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Online learners experts' meeting june 16


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Report on Jisc study into the experiences and expectations of Online Learners, given to the Jisc Student Experience Experts meeting June 2016

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Online learners experts' meeting june 16

  1. 1. Digital student experience: Online Learners update Helen Beetham, Lou McGill
  2. 2. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Rationale for the study › Fourth study in the Digital Student program › Following on studies into HE, FE and Skills › Builds on Scaling Up Online Learning › Many providers are moving into this area: –in HE especially CPD/postgrad courses –in FE especially as an online element of all taught courses (FELTAG) –specialist professional and work-based learning
  3. 3. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Defining online learners › For the purposes of this study, online learners are defined as all of: –learners enrolled in fully or mainly online courses of study, located away from a physical campus (e.g. home, work) –learners undertaking independent online study within courses that are mainly delivered traditionally (on campus, face-to-face) –learners accessing online learning materials or learning opportunities who are not enrolled in a formal course of study
  4. 4. 09/07/15 Building digital capability What are the consequences of using such a broad definition?
  5. 5. 09/07/15 Building digital capability What are the consequences of using such a broad definition? › ‘Most learners in post-compulsory settings will experience some online component to their learning, formal or informal, and as they move into lifelong learning/professional development this component will form a larger proportion of their study time.’ › ‘Online learners are not, then, a distinct group of learners: they are post-compulsory learners in particular settings, and with particular preferences, challenges and needs.’
  6. 6. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Methods › Expert advisory group › Literature review and analysis › Consultation with online learners and staff who work with them #OLsuccess › Synthesis of findings:reporting and recommendations › i.e. similar approach to earlier #digitalstudent studies with aim to repurpose some of the same outcomes e.g. benchmarking tool, Tracker, SUOL toolkit
  7. 7. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Literature review: 245 references › Search terms: › online_learning, online_learners, MOOC, open_learning, virtual_learning, networked_learning › (plus) learner: experience, engagement, satisfaction, motivation, identity/ identities, progression, development, perception, voice › (focused searches for terms recommended by working group): disability, access, accessibility, inclusion, induction, preparation, self-efficacy, self- regulation, readiness, disadvantage, socio-economic, international › Criteria for selection: › Recency (post 2012 unless particularly relevant or frequently cited) › Involvement of learners, especially via large-scale surveys and/or detailed qualitative work › Focus on the learning experience, rather than teaching, course design, or organisational issues
  8. 8. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Overview of the literature › Factor analysis: factors influencing the outcomes of online learning – learner-related factors (dispositions, experiences, capabilities) – environmental factors (digital environment, spaces and places of learning) – factors in course design and delivery (induction, content and media, activities, assessments, teacher ‘presence’, role of tutor/peers etc) › Comparative: contrasting online and offline learning activities or courses › Case studies: usually course-centred › Qualitative and mixed-method – including participative and learner-centred studies – including attitudinal and affective issues › Learner surveys: – including development of assessment instruments › Synthesis studies and literature reviews
  9. 9. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Overview of the literature › Dominant themes: – self-regulated learning, self-efficacy, readiness to learn online – affective issues especially social presence/distance, collaboration › Dominant approaches: – large-scale questionnaires – (coming in) use of analytics and system data – rich, detailed, often longitudinal studies of small nos of learners › Lack of consensus on key issues – e.g. collaboration; intrinsic dispositions vs. educational ‘capital’; retention; role of induction; open vs structured environments – hard to reconcile or assign relative value to the difft approaches › ‘Online learners are different’ may be key message – even if v large data sets show ‘significant’ findings in one direction
  10. 10. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Overview of the literature We have to be very cautious in making any general statements about online learners and online learning: › Extensive, varied and contradictory literatures › Providers taking different approaches, devising their own scales, protective of their own research › Research tribes focusing on different issues, speaking different languages › Differences among learners may be more significant than similarities of ‘online’ setting › So what can we say (what would be useful to say?)
  11. 11. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Focus on success › What makes for success in learning online? 1.What are successful online learners like? 2.What do successful online learners do? 3.How do successful online learners feel? 4.What differences among online learners make a difference to their success? 5.How can providers help online learners to succeed?
  12. 12. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Headline findings 1. What are successful online learners like? › Experienced, already successful learners (especially online!) › Motivated, resilient and persistent › Autonomous, self-efficacious, self-regulating › Curious and inquiring › Well prepared and well organised › Digitally capable (ICT proficient) - necessary but not sufficient › Trusting (??) - willing to share to learn › (At least 10%) likely to have a disability › Many international students so learning not in first language (Our preference is to see these not as ‘dispositions’ of learners but as resources they can draw upon and develop)
  13. 13. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Headline findings 2. What do successful online learners do? › Engage in the right learning in the first place! (freedom, choice, motive: signposting, advice) › Set goals, make and monitor plans › View and review a wide range of course-related content › Be pro-active in: information finding; help-seeking; initiating communications › Manage time and attention › Focus on own motivations and progress › Integrate personal with course technologies and media › Interact, collaborate and share with other learners (?? contradictory findings e.g. for some learners individual focus more successful) ›
  14. 14. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Headline findings 3. How do successful online learners feel? › Successful online learners enjoy learning - even when it is challenging (fun, motive, curious, self-development, internal LOC) › Successful online learners experience empathy and care - even in situations of low social/emotional presence (implied from research) › Successful online learners manage complex feelings about working with others (implied from research) › Successful learners manage anxiety and frustration e.g. with technology (implied from research)
  15. 15. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Headline findings 4. What differences between online learners matter to their success? › Self-efficacy, self-regulation etc. (disposition or repertoire?) › Educational background, experience and capital: previous success › ICT confidence and capability › Other demands on time, especially older adult learners › Access needs and challenges › Linguistic needs and challenges › Mode of participation › (to some extent) subject and level of study › (In a few studies) age, gender, cultural background
  16. 16. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Headline findings 5. How can providers support online learners’ success? › Teach responsively, confidently, with consideration to learners’ different: motivations, interests, learning histories and resources › Prepare online learners to study online - norms, practices, expectations, good study habits, functional access › Enable learners to use their own devices, services and skills › Support access to rich and diverse learning content › Provide a digital environment that is accessible, social and personalisable: open (for some learners); secure (for others) › Address the barriers to success we have identified for specific groups of learners
  17. 17. 09/07/15 Building digital capability Please help us frame these questions... › ... so we can consult with online learners!
  18. 18. 09/07/15 Building digital capability #OLsuccess July 4-10 2016
  19. 19. 09/07/15 Building digital capability #OLsuccess July 4-10 2016 › A week to find out more about successful online learners with › a dedicated discussion forum › quick polls › a daily focus question and blog post › rolling twitter discussion › presence at live events (Academic Practice with Technology...) › DS106 activity and other creative reflections › summaries on storify › ... what else?
  20. 20. 09/07/15 Building digital capability #OLsuccess your ideas please! › How can we reach online learners? › What else should we be doing?
  21. 21. 22/0 Student digital experience tracker pilot results 2016 »For more information contact Sarah Knight: 22/06 Student digital experience tracker pilot results 2016 34 Lou McGill: Helen Beetham: