Saturday, August 27, 2005

 

Ruang Belajar dan Bilik Darjah

Terdapat pihak yang berpendapat, pendidikan masa depan akan berlaku di luar bilik darjah. "The future of higher education lies outside the classroom" - Chronicle Higher Ed, circa 1999. Ianya disandarkan kepada perkembangan pesat teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi (ICT) yang menjadi arus perdana dalam pelbagai sektor, termasuk sektor pendidikan.

Bilik darjah yang wujud secara fizikal, dalam lingkungan empat dinding, secara tradisinya ruang belajar di mana guru dan pelajar bersemuka. Walaupun umum bersetuju bahawa proses pembelajaran tidak semestinya berlaku di dalam bilik darjah, ia boleh berlaku di mana-mana melampaui batas ruang fizikal. Kehadiran ICT dalam pendidikan, telah membuka ruang dan peluang baru untuk kita memikirkan keperluan wujudnya ruang belajar baru - ruang belajar maya. Ruang belajar yang baru perlu memenuhi keperluan semasa - keperluan generasi yang lahir dan membesar dalam era ledakan maklumat! Mereka dikenali sebagai 'Generasi Net' atau 'Technology Natives'.

Dalam kesempatan yang akan datang, isu ini akan dibincangkan secara lebih terperinci, insyaAllah.
 

Ruang Belajar dan Bilik Darjah

Terdapat pihak yang berpendapat, pendidikan masa depan akan berlaku di luar bilik darjah. "The future of higher education lies outside the classroom" - Chronicle Higher Ed, circa 1999. Ianya disandarkan kepada perkembangan pesat teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi (ICT) yang menjadi arus perdana dalam pelbagai sektor, termasuk sektor pendidikan.

Bilik darjah yang wujud secara fizikal, dalam lingkungan empat dinding, secara tradisinya ruang belajar di mana guru dan pelajar bersemuka. Walaupun umum bersetuju bahawa proses pembelajaran tidak semestinya berlaku di dalam bilik darjah, ia boleh berlaku di mana-mana melampaui batas ruang fizikal. Kehadiran ICT dalam pendidikan, telah membuka ruang dan peluang baru untuk kita memikirkan keperluan wujudnya ruang belajar baru - ruang belajar maya. Ruang belajar yang baru perlu memenuhi keperluan semasa - keperluan generasi yang lahir dan membesar dalam era ledakan maklumat! Mereka dikenali sebagai 'Generasi Net' atau 'Technology Natives'.

Dalam kesempatan yang akan datang, isu ini akan dibincangkan secara lebih terperinci, insyaAllah.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

 

E-Pembelajaran

E-Pembelajaran
 

Top Ten Tips for Implementing e-Learning

Tip 3: Beauty is in the blend


Learning problems are often quite complex, and need to be solved by a mixture of solutions: content and people, formal and informal.

Although the term “blended learning” was first used to describe a learning solution that had both online and face-to-face elements, it has now expanded to mean a solution that incorporates a mix of formats, media and experiences. A blended solution provides the opportunity to give learners a more complete, fully rounded learning experience than could be provided by any one format or event.

There is no magic formula for creating blended learning solutions; it will depend on the situation. But there are two important things to consider

(i) Blend, don’t bundle. Just putting together a series of online and face-to-face resources, doesn’t create a “blended” learning solution. It is a “bundle” of learning elements which learners can access as they will and has no structure to it. If the purpose is to offer different resources in different formats to meet different learning styles, then it may be appropriate.

But if the learners are required to make use of the different elements then they need to be well integrated, to avoid learners missing out key elements, and having an incomplete learning experience.

(ii) Use the elements of the blend appropriately. This means ensuring you take advantage of the strengths of each element, and supporting the weaknesses with other elements. So for instance if you want to include a face-to-face event, then use this event for what it’s best for - peer networking, expert explanation of difficult concepts, honing of participant skills. Don’t waste time in the classroom presenting information or testing knowledge or even discussing issues and concepts - this could all be much easier done online. Make sure you get full value out of each of the elements you include.

