Assessing & Supporting E-Learning Michele Martin GSETA Conference 2012
Our Agenda • Learning from Experience • Defining E-Learning • Assessing the Course • Assessing the Student • Supporting the Student in E-learning
Assessing E-Learning Readiness 1. Know the Course(s)
E-Learning on a Continuum Online Instructor-Led Online Tutorial Hybrid
Not all courses are the Same Course A Course B Inexperienced e-learning instructor “Wonky” platform with minimal tech support Heavily text dependent Minimal interaction with other students • Experienced, accessible instructors • Stable, robust platform with 24/7 tech support • Audio, video, “live chat,” reading • Interaction with fellow students
Course Info • What is required? • Technology • Instructor/course expectations • What should students expect? • Is technology infrastructure stable/solid? • Is help available if there are problems with tech? • How experienced and accessible are the instructors? • What student/student and student/instructor interactions? • Does the course use multiple modalities? • How is student work evaluated? • Is tutoring available? How does the student access? • What reading level?
Tips on Evaluating Courses • Don’t assume • Ask detailed questions • Keep a file of pros/cons of each course • Share information with colleagues • Collect and use feedback from students • Take a course yourself, if possible—document & share what you discover
Assessing E-learning Readiness 2. Know the Student
Successful E-Learners. . . . • Have reliable access to the necessary technology • Are comfortable using a computer • Are comfortable reading/writing online • Are self-directed/self-motivated—willing to take responsibility for their own learning • Have a support network • Have a schedule and strategies • BELIEVE THEY CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN AN E-COURSE!
Use assessment process to. . . • Assess readiness for e-learning • Probe for learner comfort levels and commitment • Identify potential needs for support and develop action plans • Counsel/guide learner to problem-solve
Areas to Assess • Access to computer • Current skill/knowledge in topic • Computer skills • Literacy/Numeracy Levels • Previous experience with e-learning • Attitude toward e-learning • Ability to be self-directed
Access • Where will the student access a computer? • Does the student’s computer meet hardware/software specifications for the course? (this includes speed of Internet connection) • What about back-up?
Topic Knowledge • How much skill/knowledge does the learner have already? • Is this “skill-building” or a new career? • How comfortable is the learner with the topic?
Computer SKills • Basic computer knowledge (mouse, typing, etc.) • Accessing the Internet • Accessing/using an online course • Forums/discussion threads • Email • Downloading/reading documents • Accessing links to other sites • Multimedia • Social media?
Literacy • What are the learner’s reading/writing levels? • Is the learner comfortable expressing him/herself in writing? • Can the learner use standard written English?
Learning Skills/Attitudes • Is the learner self-motivated? • Is the learner self-directed? • Time management skills? • Study skills? • Skills in interacting in an online environment (e.g., “online culture”)? • Will the learner ask for help?
Experience with/Attitudes Towards E-Learning • Has learner taken an e-course before? What was that experience like? • What are the learner’s beliefs about e-learning? • How motivated is the learner to take a distance learning course? • What fears/concerns does the learner have? • Does the learner believe he/she will be successful in an e-learning course?
Supporting e-Learning Prior to Program
Work with Learner to. . . • Build skills and attitudes in necessary areas • Develop schedule/habits for participation in course • Identify peer support group/e-learning role models • Identify and address barriers to successful participation/completion. • Try “mini-courses” to build confidence
Supporting e-Learning During Program
Work with Learner to. . . • Monitor and recognize progress • Connect to peers • Identify needs for tutoring or other supports • Problem-solve • Celebrate wins
Contact Me • Michele Martin • email@example.com • Michelemmartin.wikispaces.com • @michelemmartin • 610-248-6230