Click for “Evening Classes” Click again for ‘online’ Just imagine you could come in and teach evening classes and that people could join in without driving in. So what was involved (in putting these evening classes online)
You might argue that this would be enough (well not as good as real face to face classes) However, it easy to make it better.
So you don’t have to cover everything in class Sounds obvious – but lots of people think that if you have a distance learning programme you have to type everything up – this is expensive – would never do that for a night course.
Handouts can be uploaded into a VLE (Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle) – even easier than using the photocopier. Even better – use many free resources on the web – give them the link.
Get them to do some work – learn by doing – help them with it (VLE queries) – let them know how they are getting on.
Send out notices, answer queries, let them talk to each other using ‘bulletin boards’ or forums.
So here is a proposed model AT its core it NOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY – learning activities Question: What resources do you think can be provided? All about communication. Next slide – What learning activities?
Narrow this down again. Where is the student growth? Most recent growth has been in online distance learning. (Trad DL is also migrating online) Can we assure quality? Organic growth – outwards as well as upwards. – about 11 programmes. So, How did we achieve this.
Look at how much we have achieved: 7 traditional distance education courses in over 3 departments. 12 online-distance (11 in one department) Already the largest selection in the country.
This is our objective. We are streaking ahead of other institutions in the country, particularly the Universities who do not seem to be interested.
Keeping it Simple: Some things not to do in online learning
Keeping it simple!Some things not to do in Online Learning Brian Mulligan, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland, ACAUG meeting, Sep 16th, 2011.
A little story! (aka “case study”)A naive approach to online learning?
Prehistory• 1985 – photocopied self-learning materials• 1989 – Distance Learning manual• 1993 – Transferred self-learning materials onto the Internet• 1997 – 2000 Educational Technology Officer – learning technologies for campus students – Poor progress (little faculty interest)• 2000 – Online Distance Learning – Greenfield site for new techniques – Self-learning approach• 2002 Launched pilot
Original Pedagogic Strategy• Internet Supported Independent Learning• Low/no cost learning materials – Textbooks, handouts , websites• Independent Learning Activities• Guidance given by ‘text’ over the Internet• Access to asynchronous discussion fora to support• Travel to Institute as required – Practical labs and math tutorials
Finance• No significant investment• No payment for preparation of materials• Time off teaching for training purposes – Initially – dropped later• Low level of planning – Instead - a fast response to problem solving• Faculty payment same as campus classes
Modification of initial strategy• Did not work with mathematical topics – needed regular live classes• Added synchronous (live) classes – These proved very popular with all topics
Growth of online learning 700 600 500 400 Students 300 200 100 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011• Excludes: – Traditional DL – Bespoke – Minor awards – evening
Longest list of courses in Ireland Level 6 - Higher Certificate Level 8 - Honours Bachelor Degree, Higher Diploma - 2 Years Part Time HC in Arts in Advocacy Studies Higher Diploma in Science in Quality HC in GMP (Good Manufacturing B.Sc. (Hons) in Quality Management Practice) and Technology HC in Science in Environmental B.Eng. (Hons) in Mechatronics Management HC in Supervisory Management B.Eng. (Hons) in Electronics B.Sc. Hons. in Pharmaceutical Science Level 7 - Ordinary Bachelors Degree - 2 Years Part Time Level 9 - Masters Degree - 2 Years Part B.Eng. in Electronic Engineering Time B.Eng. in Mechatronics M.Sc. in Quality B.Sc. in Manufacturing Management Postgraduate Diploma/ M.Sc. in Energy Management B.Sc. in Quality Postgraduate Diploma/Master of B.Sc. in Construction Management Science in Biopharmaceutical Science. B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Science Postgraduate Diploma & Masters B.Sc. in Polymer Processing Science in Environmental Protection B.Sc. in Environmental Management Masters in Industrial Pharmaceutical Science ScienceExcludes: Bespoke, minor awards,
“The on-line courses offered by IT Sligo are suitable for people who want a high quality and challenging qualification which offers flexibility to those who have to balance work, home- life and study.”Barney McAleer,Senior Quality EngineerMedtronic Vascular, Galway.Student in the on-line MSc Quality.
Characteristics of ‘Sligo’ model• Minimal investment (and risk) – Significant running costs (currently) – Viable at low enrolment levels• Agile and Responsive (short lead time)• Attractive to lecturers and students – Convenient, social, effective• Versatile (can be augmented)• Can command higher fee levels – Lowers total costs• Increased catchment area – Larger classes
What were other similar institutions doing?• Developing content• Looking for scale economies• Market research• Pedagogical research.• Detailed Planning and Design• Collaboration• Submitting grant applications• Hiring specialists (non-faculty)• Top-down initiatives
How were they getting on?• Slow going• Scale of operations: ~140,000 full-time higher education students in Ireland ~5,000 in IT Sligo• IT Sligo had around the same number of online courses as all the other HE institutions put together.
Observations....on common assumptions that might be causing the problem.