Doing Distance Education Well. A Guide to creating quality online learning. Doing E-LEARNING well.
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A Guide to creating quality online learning
This job aid has been designed for individuals and others to inform and guide them in how best to prepare an organization that is requesting or interested in training people via an eLearning environment so as to maximize the benefit of the eLearning training/experience.
e-Learning is a broad subject area. The purpose of this document is to provide some general topics on the subject in order to provide starter ideas in the development of a distance learning experience.
COURSES ARE COLLABORATIVE AND ENGAGING IN THEIR DESIGN
a. REQUIRE PARTICIPATION
b. FACILITATOR SHOULD FORM LEARNING TEAMS AS A WAY TO BUILD COLLABORATION
c. REQUIRE A DELIVERABLE
i. STUDENTS SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TURN SOMETHING IN
D. PROVIDE A STRUCTURE FOR EACH ACTIVITY
i. PROVIDE A BEGINNING AND AN ENDING POINT
IV. WELL THOUGHT OUT AND DESIGNED ASSESSMENTS STRATEGIES FOR THE ONLINE COURSE
a. ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS ARE POPULAR
b. TRADITIONAL ASSESSMENTS CAN BE USED AS WELL
A primary factor that contributes to the success of an e-learning course is undoubtedly the organization’s leadership and and its commitment to the e-learning project. The items below represent minimum quality standards for organizations that want to successfully deliver learning and/or training at a distance. These standards come from years of research considering what characteristics create a satisfying and successful e-learning experience for those involved at the organizational decision level.
It is not only important to prepare the organization for a successful e-learning experience, it is also of great importance to prepare the students who will be taking (and hopefully) completing the distance learning course. There are two areas of focus in preparing e-learning students for a rewarding e-learning experience. Learning Effectiveness and Student Support.
The chart on the right shows an online learning continuum for skill mastery and effective student learning within an e-Learning environment. Students demonstrate greater levels of successful learning when given opportunities for active learning and collaboration. Students need to have access to materials that provide consistent involvement with the learning material and with fellow online learners as well as regualr feedback to reassure them of continuing progress. To enhance effective student e-Learning, a level of instructional design resembling the diagram on the right can be used as a model when designing an online course.
Recent studies in the area of student preparation for online learning have yielded interesting results. The studies have indicated that there is a clear need for adequate student preparation prior to the start of an online learning experience. Below are some of the areas to consider in preparing and supporting students for a successful e-Learning experience.
The quality of follow-up in an e-Learning course is a component that is often overlooked or forgotten Follow-up has been noted as an important variable in the e-Learning experience of students. Below are some ways to provide affective forms of follow-up to online distance learners.