Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
First, a timeline:
The origins of online college education
1960: The first computer-assisted instruction system, PLATO, was developed at the University of Illinois.
FACT: It was used to provide coursework at more than 1,000 terminals in all, and operated for more than 30 years.
1969 The U.S. Department of Defense commissioned ARPANET, the first to use many of the technologies that form the foundation of the modern Internet.
1980: Usenet is established. Unlike ARPANET, Usenet took a different approach to connectivity, with distributed servers rather than a single central server.
1982: The Computer Assisted Learning Center (CALC) is founded. Rather than focusing on the distance provided by online education, CALC uses computers to provide an improved educational experience.
1989: The University of Phoenix offers first online undergraduate and graduate degrees.
1991: Electronic performance support systems, which help employers with employee training, are conceptualized.
1996: Jones International University becomes the first totally online college to receive regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, offering accredited online university courses and legitimizing online education.
2005: Online education becomes one of the cornerstones of the American higher education system, with more than 3 million students taking at least one online class.
2009: The federal government provides more than $500 million for online courses and materials.
2013: More than 6 million U.S.students projected to take at least one online course.
2013: European consortium begins offering free online courses (MOOCs)
ALERT: Catching the Wave: Universities around the world going online
FACT: Beginning in Mid-September, top U.K. universities began offering free online courses to anyone around the world.
More than 20: number of institutions, including Southampton, Warwick and Reading have signed up to provide short courses in subject areas such as science, maths and technology.
FutureLearn: the online hub for U.K. degree level courses.
FREE: It is the first time that U.K. based organization has offered MOOCs (Massive open online courses)
FREE: Students in any country will be able to sign up for a course through the FutureLearn site and study for free.
And then…on Sept. 25, 2013: European Commission launched an open education resource Web sitehttp://openeducationeuropa.eu/
Institutions affiliated with openeducationeuropa include:
Institute of Technology, Sligo (Ireland) Sligo is a national leader in online learning in Ireland. a. 1200: number of students taking 25 online courses primarily in engineering and science. URL: http://itsligo.ie
Rooter (Spain) is an international strategic consultancy specialized in education, legal services, technology and other activities within a digital economy. One of its main lines of activity is online education. URL: www.rooter.es
National Research University – Higher School of Economics (HSE) is one of the top research universities in Russia. Established in 1992 to promote new research and teaching in economics and related disciplines, it offers programs at all levels of university education including business, law, Asian studies, media and communications, IT, mathematics, engineering, and more. URL: http://www.hse.ru/
Maasricht University, the Netherlands. The most international university in the Netherlands. With almost 16,000 students and 4,000 staff. URL: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl
University of Porto, Portugal. With origins dating back to the eighteenth century, the University is currently the largest education and research institution in Portugal. URL: http://sigarra.up.pt/up/pt/web_page.inicial
The Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. Founded in 1425, is one of Europe’s oldest universities. The university has more than 28,000 students from bachelor’s level to doctorate. URL: http://www.uclouvain.be/index.html
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, is one of the world´s leading medical universities.
Open MOOC, in Spain. OpenMOOC is an open source platform (Apache license 2.0) that implements a fully open MOOC solution.
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. The second largest business school in Europe with 20,000 students.
HEC Paris, France. founded in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HEC Paris specializes in education and research in management sciences.
Another university partnership:
Semester Online : Consortium partner schools: Semester Online programs offer rigorous, for-credit online courses from prestigious colleges and universities to college students worldwide
In the U.S.
U. of North Carolina
Washington University, St. Louis
Trinity College Dublin
University of Melbourne
Foreign universities offering online coursework include:
Art: The Elements of Drawing – Stephen Farthing, Oxford University. Find on: The Web and iTunes
Demography: Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World – David Coleman, Oxford. Find on Web, iTunes Viedeo, iTunes Audio.
Economics: Advanced Political Economy – Steven Keen, University of Western Sydney. Find on: You Tube.
Economics: Behavioral Finance – Steven Keen, University of Western Sydney. On You Tube.
