E-Learning Flexibility Providing business solution SunWater Queensland - bulk water provider
E-learning & Blended learning E-Learning Blended learning "How are business using e-learning?" SunWater Queensland bulk water provider, Australian Flexible Learning Framework
Technology is not a barrier Case Study 'Engaging Mature-age workers in e-learning.' Mature age workers prefer learning opportunities that are adapted to their needs and preferences in flexible ways, this includes flexibility in terms of time, place, and manner of learning. E-learning can be adapted to this requirement. www.flexiblelearning.net.au E-learning for the mature age worker by Kaye Bowman and Peter Kearns. Australian Flexible Learning Framework
The Australian Flexible Learning Framework In 2005 the Australian Flexible Learning Framework's Industry Engagement Project has funded and suported nine businessess to develop e-learning solutions, or trial mobile learning in the workplace. The project was carried out in conjunction with SunWater Queensland and Wide Bay Institute of TAFE.
Challenges and Solutions Business Challenge To reduce high financial and time costs of training a widely dispersed and a remote workforce. Solutions Development of industry-recognised and business specific training available to workers onsite through both CD-ROM and the web.
Industry Focus An exemplar for water industry and any primary industry such as mining, agriculture, fishing or businesses with a remote and/or dispersed workforce.
Two aspects 1. What is blended learning? - defining it - understand it - the drivers 2. The impact of blended learning on learners and learning organisations.
What is Blended learning? Definition: Blended learning is a combination of learning methods, such as e-learning,face-to-face instruction, group and individual study and coaching (Syberwork, 2009) Understanding: blended learning could be understood as the combination of e-learning plus traditional classroom delivery of content in order to increase training effectiveness.
Drivers • adult educational principles • motivation • own pace • involvement • technological advances • nano technology • speed conection • satellite comunication • global trends • globalization and fragmentation
Impacts (enhancing learning) • enhance student learning and motivation • improve the ability of the students to apply their learning to real-life problems • encourage students to be more self-directed in their learning • support the development of generic skills. • make students access to the course more flexible • improve efficiency for teacher managing the course and improve team collaboration.
Impacts (organization training cost) Organization training costs Transport Contracts Rent of facilities & premises Time spent out of work
Learners and learning The aim for the blended learning courses are to: • enhance student engagement and motivation - it attracted 70% voluntary enrollment from its target audience • improve the ability of students to apply their learning to real-life problems • assessment is both online and through industry assessors and supervisors who observe competency during practice
Learners and learning (aims cont..) Encourage students to be more self-directed in their learning - packages include self-paced activities and formative tests. Support the development of generic skills - provide some additional support and coaching to the few learners who were unfamiliar with using computers. Make student access more flexible - the learning and assessment material are available online and for those field workers without acces to the web it is also available in CD-ROM. Now learning can take place when the learners have time - not when it is convenient for trainers to get a group of people together.
Learners and learning (aims cont..) Improve efficiency for teachers managing the course - our relationship with Wide Bay Institute of TAFE has been a great help for us to understand the technology while also working with us on making sure our training meets Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) standards, and is based on sound adult learning principles. Improve team collaboration -In using Wide Bay Institute of TAFE's learning management system (LMS), SunWater has been able to mentor the learning of the students, through online noticeboards, discussions and regular follow up, while structured online chat sessions and forums are planned in the near future.
Organisational advantages Cost reductions A primary motivator in SunWater's decision to use e-learning for its training was the high cost of transporting learners from all over Queensland and interstate to a classroom setting to cover over 20 different competency units relevant to the bulk water service delivery function. The productivity losses from this travel, along with the inevitable delays in training new employee were also issues needed to be addressed.
Motivation or employees readiness The technology has been more of a factor than a barrier 'our existing workers now have a vast range of working knowledge of our industry and have embraced the oportunity to have their competency formally recognised'. 'new staff see the career advantage of achieving a formal qualification at the outset'. Some knowledge gaps in existing in-house materials - opportunities exist to improve company procedures.
Finally 'It makes sense in particular to deliver underpining knowledge via e-learning.' You do not have to incorporate fancy animation or sound in the e-learning material, just make sure you are producing a product based on adult learning principles and incorporate activities that will inspire the learner. Other industry, particularly with a diverse workforce, can take note of the SunWater example as a strategy to solve their training difficulties and not be daunted by the task. Blended learning is evaluatively correct.