Tip 4: Learning solutions must be appropriate

This may seem an obvious or unnecessary statement in the light of what has been said in Tips 1-3 above, but there is still more to add. Here are some examples of inappropriate learning solutions:

  1. A 3-hour course for someone who wanted the answer to a quick question.
  2. A number of linear, text-based web pages for a learner who needs visually exciting and interactive materials to engage them in the subject.
  3. A multimedia course that doesn’t run on a computer because the required plugins have not been installed.
  4. A learning game that a manager thinks is wasting too much of an employee’s time and distracting her from working.
  5. An off-the-shelf finance course that doesn’t explain how financial systems are used within the specific organisation
  6. A multimedia solution that includes audio and video clips which disturb colleagues at adjoining workstations
  7. A complex collection of learning resources that need to be viewed in a variety of different formats for someone who has limited computer skills.
  8. Each of these learning solutions is inappropriate for different reasons:

It is therefore not just about creating a learning solution to answer a problem quite independent of the context and then imposing it upon the employees. It must be:

This can be achieved only by working very closely with the target audience to help design a solution together, rather than giving an outline brief to a content developer who will have little, if no interaction, with those who will be using the solution.



To be continued ... soon

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

 

Top Ten Tips for Implementing e-Learning

Tip 1: e-Learning is more than online courses

For many organisations e-learning equals online courses, i.e. formal, instructional training solutions, and for many training departments the “course” is the default object. In the recent past, if an employee or group of employees had a learning problem, they would be sent off on a classroom courses, nowadays it is likely they would be told to take an online course.

If John needs to be able to learn how to write a program in Java, he will need a course that will take him through the language step-by-step, ensuring that he understands one concept before he moves on to the next, so that by the end he is fully conversant with the language and can write a Java program.

But if Mary is preparing a letter and wants to find out how to print an envelope using Word, does she need a course? Quite clearly sending her on a classroom-based course is not going to solve her immediate problem. What is more, she doesn’t need to know about letter writing in general or mailmerge or any other Word feature. She has a very distinct, concise learning problem. The ideal solution to her problem is some quick reference guide in the form of a job aid – not a course.

Obviously, formal, instructional solutions like courses have a place in training, particularly for those who need to work through a large body of knowledge in a structured, sequential way (as in John’s case), but they are not the only way of solving a learning a learning problem. It has been estimated that 80% of employees’ learning needs are like Mary’s – immediate and small – which can best be solved by informal, informational, solutions. But, guess what, 80% of most training budgets are spent on formal training solutions, i.e. courses. So why don’t organisations invest in informal learning? There are a number of reasons for this. Here are just three:

But in organisations who have invested in learning support in this format, they have seen great value in it, and a big demand by employees for more and more solutions of this type that meet their immediate learning needs so much more better.

The message here is when considering the solution to a learning problem – don’t under- or over-engineer the solution.

Tip 2: Content is not the answer to every learning problem

As described in Tip 1, the most frequent way of dealing with employees’ learning problems nowadays is to find an online course for them to work through on their own, at their own pace and probably from their own desktop.

But what is missing from most online courses is the social aspect. For most people learning is a social activity requiring social interaction and engagement with an instructor and their peers. Learning together is without a doubt a strong motivator for many – but is something that is overlooked by many online course designers. Most online courses provide access to self-paced learning content with little, if any, opportunities for learners to communicate, collaborate or share knowledge with others.


If John, learning Java, is taking his course over a period of time, he will probably prefer to work alongside others, with whom he can share the learning experience, as well as have access to an instructor, who can explain any difficult concepts and check his coding skills. These are the reasons why John, if he has a choice, would prefer a classroom course rather than an online course. However, if his online course consisted of a series of scheduled, live virtual classroom sessions led by an instructor and attended by other similar students learning Java, he would probably be a lot happier.


For Mary, who is trying to find out how to print an envelope in Word, her learning problem could be solved without the need for content at all. If she has Instant Messenger installed on her computer, she would be able to see that the IT Help Desk was online. By contacting them and quickly explaining her problem, they could, in a few keystrokes, explain how to print an envelope. Or even more effectively, they could use an “application sharing” facility and show her how to use Word to print her envelope, and even get her to have a go herself. In this way, and at very little cost, her learning problem would be solved. Furthermore, Instant Messaging would be available for her to use to communicate with others in the organisation to discuss problems, to brainstorm issues or to collaborate on work activities.

To summarise the points made in Tips 1 and 2, although most e-learning solutions on offer are formal, content solutions, it is important to recognise that other – people - solutions could provide a much better, more appropriate, solution to an individual’s learning problem. Here is a framework for developing e-learning solutions using this model.