Languages: Icelandic Online -University of Iceland.
Linguistics: Old English in Context – Stuart Lee, Oxford University.
Music theory: Dave Conservatoire (Music Theory Lessons) – David Rees, Royal College of Music, London.
Sociology: Cosmologies of Capitalism – Web – Alan MacFarlane, Cambridge University. http://www.alanmacfarlane.com/theorists/cosmologies.htm
Business: Introduction to Strategic Management – R. Srinivasan, IISC Bangalore. Also found on You Tube.
Computers: Data Structures and Algorithms – Richard Buckland, and Design in Computing both taught by Richard Buckland, University of New South Wales. Find on You Tube.
Top rated: World Universities with global reputations
University of Cambridge (UK)
University of Oxford (U.K.)University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris
University of Copenhagen in Denmark
Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg in Germany
Top Asian Universities
The University of Hong Kong,
National University of Singapore
University of Tokyo
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
National Taiwan University
Top Latin American Universities
Universidad de Chile
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, in Brazil
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
How can you achieve higher levels of efficiency in the learning process?
Matthew Guyan: As people learn they use their working memory to process information and their long-term memory to store information. Working memory has a very limited capacity and can only handle a limited amount of cognitive load. According to cognitive load theory (CLT) there are three types of cognitive load:
- Intrinsic: this is the level of complexity inherent in the material being studied. There isn’t much that we can do about intrinsic cognitive load; some tasks are more complex than others so will have different levels of intrinsic cognitive load.
- Extraneous: this is cognitive load imposed by non-relevant elements that require extra mental processing e.g. decorative pictures, animations etc. that add nothing to the learning experience.
- Germane: these are elements that allow cognitive resources to be put towards learning i.e. assist with information processing.
The three types of cognitive load are additive so according to the theory, for instruction to be effective: Intrinsic load + Extraneous load + Germane load < Working memory capacity
So designers should do the following to assist learners in efficiently processing information:
- Present some information via the visual channel and some via the verbal channel.
- Break content into smaller segments and allow the learner to control the pace.
- Remove non-essential content – this includes background music and decorative pictures that don’t add value.
- Words should be placed close as possible to the corresponding graphics.
- Don’t narrate on-screen text.
- Synchronise visual and verbal content i.e. don’t place them on separate screens.
What are the factors that can derail a project of eLearning?
Matthew Guyan: An eLearning project can be quite complex. There are several factors that can derail an eLearning project. Some factors that are within your control to prevent the project from becoming derailed are:
- Regular communication between the designer and the subject matter expert (SME)
- Being organised and follow a development process e.g. meet with the SME then create a high level design then create a storyboard then create the eLearning module
- Involve the SME throughout the eLearning project (not just at the beginning and end)
- Ask questions if you are unsure or need clarification
- Follow-up the SME if they are taking too long to review or provide input as this will help the project to be delivered on time.
What are the success keys to improve learner motivation for eLearning?
Matthew Guyan: There are three things that you can do to help improve learner motivation for Learning and they are based on research findings. As humans we have three basic psychological needs and satisfying these needs will improve motivation.
- Firstly, give the learners some autonomy as they complete their eLearning course such as the ability to choose the order of topics or areas that they can explore.
- Secondly, eLearning provides a safe environment so give the learners opportunities to develop their competence as they complete the course, for example practice questions, the ability to make decisions that have consequences or simulated environments.
- Thirdly, allow learners to interact during the eLearning or if this is not possible, provide space for them to connect outside of the learning event as this will satisfy their need for relatedness.
How can integrate motivation with instructional design?
Matthew Guyan: John Keller’s ARCS Motivational Model of Instructional Design comprises four major factors that influence the motivation to learn – Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction. It’s described as a problem-solving model and helps designers identify and solve specific motivational problems related to the appeal of instruction.
The four categories of motivation variables consist of sub-categories along with process questions to consider when designing:
- Attention = Capturing the interest of learners, stimulating their curiosity to learn.
- Perceptual Arousal: What can I do to capture their interest?
- Inquiry Arousal: How can I stimulate an attitude of inquiry?
- Variability: How can I maintain their attention?
- Relevance = Meeting the personal needs/goals of the learner to affect a positive attitude.
- Goal Orientation: How can I best meet my learner’s needs? (Do I know their needs?)
- Motive Matching: How and when can I provide my learners with appropriate choices, responsibilities and influences?
- Familiarity: How can I tie the instruction to the learners’ experience?
- Confidence = Helping the learners believe/feel that they will succeed and control their success.
- Learning Requirements: How can I assist in building a positive expectation for success?
- Success Opportunities: How will the learning experience support or enhance the learners’ beliefs in their competence?
- Personal Control: How will learners clearly know their success is based upon their efforts and abilities?
- Satisfaction = Reinforcing accomplishment with rewards (internal and external).
- Natural Consequences: How can I provide meaningful opportunities for learners to use their newly acquired knowledge/skill?
- Positive Consequences: What will provide reinforcement to the learners’ successes?
- Equity: How can I assist the learners in anchoring a positive feeling about their accomplishments?
Using this model can helps to design the eLearning with the learner as the focus.
How can students become producers of content? Do you think the appearance of learning solutions based on social networks such as Izzui (e-learning app for Facebook – www.izzui.com) can help increase this trend?
Matthew Guyan: Students can and should be producers of content! Social media is a great tool that students can use to share information, ideas and experiences. However, teachers and facilitators need to support and encourage students to uses social media like twitter, Facebook or Pinterest and well as learning solutions based on social media like Izzui. Teachers should incorporate activities that allow students to create content and share with others.
Using social media tools helps students to learn from each other and to also create a culture of sharing and collaboration before, during and after the learning event. This will support the content that is being delivered and extend the learning beyond the eLearning module or course.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Knowledge Management
What is Knowledge Management in 2013?
Chris Collison: In one way, it is the same as it was in 2001 – a set of tools, processes and behaviors which enable organizations to improve performance by sharing, learning, connecting and creating know-how.
The one thing which has changed, and is very relevant, is the rise of social networking and social media. Some people would say that these have redefined KM. I don’t hold that view. What I would say is that social media have been like a shot of adrenaline for KM. They have accelerated the connections, the collaboration and increased serendipity to that we all get connected with new people, new knowledge and new sources far more than we used to.
However, the fundamentals of KM are unchanged. It’s about people and creating an environment to help them get the maximum value from what they collectively know.
How the companies can build capability to close the Learning Loop? You might mention 10 essential tips…
Identify the high-value, repeatable activities or processes in your organization. Start here!
Look at the quality of learning that currently goes on after one of these activities or projects. Does some kind of a review actually happen? Do people ask the right questions? It is superficial, or an in-depth conversation, designed to help the “next team”?
Look at how knowledge is captured. Are lessons learned reports sterile documents, or high-level PowerPoint bullets? Find ways to put the life back into them. Use quotations (with permission), links to the people involved, links to examples and templates, video and audio. Ultimately a lessons learned report should be an advertisement for a conversation.
Consolidate multiple lessons into guidance – find the common themes and capture the practical actions people should take. If you can embed these in a process – rather than a checklist, than make the change!
How the technology can improve learning processes in organizations? What are the training methods (technology-based) you suggest to implement?
We now have far more ingredients to use in blended learning. Back-channnels for classroom learning via twitter, virtual coaching and support via desktop videoconferencing and data sharing. Social learning opportunities for learning sets using networking and collaboration tools like Ning, GoogleSites and Basecamp.
I run a week-long KM training programme with the UN regularly, which includes a real mix of experiential, social and classroom learning. This year, the UN Course owner has replicated most of the course through blended learning, with videos, assignments, live virtual classroom presentations via video, real-time chat and on-line discussions. I’m amazed at how much you can achieve now without all those air miles! I think expectations of training are getting higher and higher as people make more use of technology in their personal lives. It’s an exciting time!
Sometimes, we are successful, sometimes we fail. But what do we learn from these situations whatever the outcome?
