An innovative approach to training for online interactive materials production
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London Online E-learning Collaborative Project. An innovative approach to training for online interactive materials production. London Online E-learning Collaborative Project. How did we do it?. Trainers: James McGoldrick & Ron Mitchell Project manager: Mary Arnold. London Online Groundwork.

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An innovative approach to training for online interactive materials production

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An innovative approach to training for online interactive materials production

London OnlineE-learning Collaborative Project

An innovative approach to training for online interactive materials production

Trainers james mcgoldrick ron mitchell project manager mary arnold

London OnlineE-learning Collaborative Project

How did we do it?

Trainers: James McGoldrick & Ron Mitchell

Project manager: Mary Arnold

London online groundwork

London Online Groundwork

  • Umbrella project, initiated in 2001, in response to CLLP key strategic priority – learning through ICT

  • Vision - all London learners have access to relevant, high quality e-learning- a single portal

  • Collaborative approach to e-learning development in central London - cross-sector

  • Positioning – working with key national, regional and local players towards multi-agency partnership

    Strategy Unit, Becta, Jisc, NLN, NIACE, London Connects, London Grid for Learning, digitalbrain, HE

  • Steering Group members – FE, ACL, learndirect, voluntary sector – range of backgrounds and skills - commitment

Esol e learning collaborative project

ESOL e-learning Collaborative Project

  • ESOL programmes not meeting demand

  • Very few materials available for online learning

  • Community languages not used for services offered through internet – digital divide

  • ESOL learners at increasing disadvantage for participation in e-government agenda

  • Opportunity to develop interactive multimedia materials

  • Tools for teaching and learning – access, skills, flexible

  • 2002-3 – commercial software developer and tutors

  • 2003-4 – team-based training in-house using tutor content and digital developer skills as a model

Course aims were

Course aims were

  • To produce 5 modules of interactive ESOL materials (approx. 30 minutes each) at Entry 1, mapped to the ESOL core curriculm

  • To use the DfES read/write/plus materials as a springboard

  • For participants to work collaboratively in pairs (1 materials developer and 1 ESOL specialist from each college)

  • For participants to disseminate work at their colleges and continue producing and using e-learning materials beyond the scope of the project

Course aims were1

Course aims were

  • For participants to obtain a practical and transferable understanding and experience of the needs and roles involved in collaborative production of e-learning materials

  • To produce materials which could be easily adapted and re-purposed – where possible without the need for specialist skills

  • To share all the files and resources with the wider community to facilitate further and continued development

  • To provide guidance on further application and progression for course participants

An innovative approach to training for online interactive materials production


  • Participants completed a pre-course survey reflecting their skills and training needs

  • Participants attended 10 sessions (spread over 2 terms). During these sessions participants received training, support and advice

  • College pairs met weekly, using the 3 hours per week development time

  • Participants communicated with trainers and other participants using a full range of ICT: WebCT course, JISC mailing list, email, text messaging and telephone. This included sharing information, files and resources between sessions.

Training team

Training team

  • Ron MitchellTrainer with particular responsibility for materials development and ILT

  • James McGoldrickTrainer with particular responsibility for ESOL content and coverage

What happened on the course

What happened on the course?

  • At the beginning, more emphasis on input with the latter stages of the course focussing on participants feeding back and discussing work in progress

  • Participants looked at different aspects of creating interactive materials

  • Technical Specialists and Subject Specialists would sometimes split up to cover relevant areas

  • Work in progress was also discussed in tutorials

  • Participants completed a pre-course survey, mid-course review and an end of course evaluation

Input sessions covered

Input sessions covered:

  • Agreeing ground rules

  • Analysing examples of interactive ESOL materials

  • Negotiating script pro formas

  • Writing instructions

  • Planning navigation and technical specification

  • Learner profile

  • How to write teacher guidelines

  • How to write SMART objectives

  • Guidance on coding, software and asset creation

  • Packaging

Additional support given

Additional support given

  • JISC mailing list

  • WebCT course

  • Steering group and managers in colleges

  • Peer support

  • Web resources

  • Examples of blended delivery - varied for each session

Issues and lessons learned

Issues and lessons learned

  • Participants’ training needs analysis need to be as detailed and specific as possible*

  • Participants need to have a realistic impression of the demands of the course*

  • Success of the college teams is crucially linked to participants’ ability to work as a team

  • Participants must have a commitment to learning and developing skills and support from line managers (for some the learning curve has been a very steep one)

  • Trainer support time needs to be anticipated*Should have been direct f2f or telephone contact with trainers in advance. Possible need for pre-course training for technical team – either specified or provided.

Issues and lessons learned1

Issues and lessons learned

  • Contingency plan needed in the event of participants changing employment and/or line management changes

  • Additional learning hours needed – possibly additional time for one to one tutorials

  • List of tools, facilities and support mechanisms needed by participants in their colleges should be distributed/organised/tested in advance

  • Clearer outline and understanding of the model – 1. participants commitment to collaborative production of materials2. participants own professional development/learning



  • Training programme – accreditation as future aim

  • Relevant for Skills for Life teacher training

  • Model for digital materials production for providers

  • Build provider capacity and avoid duplication

  • Interactive multimedia E1 ESOL blended and e-learning

  • Core curriculum & quality control through editorial role

  • Tested with London ESOL learners

  • Accessible to ESOL tutors in FE, community and work-based learning

  • Empowers learners and breaks down barriers

  • Building central London e-learning partnership



  • Toolkit of examples and source files to facilitate more efficient future development

  • Mechanism to encourage wider collaboration and reduce replication

  • Transferable model for other subjects/activities

  • Current participants keen to continue involvement and progress skills



  • Friends – 90% complete

  • Health – not yet available

  • Jobs – 70% complete

  • Neigbourhood – 95% complete

  • Shopping  - 95% complete

  • Packaging & support information – 80% complete


  • Final release (Date for diaries) – 10th May 2004

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