process. Moreover, they stimulate motivation and participation by reinforcing a group feeling within the course (social tools). Likewise, tools should be considered for evaluating students learning. These kinds of tools, among many others, will be dis- cussed later in this guide. Example of pedagogical architecture. Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  39. 39. 042 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model
  40. 40. 043 1.3 New Learning Scenarios Teaching-learning experiences through the use of ICTs are developed under space and time circumstances that are unrelated to those of traditional teaching systems. The new learning scenarios must consider the changes that affect the educational pro- cess in terms of content, objectives, experts, students, etc. Changes in education on any scale mean that anyone affected by it must understand and share the same vision as to how innovation will improve the education so they may be long-lasting and withstand time. Moreover, a new learning scenario will have to respond to the processes by which people are capable of learning individually and in a community through interaction and collaborative actions. Three aspects that are important with regards to this point, in our opinion, constitute the basic pillars in these new learning scenarios – the role of the student, the role of the instructor and the training the instructors must receive in order to teach in an e- learning context. Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  41. 41. 044 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model 1.3.1. The Role of the Student We shall begin by discussing the students, who are not regarded simply as knowled- ge receivers, as mentioned above. Dr Joanne H. Urrutia (2007), in her speech “Lear- ning 2.0 and the Future of Education”, refers to this issue: “Therefore, the role of the student includes those of contributor, creator and selector. The purpose of the teacher is merged with that of the students in becoming promoters of learning and collaboration”. The role of the tutor complements these new functions and commitments that the students have to acquire in this kind of training and which involve a level of moti- vation that must favour the learning platform in which the training programme is going to be developed. So, we must be sure that the student is perfectly familiar with the learning environ- ment, including the tools, resources, activities, etc. that guide them in this aware- ness process. Thus, any training activity must feature an initial module (module 0), the objective of which is to transmit the necessary knowledge so the student learns to work in the virtual learning platform and can get the most out of their learning process. In this initial module, they must be given instructional recommendations and gui- delines on what the commitment is and on the needs required by the e-learning method as this new scenario forces new skills and mechanisms for interaction to come into play. We would like to highlight the following idea that we got out of the document entitled “ICTs in Education: The International Scene and the Spanish Case” in which various authors mention that the student “must make use of their skills to begin learning and continue learning In a way that is more and more efficient and autonomous, in accordance with their needs and objectives”.
  42. 42. 045 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model Module 0 de la EVA learning virtual platform. 1.3.2. The Role of the Instructor We now move on to the second aspect indicated above, which is the role of the instructor and the new needs when dealing with a learning scenario in which the virtual learning platform will be the only contact with the students in most cases. García Aretio (2006) refers to this role in these new learning scenarios: “In the most in- novative learning environments, it is not about students and instructors doing more or less the Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  43. 43. 046 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model same as they have in classroom learning scenarios. Besides the space-timing structural change, the responsibilities and tasks of each also change substantially … the instructor becomes more of a guide rather than a detonator of information”. EVA creates the learning scenarios in which its training programmes associated with the various methods are carried out and they may be virtual or mixed scenarios (clas- sroom and virtual learning). Through its model, EVA promotes scenarios that incor- porate technology as a facilitator in the sense that it enables an opportunity to learn without any spatial and/or time limitations. Therefore, this new scenario leads to discussions about a “new” instructor profile, the qualifications of which are presented below and which are categorised into three blocks or areas As an expert in their knowledge area • Expert mastery of the content to be taught. • Awareness of the design and academic structure of the training programme • Able to facilitate learning • Academic planning and organisation (curriculum) • Instructional support regarding content • Evaluation of students’ learning (regarding content and within the learning scenario) • Creativity and innovation As a tutor in an e-learning environment • Didactic understanding of the virtual learning environment
  44. 44. 047 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model • Able to work with communication tools and computer programmes • Instructional management of resources and virtual tools • Use of training applied ICTs • Promote participation and collaborative learning in an e-learning environment As a learning adviser • Guide students’ learning process • Use strategies and techniques to motivate learning • Invigorate learning • Communication skills for a virtual environment 1.3.3. Teaching Qualifications In view of all the above, it is essential that instructors have the teaching skills indi- cated above. In order to guarantee the quality of the training activities and ensure the principles of the pedagogical model, the organisation is responsible for offering them a training plan that helps them acquire and/or improve their knowledge and skills in order to teach in the virtual learning environment. One of the responsibilities of the Learning to Teach Team (LTT) is implementing this training plan. It begins with a phase in which training needs are diagnosed through the use of a “virtual instructional assessment tool” found on a website. This is used as a tool to assess instructional knowledge and the ability to use a virtual learning environment as an instructor. They may complete a diagnostic self-evaluation which allows them to discover their own level of instructional knowledge and skills. Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  45. 45. 048 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model This training plan must include training activities on two levels: LEVEL 1. Basic Teaching Qualifications: Training activities with essential con- tent (thematic areas) that must be mastered in order to guarantee the fulfilment of the pedagogical model. These training activities will be designed and taught by the LTT, where experts in pedagogical training will guide and direct the lear- ning process through individual monitoring and ongoing evaluation. LEVEL 2. Supplementary Teaching Qualifications: Training actions whose pur- pose is to offer either updated/recycled knowledge or an introduction to innova- tive content of interest in the field of e-learning. These training activities are de- signed to provide the possibility of learning autonomously based on instructional guides and a well-defined pedagogical structure with special emphasis on digital content (major instructional and self-explanatory component, knowledge pills), with self-evaluation activities and tutoring by the programme facilitator as a key figure offering teaching support. One example of this kind of training is the E-trainer Training ,activity, in which the teaching skills necessary for conducting activities in an e-learning training environment are developed. The content that is covered in this training activity transmits knowledge on the design and development of e-learning programmes, e-learning instructional skills, didactic handling of virtual learning environments and the instructional uses of e-learning tools and activities.
  46. 46. 049 1.0 Introduction. Pedagogical Model Learning courses teacher training Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  47. 47. 065 050 2.0
  48. 48. Methodological Innovation. In this section, we will discuss: The process of methodological innovation in training Innovative teaching methods
  49. 49. 053 2.1 The Process of Methodological Innovation We think of methodological innovation as the process by which various teaching stra- tegies and tools are incorporated based on the needs and qualifications of the stu- dents and the organisations, the nature of the content and their pedagogical design and the learning scenario that is chosen in each specific case. The teaching tools used, as well as the methods that uphold the training programmes we design, will be su- pported by the training possibilities and potentialities SEE CHART 08 / PG. 055 In this section, we shall focus on analysing the learning methods that constitute this integrated model, but before doing so, we shall identify the active agents in the pro- cess (learning community) and those who benefit from the various existing teaching methods: Students, who develop their competencies in different ways, knowledge and skills acquired through training pills, strengthen their discursive capacity in themed forums, and develop their problem resolution skills through case analyses.. Experts, who generate knowledge and offer it by contributing their experience and background. tutores y tutoras (docentes/profesorado), que orientan el aprendizaje y guían al alum- nado ofreciendo las mejores soluciones en cada momento. dinamizador, a key figure who supports the agents above in organising and plan- ning the programmes, guaranteeing the quality of the learning activities undertaken in the platform. In order to be able to apply the integrationist model presented herein, the institution Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  50. 50. 054 2.1 Methodological Innovation that wishes to implement it must be equipped with certain technological resources and tools. As we have already mentioned in previous sections, in order to be able to carry out e-learning courses, the ICTs and the use of the Internet are absolutely essen- tial. As examples, below is a list of resources that the EVA Programme was equipped with given the objectives we sought to achieve, not only to be able to offer e-learning cour- ses, but also to be equipped with other tools that allow us to develop a series of other related activities: 1. A Web Portal (,through which pedagogical services are offe- red. 2. A Teletraining Platform, through which the different training programmes are carried out and which attempts to be a personalised learning environment in which the members of the learning community share their experiences in a welcoming, cor- porate setting; providing them with a feeling of belonging, which is another of the transversal skills that are included in the teaching and learning processes. 3. Besides these two basic pillars (web portal and platform), we have worked to create other areas that can supplement our activity based on the pedagogical model suggested herein: a blog about e-learning, called a Laboratory and an educational channel on the Internet where our videos can be posted. Moreover, we have created accounts for our programme in various Web 2.0 applications, which allow us to share documentation and files (e.g.: flickr, slideshare, etc.). Apart from the tools and agents involved in the development of the training program- mes, the integrated model contemplates the creation of materials in one of its phases thanks to the possibilities that technology offers. Digitising the content will allow us to present it in different formats (according to international standards and regulations), which enhances both its scientific quality as well as the criteria for its creation and interactivity with the user. Added to all of this are activities that are carried out in each of the programmes that encourage teamwork, thanks to interaction between all the agents of the learning community. Communication is another fundamental compe- tence that is boosted thanks to the different platform tools (videoconference, online communication, etc.), which will be analysed in more depth in the next section.