Example, John needs to learn how to program in Java.

Note: As a rule of thumb, informal solutions are cheaper and quicker to implement than formal solutions; and people solutions are quicker to implement than content solutions. People solutions are systems/tools that can be used to address a number of different working and learning problems, which means their costs can be spread, whilst content is, in the main, specific to one learning problem.

To be continue ...... soon ...


 

How to Be an E-Learner

By Nuala Sweeney

Congratulations! You've been selected for e-learning. Here's how to excel. If you take advantage of all its capabilities, e-learning can be a compelling way to extend the reach and impact of your knowledge. But because much of e-learning is self-paced, you'll need motivation and personal tenacity to succeed. Usually, you must organize your own training schedule, choosing when and how you navigate through modules. Although you may feel more in control of your learning, effective time-management is a must. It's up to you to start, finish, and excel.

How can you be sure that you're getting the most you can out of the experience? Here are some tips to help you take advantage of all e-learning has to offer.

Allocate quiet time. Those who have been successful with e-learning agree that it's critical to commit to a training schedule. Decide on a consistent time of day, make an appointment with yourself, and write it on your calendar just as you would any other meeting. Because it's important to avoid telephone and email interruptions, try to make your learning appointments for times that won't be full of people clamoring for your attention. Be jealous of your time and attempt to keep it free from disruption.

Discuss your schedule with your manager and co-workers. Because you're not off site in a classroom, people may be tempted to interrupt you while you're learning. It's vital to discuss your training schedule in advance with those around you, so they'll understand the times that you'll be unavailable and why it's important not to disturb you.

Be considerate of others. If your course uses audio, put on headphones to minimize the sound. Just as you don't want your manager or co-workers to disturb you while you're e-learning, they don't want to hear constant noise as they're trying to work. Be aware of co-workers' needs for a quiet environment.

Set realistic learning goals. Take time to consider your goals, including specific work issues that you think could be resolved with further training. Set learning objectives for yourself that will challenge you but that you can realistically accomplish. Following the training, track your results and match them to the previously established goals. If there's an objective that hasn't been achieved, or that you feel could be improved, review the relevant portion of the training.
Be an active participant. There's no question that the more you put into your e-learning experience, the more you'll get out of it. Become an active "long-time learner," enthusiastically participating in all that e-learning has to offer--sometimes more than once. For instance, you may return to the course regularly for reviews and refreshers, particularly as new on-the-job challenges arise. E-learning is perfect for that because, as long as you're at your computer, school is always in session.

Create a peer e-learning group. Peer-to-peer learning is one of the most powerful training techniques. Many e-learning courses now include the opportunity for real-time collaboration with a community. It's well worth your time to utilize this feature. For instance, you can participate in chat sessions to share ideas and learn from the experience of others. If your course doesn't provide a built-in community, try to determine who else in your company is scheduled for the same training. You can arrange to meet in a chat room or virtual classroom (or in person) to discuss and practice the concepts you've learned. Participating in a community can maximize learning and increase your rate of retention.

Accommodate yourself. In self-paced e-learning, there's no teacher setting the schedule. If you study for a long period of time, be sure to take frequent breaks. In fact, most effective learning takes place in 20- to 30-minute chunks. If you study for longer than that, you won't be fresh enough to absorb and retain new knowledge.

Reflect on what you've learned. After breaks, and when you complete the course, try to recall what you learned. Mentally apply new concepts to your work situation, actively seeking specific, real-life situations that could benefit from your new knowledge. Test how effective your newly won skills are and return to the courseware for additional tips if necessary.

Use all available resources. E-learning is made even more relevant through the inclusion of online resources. Many courses offer a variety of tools and job aids. Take advantage of suggestions for additional reading or practice that will help you maintain your new skills.
Share what you've learned. To better retain your new knowledge and skills, share what you've learned with your manager and co-workers. You can also participate in chat rooms or discussion lists on the topics you studied and share your ideas with the community. Sharing maximizes your learning experience and provides tangible benefits to those around you.

Participating in training can improve your image with current employers and make you more marketable to prospective ones. With the dawn of e-learning, training can now be more flexible, personalized, and fun. To make e-learning effective, however, you must see yourself as the person in charge of product development. The product, of course, is yourself.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?