I think we focus learning more often on failure, rather than success. There’s an imbalance here. If organizational learning is only taken seriously when something goes wrong, then it’s an expensive education!
Management guru Chris Argyris wrote an excellent paper called “Teaching smart people how to learn”, which explores how intellectually clever senior people tend to blame “the system” rather than accept their part in a problem. Entrepreneurs who have worked their way up, are far better at accepting failure as a part of life, and a good teacher.
Learning from success is rarer because there is less of an imperative. There is no government minister looking for a response; no tragedy to respond to; no lawyers asking difficult questions. It requires a more strategic, proactive mindset, and I think it needs to be focused on the activities which really matter – the high value, repeatable, predictable ones.
What are the 5 most significant innovation in recent years to manage knowledge?
- Instant messaging – knowing when you can get a rapid response without adding to the email burden.
- Social Networking tools, and the shift in world culture to be more open, transparent and willing to connect, blurring business and personal. Knowing where people are in the world, and having smart technology suggest the people you could meet whilst on a business trip.
- Microblogging, and the serendipity it adds to life.
- Better use of stories and narrative analysis – getting smarter at spotting trends, patterns and signals.
- Desktop video conferencing and data-sharing – have added hugely to the effectiveness of virtual teams.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Uncategorized
The world of online education requires constant reinvestment to “survive” the indifference of today’s students, exposed to various interactive visual stimulus from their first years of life.
Courses developed for Internet access are implemented in most cases through educational platforms (LMS) such as Moodle, whose characteristics require participants to have great determination and willingness to study on their own. But the profile of the new generation of users today demands online courses that by design are sufficiently attractive and synthetic that the content can be easily assimilated.
QuickLessons is a platform for online courses from Brazil that has many resources to create fun and interactive educational content that encourages the participant to engage quickly with the information contained in an online course.
The platform is a powerful collaborative development tool for developers to be able to create courses together from different location sharing in real time information.
This solution can be very useful to promote training within companies, especially those that have staff distributed in different locations in a country or distributed in several countries that require a online tool to build gradually updating courses regarding the new features of a product or service.
The course interface design is aided by an extensive library of templates that can be customized and set according to the needs of the organization. Additionally you can incorporate animated characters that can be assigned as a virtual tutor and serve as support throughout the course training.
Each of the topics covered in a course can be supported didactically with embedded images or videos whose contribution can be significant for those students who do not have the ability to absorb part of the written information.
To strengthen certain areas of knowledge, QuickLessons has tools for quick and effective assessments including multiple-choice tests, false or true, relationship columns, etc.
What is the main benefit QuickLessons brings to the training? Without doubt the great advantage is that a person skilled in the area of education, can produce a fully featured course without the services of a graphic designer and a programmer, since the platform is designed for the person responsible for content to deploy that content without any complications.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
Pursuing an undergraduate or post-graduate degree can be one of the most important, rewarding, and daunting challenges of your life. While many students still opt to pursue a traditional on-campus schooling experience, opportunities for remote learning through online education are rapidly expanding in scope, quality, and respectability.
When choosing whether or not to pursue an online education, a number of factors should be at the forefront of your mind. Affordability, quality of instruction, and future marketability of your degree should be carefully weighed against your own personal goals. Our guide is here to provide you with the highest quality information on the do’s and don’ts of online education. Also, suggestions for enhancing the quality of your online learning experience.
Some questions to ask yourself while reading this guide should include, what do I hope to gain from an online education? How much time do I have to devote to an online education? What am I willing to pay for online education? Am I willing to go into debt? Do I have the time management and willpower to complete assignments on my own? And, for my purposes do I need a degree or a skill set? These questions should be carefully considered before deciding if online education is the proper choice for you.
- Quiz: Are you ready for college?
- Are you really ready to go back to school?
- Are you a non-traditional student returning to school?
Who does it?