  51. 51. CHART 08 055 Digital content as an innovation project Integration Emphasis in learning on expert Methodological platforms knowledge Update in all areas of knowledge: Academic and professional Creation of all kinds of digital media (content, e-books, SCORM) which are compatible, accessible and interoperable Monitoring the content Expert pedagogical creation process consultation (instructional design, Content technical consultation, registry digitisation, creativity, graphic design, etc.) Open source Instrument: software tools Guide to Innovation Supplier selection
  52. 52. 056 2.0 Methodological Innovation ?
  53. 53. 057 2.2 Innovative Teaching Methods We will now lay out the learning methods used in our model as they may be used by the reader for reference. Each one of these methods may be applied to a greater or lesser extent, or combined depending on the desired pedagogical objectives. 2.2.1. E-learning E-learning is understood here as training and learning provided through the tech- nology of networks, the Internet and ICTs in general that enable immediate access to resources and content. The e-learning method is a new training strategy which is compatible with and com- plementary to other more traditional training models, which must evolve due to the constant changes that have occurred and continue to occur in social and technolo- gical environments. E-learning is not a method that is going to replace already existing training models. Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  54. 54. 058 2.0 Methodological Innovation Instead, as indicated previously, it constitutes a complementary method that offers the opportunity to improve the overall effectiveness of teaching and learning. Out of all the characteristics that position it as a method that improves the quality of learning, a range of variables can be highlighted, such as: • The manner in which the content is presented • The role of the teachers and students in the new learning scenarios • The use of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, etc. From among the many advantages attributed to it, we shall highlight the following: • It makes a large volume of information available to students • It makes it easier to update the information and content • It adjusts the information regardless of where the instructors and students are and what time it is • It favours interactivity in various areas: with the information, with the teachers and among the students But, despite all the advantages e-learning can provide, it would be unrealistic not to point out certain aspects that must be kept in mind before adopting this method. Cabero (2006) indicates some of them: • It requires a greater time investment on the part of the teachers • It requires some technological competency on the part of teachers and students • It requires students to have skills in autonomous learning • It can diminish the quality of the training if there is not an appropriate teacher-stu- dent ratio • It requires more work than traditional methods These disadvantages will be mitigated as more experience in its use is acquired. For this reason, it is essential that institutions that decide to incorporate this type of training train and enable their teachers, as well as explain to the students from the beginning what their role is in this new scenario – issues that have already been co- vered in this guide and which will be repeated as necessary throughout this text.
