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Critical Choices: Distance Learning for an At-Risk Workforce. Presenters: Aline Click Susan King. Today’s Presentation. What is the Critical Choices Program? What are some of the issues in designing and developing the program? How does technology help address the issues?.

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Presentation Transcript
today s presentation
Today’s Presentation
  • What is the Critical Choices Program?
  • What are some of the issues in designing and developing the program?
  • How does technology help address the issues?

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

what s in it for you
What’s in it for you?
  • Defining issues associated with online classwork
  • Identifying appropriate tools
  • Understanding the flow of technology related to issues and tools

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

learning anytime anyplace partnership
Learning Anytime Anyplace Partnership
  • LAAP is a grant program for asynchronous, innovative, scalable, and nationally significant distance education projects
  • Funded by US Department of Education

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

critical choices project overview
Critical Choices Project Overview
  • “A comprehensive online workplace success skills program to provide low-income and welfare recipients with essential workplace skills”
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Implement
  • Evaluate
  • Disseminate nationwide
  • Support

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

partners
Partners
  • Training Alliance of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Training, Inc.
  • Northern Illinois University
    • E-learning services
    • Department of Adult Education
    • Center for Governmental Studies

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

course focus
Course Focus
  • Self-knowledge
  • Educational and occupational exploration
  • Career planning
  • Life plan assessment

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

design and development issues

Design and Development Issues

Pioneering Program for Population and Delivery System

issue 1 sound instructional design
Issue 1: Sound Instructional Design
  • Analysis Phase
  • Design Phase
  • Development Phase
  • Evaluation Phase

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

new approach
New Approach
  • Help an at-risk group develop critical work-related skills
  • Develop a technology-based delivery system
  • Bridge the digital divide to learn anytime and anywhere

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

issue 2 target audience and motivation
Issue 2: Target Audience and Motivation
  • U.S. welfare system overhaul in 1996
  • Some success
    • For the most part the jobs they find do not pay a livable wage
    • Only 25% of those tracked held the same job after 18 months
  • Why should they take another class?

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

computer literacy
Computer Literacy
  • Digital Divide: Gulf between
    • Those who have access to computer technology and the necessary skills to use it effectively
    • And those who do not
  • Implications in the job market

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

research
Research
  • A Study by California State University Institute (1999) Defined needs of welfare to work, low literacy and skills population
    • Sound instructional design
    • Appropriate use of technology
    • Adequate support for sustained involvement

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

monitoring progress vs privacy
Monitoring Progress vs. Privacy
  • Siegel (1996) found that a key component to successful online education for at-risk populations seems to be closely monitoring student progress
  • Also found this population tends to drop out of the program, especially if they did not feel closely watched

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

issue 3 type of content
Issue 3: Type of Content
  • Skills necessary to qualify for higher paying jobs include “Soft Skills” such as:
    • Communication
    • Decision-making
    • Teamwork
    • Reasonable reflective thinking

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

critical thinking defined
Critical Thinking Defined
  • The skill of reasonable reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to do or believe (Baron & Sternberg, 1987)
    • Critical thinking to be embedded in course activities
    • Critical thinking to be evaluated as an outcome

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

technology considerations

Technology Considerations

Addressing the Issues with Insight and Innovation

test the theory that blended model can overcome traditional limitations
Test the theory that blended model can overcome traditional limitations:
  • Greatly increase accessibility because of anywhere, anytime aspects
  • Reduce dropout by blending enhanced counseling with increased accessibility
  • Improve learning outcomes by accommodating differing learning styles
  • Empower participants to overcome the digital divide

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

system requirements
Platform: Windows 95/98/2000, or Windows NT with Service Pack 4 Processor: Pentium II (233 mhz or better) RAM: 32 MB or greaterModem Speed: 28.8 kbps modem or faster Audio: 16 bit Sound Card and Speakers Video: Display card (minimum 65,000-color) Monitor: Set to 800 x 600 resolution or better Software: Internet Explorer 5.5 SP1, RealPlayer 8 (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Shockwave Player

Platform: MacOs 8.1 or Later Processor: 604 Power PC (200 Mhz) or faster RAM: 32 MB or better, Virtual Memory turned on, set to 64MB Modem Speed: 28.8 kbps or greater Monitor: Set to 800 x 600 resolution or better Software: Internet Explorer 5.0, RealPlayer 8 (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Shockwave Player

System Requirements

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

public side
Public Side

www.criticalchoices.org

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

critical choices technology flow
Critical Choices Technology Flow

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

learning management system
Learning Management System
  • Security
  • Personalization
    • Information important to the individual
      • Location Info
      • Class Info
      • Individual Info
  • Communication
  • Feedback

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

welcome center
Welcome Center

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

learning center
Learning Center

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

learning center as focus of project
Learning Center as Focus of Project
  • Computer Orientation
  • Resources
  • Communication
  • Back Pack
    • Personal documents
  • Modules

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

technology in learning modules
Technology in Learning Modules
  • Presentation via video scenarios, audio/slideshow, or activity (media intensive)
  • Interactive quiz/activity (images used for visual support)
  • Threaded discussion with classmates and/or a case manager or facilitator
  • Assignment/Activity (varied and checked online by facilitator)

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

learning interactions
Learning Interactions
  • Between instructor/facilitator and learner
  • Among learners
  • Between learner and resources
    • Hyperlinks
    • Search tools
    • Media

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

other technology
Other Technology
  • Backpack (similar to a grade book)
    • Personal documents
    • Time spent online
    • Profile Information (editing)
    • To do list / calendar
    • Module completion checklist
  • Communication
    • Threaded discussion
    • Email > classmates > facilitator
    • Chats

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

community center
Community Center

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

ongoing effects of community
Ongoing Effects of Community
  • Connections to other people
  • Access to information
    • Financial
    • Health
    • Child care
    • Any area of interest
  • Place to keep personal information
  • Resources

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

comparative benefits of online experience
Comparative Benefits of Online Experience
  • Increases writing and reading comprehension skills
  • Allows participants to move through the material at their own pace
  • Facilitates independent working skills
  • Provides a broad range of informational resources
  • Develops an extended community that remains after the class

eLearning Services,

Northern Illinois University

www criticalchoices org

www.criticalchoices.org

Aline Click

aclick@niu.edu

Susan King

scking@niu.edu