6.7 million students took at least one online class in the fall of 2011. This is an 8.5% increase from the year before. With the two years before showing 10.1% and 21.1% increases, there has been a 39.7% increase in online students over the past three years. This brings the total number of online students to 1/3 of all higher education students. The number of online learners is much higher if you include certificate or skillset centered programs, as well as non-degree courses online.
Online education has been a staple of continuing education in the workplace for years. With the expansion of curriculum and affordability it has become a viable alternative to night school and traditional continuing education classes, as well as normal schooling. 65.5% of all academic chief officers report that “online education is critical to their long-term strategy.”
This being said, business men/women, working parents, returning students, new students, traditional students, and those just wanting to learn a skill or fill out their education are all a part of the online education community. And the prevalence, affordability, and ease of access to quality online education is projected to continue to rise for some time.
- Babson Surveys on Online Education
- Profiles of online students
- Future online education growth projections
- Types of online learners
- “Online courses are easier”: Online courses from reputable institutions may very well be harder than the same course in a classroom setting. Along with covering the same material, students must be self-motivated and good at managing their time. Unlike some classroom courses, no one is babysitting you, and you probably aren’t surrounded by people taking the same class.
- “Online degrees are not respected”. The key here is, are you attending an accredited program? The same accrediting bodies monitor online education as monitor traditional colleges. Institutional accreditation refers to an entire institution’s accreditation status. Programmatic accreditation refers to one particular program (i.e. an engineering, nursing, or social work school). If you are not sure whether or not an online program is well respected in regards to accreditation practices. Some important questions to ask include:
- Does the organization allow accredited status (or degrees) to be purchased?
- Are few, if any, standards for quality published by the organization?
- Is the organization’s name similar to those used by recognized accrediting agencies (but not exactly the same)?
- Does the organization make claims for which there is no evidence?
- Are there few requirements for accreditation (or graduation)?
- “Online courses only take place on the computer”. Just as traditional courses begin in the classroom, and oftentimes send students out into the world around them. Online courses often prompt students to begin field research, projects in the community, and research at local libraries. Just because a course is online does not mean it doesn’t involve utilizing resources elsewhere.
- “Online courses do not tailor instruction to individual students”. Here is where you really need to be honest with yourself about what type of learner you are. Some students are comfortable working through online materials alone, and others need interaction with their peers, demonstrations, and Q and A time with their instructors. The latter type of learners should check to see if the courses they are embarking upon offer virtual meetings with the instructors. Many courses offer weekly consultations on skype, via chat, or even on the phone with instructors. This component of a program is oftentimes mentioned on the program’s website, or on a course by course basis on syllabi.
- “Students are much more likely to cheat online”. Studies have shown that students are no less likely to cheat in an online environment than in a traditional classroom setting. Many online testing programs provide ways to track and deter cheating behavior, and, over time professors become good at identifying the “voice” of student writing, answers, and test taking habits.
- “There are no attendance policies in online classes”. For some classes this is true. But for many classes, particularly with live video feeds, there are attendance policies very similar to traditional classes. If you are not able to commit to saving the time for when the class is held, make sure to check the attendance policy!
- “Online classes do not require the purchasing of a physical textbook”. For some classes, all of the materials are online. And many online classes do have more materials online than traditional classes. Many online courses, however, do require the purchasing of many of the same materials a traditional class would require. Consult the class syllabi.
- “All I have to do is turn in the homework on time and take exams”. Online discussions are often required. Even if not required, those that participate in online discussion often receive higher grades in the course. Discussion is a crucial part of mastering a topic.
- “Online education works for everyone”. No, online education works best for somewhat skilled and highly motivated students. Many studies show that students that are already struggling very much benefit from having face to face interactions with a student peer group and professor.
- Council of Higher Education’s Database of Accredited Schools
- List of regionally accredited online schools
- Test whether online education is for you
- Common accreditation questions
Assessing your options
Are you seeking an online degree and planning to take a full course load online until you graduate? Are you supplementing traditional courses with a few online courses? Are you just seeking a skillset, or to brush up on some skills? These are important questions, the answers of which will dictate your options in online education.