  55. 55. 059 2.0 Methodological Innovation 2.2.2. Blended-learning This training model is based on a combination of e-learning and classroom learning, by adapting the advantages of each of them and pedagogically structuring the virtual sessions with the classroom ones so that the objective of facilitating the learning for the student is met. Focusing on analysing the advantages of each of the two methods may make it so- mewhat easier to understand what can be achieved by using this means of training: Advantages of e-learning . The reduction of costs habitually caused by transportation, accommodation, etc., the elimina- tion of spatial barriers and making time more flexible. In order to carry out a large part of the course activities, it is not necessary for those who participate to coincide in the same place and time. Advantages of classroom learning . Physical interaction, which has a notable impact on participant motivation. This faci- litates the establishment of bonds and offers the possibility of carrying out activities that boost skills and attitudes (training workshops that shall be explained later on). Using this method, the e-trainer, with supervision from the LTT, can choose to define which content and activities are self-learned, which are tutored, the roles of the clas- Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  56. 56. 060 2.0 Methodological Innovation sroom learning adviser and the virtual e-trainer, etc. for a course that is being desig- ned. This makes it possible to conduct activities such as those referred to as training wor- kshops above, where the content studied in the virtual part can be reinforced and assignments may be proposed to share the activities that were also carried out as part of the non-classroom side. In short, this combination of methods opens a wide array of possibilities for learning and participant-subject interactivity. 2.2.3. Rapid -Learning Rapid Learningis essentially based on the use of learning pills. By using this training method, it is possible to adjust to the specific training and technology needs of each organisation by teaching the pedagogically structured content and in multi-media formats that are implemented with animation, text, video and photos in order to get the most out of them educationally. The main characteristic is the short duration and the presentation of the content in small doses, which may or may not be overseen and led by expert professionals on the subject. It is important to make clear that the use of pills in and of itself does not constitute rapid learning. In fact, it is perfectly viable to use these pills in the other methods as digital content. In the case of e-learning, they will be accompanied by another se- ries of activities and for in-company corporate training, they may be accompanied by coaching, etc. The fundamental difference with rapid learning beyond the use of these kinds of pill- type materials is the duration of the course, which must always be very brief. Moreover, they should be aimed at the acquisition of very specific knowledge.
  57. 57. 061 2.0 Methodological Innovation 2.2.4. Mobile-Learning Mobile Learning is a teaching method that offers the possibility of learning through the Internet, but with maximum portability, interactivity and connectivity. It integrates e- learning with mobile communication devices (mobile phones, PDAs, MP3 players, etc.) for the purpose of generating educational experiences anywhere, at anytime. The content that is transmitted using this method may be checked regardless of loca- tion as no physical connection is necessary; and in terms of time, no specific moment is required in order to learn. This method reduces even more, if possible, the few limi- tations of Internet-based learning systems. This method is a response to newly-developed educational processes that serve ur- gent learning demands – just in time training – besides the fact that it can be set up on mobile learning scenarios, which offers immense interactivity. Very specific examples of this kind of training are often those carried out through PDA devices in rural areas or areas that are difficult to access (training for NGOs), as well as those used by professionals that travel a lot for their work (emergency healthcare personnel). But it can also be used for informal learning, for example in a museum when standing in front of a painting and using a mobile device to provide the author’s biography. 2.2.5. Workflow-Learning Workflow Learning is the method that combines the concepts of learning and work and is defined as learning that takes place during the working process through learning Guide to Methodological Innovation in E-learning
  58. 58. 062 2.0 Methodological Innovation pills that are viewed in real time within the context in which the professional wishes to be trained. The use of this method makes it possible to train people while they are carrying out their professional duties and competencies, through content and systems that are in- tuitive for the student. It is about integrating the learning process and the working process where a student effectively learns at the same time he/she is working. workflow learning = informal learning Jay Cross (2008) indicates in his book, Informal Learning that “informal learning is the path towards productivity, agility and growth capacity. It is also an approach that respects the wor- and this is what ker and challenges him/her to make the most out of all his/her capabilities”; this learning method attempts to do as it brings education to the worksite and enables training while people are performing their regular duties. 2.2.6. Case Analysis The basis for this learning method are cases, which make it possible to simulate an experience that is later studied and analysed, thus extracting a correlation made up of a set of elements that are inter-related and happen in a process. The case method can be applied to different scenarios, depending on the pedagogical strategy and intention. Transferring it to e-learning is the process that is outlined be- low and which is done by using a virtual learning platform.