For those seeking full time online education
Synchronous (literally, “at the same time”) online courses offer experiences more similar to traditional courses. This form of course involves live communication by sitting in a computer lab, teleconferences, videos, or live message boards. If you’re going to invest enough time, energy, and money into an online program to obtain a degree, synchronous courses give you greater support with which to get the most from your education. Synchronous courses also offer better chances at forming lasting relationships (professional and otherwise), an important part of college particularly for first-time degree seekers.
For those supplementing traditional courses
Asynchronous (literally, “not at the same time”) courses offer flexibility to fit around the rest of your traditional courses. These courses largely allow students to proceed at their own pace, with assignments answered via email and message boards on your own time. This type of course, however, should be avoided unless you are disciplined enough to complete the work in a timely manner, and will not need much one on one attention or customized instruction to master the material.
For those building up a skillset
There are a variety of certificate programs and unofficial programs of study centered on skills. If you are not in need of a certificate or proof of completion, there are many free courses from top universities that allow you to study everything from philosophy to photography to computer science on your own time.
- Compare average college prices by type of instutution
- Mashable’s 100+ online educational resources
- Over 1,600 free courses from MIT’s open courseware
- Indian Instutute of Technology’s tried and true IT education with 50 courses for free
- Open Courseware Database by subject
- W3 schools offer free courses and certificates in computer science topics
There are a few prerequisites to participating in any online course. Online education is almost impossible without basic computer literacy. Strong reading and writing skills are required as most of the material will be in written format online and the ability to communicate in writing with professors and on discussion boards is a must. Self-motivation and the ability to be an independent learner will also be more important than in a traditional classroom setting. Even if there is no set time for each class online, time to study and work through the material is essential. 12 hours a week for every 3 credit hour class is a good rule of thumb. You must also be a good self-starter. As it is your responsibility to speak up if you do not understand something. There is no one looking over your shoulder making sure you’re completing your assignments in online education.
For online branches of traditional schools, admission standards are the same as the traditional classroom setting. This typically involves taking the SAT or ACT, completing high school or obtaining a GED equivalent, and writing one (or several) admission essay(s).
For certificate or skill based programs, it’s all about learning the skill set well enough to apply it in a work setting. Certificate programs can range from a certificate in java programming to midwifery. Many programs, however, simply afford you the opportunity to learn a skill without the certificate. For these programs “the proof is in the pudding” and the program was a good choice for you if it enabled you to learn a marketable skill.
- Are you ready for online learning?
- Course in Computer Basics
- Remedial Writing course
- List of online colleges
- Application Checklist
For-Profit Online Universities
There is a common misconception that all online universities are for-profit. Several years ago this might have been closer to the case, with Kaplan College and University of Phoenix boasting massive enrollments. However, due to exposure of high student debt rates and low job prospects for graduates, enrollments to the previous two colleges have dropped enormously. Coupled with the rise of online education at more traditional schools, most online universities are no longer for profit.
While schools like Devry, Kaplan, and University of Phoenix are accredited, they are also regularly sued for not preparing students for the workplace, or under review in regards to their accreditation status. While there is hope that for-profit colleges will enact meaningful reform in the coming years, the fact that they are “for-profit” and not for education in and of itself should cue you in to a potential conflict between what the University wants and what is best for the students. Some students do come out from for profit institutions and do just fine, but others are quite ill-prepared for the work force and have massive student debt. This being said, if you plan to go to school for a particular skillset (IT skills, graphic design) then a for-profit institution can teach you that trade. But if you are really a self-starter, you might also be able to teach yourself the skillset on your own. Online courses at traditional non-profit colleges serve as a good middle ground if you are unsure as they tend to provide good counseling on your own career and funding options.
Paying for an online education
Online education can be cheaper than traditional education, depending on several factors. If you are working to develop a skill set, you may be able to find courses for free, or only complete part of an online degree. And if you are continuing your studies part time, you can spread the expenses out over more time. Online courses taken as part of a traditional course degree, however, are often equally as expensive as normal courses. Here are a few resources to help you deal with your educational expenses.
- Be your own advocate. No one else is going to help you with funding, or remind you to do your homework. If you are having trouble keeping up with a topic, let a school administrator or professor know what you are dealing with.
- Assure the quality of educators. Phd’s are a good sign of quality training, but we’ve all heard of research professors that care nothing for their classes. Reach out, interact on forums, check rankings, and ask the opinions of those with firsthand experience with the school.
- Relevance of Curriculum. For those heading back to school to further their own career, choosing a program that fits your personal goals is particularly important. If you know the particular skills that you need to advance your career, you’re ahead of the game and can find a program that fits your needs.
- Start out part time. For those balancing work with returning to school, or heading to school after a while off, start off part time. This allows you to slowly work your way up to a manageable amount of work. Otherwise you might overcommit yourself and perform less well with everything.
- Create a study space in your home. For those out of school for a while, create a quiet space in your homes. Make a break from your previous routines and head into “school mode.”
- If employed, seek support from your employer. Whenever you further your education, it makes you a more valuable employee. Your employer wants to work with you to increase what you have to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and consult your boss.
- Make money plans. If you’re in a degree program, it may not mean much unless it’s finished. Make the proper plans and don’t run out of money part way into your program.
Obtaining an online education can be an important turning point towards a life of opportunity and stability, a way to keep your mind active, or a way to attach yourself to unnecessary student debt and an unaccredited institution. Be careful and realistic when considering your options, if an option appears to be too good to be true, beware. And most of all, take advantage of the connectivity of the digital age to enhance your education and life.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Better eLearning
In 1888, John Milton Gregory published The Seven Laws of Teaching, providing instruction on what contributes to being an effective teacher. While this list is over a hundred years old, most readers today will resonate with this list of laws. This is one of a dozen or so books that I try to read each year. It is a short read that one can usually finish in a few hours. As I picked up the book to read again today, I started to think about these laws in terms of self-directed learning, rewriting the laws from a self-directed learning perspective (which, by the way, fits nicely with law #7). Below is the original list of “elements” from which Gregory devised his seven laws. Using these as a starting point, I revised them to create the seven elements of a self-directed learner, adding one additional item that did not seem to have adequate emphasis in Gregory’s original list (although it is embedded within several of them).
Gregory’s original seven elements of teaching:
1. A teacher must be one who Knows the lesson or truth to be taught.
2. A learner is one who attends with interest to the lesson given.
3. The language used as a medium between teacher and learner must be common to both.
4. The lesson to be learned must be explicable in the terms of truth already known by the learner — the unknown must be explained by the known.
5. Teaching is arousing and using the pupil’s mind to form in it a desired conception or thought.
6. Learning -is thinking into one’s own under standing a new idea or truth. re-knowing, and re-producing of the knowledge taught.
7. The test and proof of teaching done — the finishing and fastening process — must be a re-viewing, re-thinking, re-knowing, and re producing of the knowledge taught.
Seven elements of the self-directed learner:
1. Everyone (including the self) and everything is a teacher. This is not limited to humans. Experiences, books, online and face-to-face communities, practice, thought experiments, personal reflection, and the observed world can all serve as teachers for the self-directed learner. The self-directed learner strives to identify and learn from the teachers that can best assist with the desired lesson, skill, question, problem, or project.
2. A self-directed learner establishes the desired learning goal and attends to pursuing and achieving that goal. The lesson is not given as much as it is created.
3. The self-directed learner learns the languages and discourses necessary to reach the desired learning goal. Many of the “teachers” that the self-directed learner seeks to leverage will use a different vocabulary, unfamiliar examples and illustrations, and patterns of speech and thought that may seem confusing at times. The self-directed learner seeks to become adept at learning how to learn these new languages and ways of thinking, making meaningful connections between her own current speech and thought and that of the many “teachers” that she may use along the way.
4. The self-directed learner builds cognitive bridges between what she already knows and can do and what she aspires to know and do. Sometimes other “teachers” hep the self-directed learner to build these bridges, but she considers it her responsibility to seek and make connections that help her to achieve her learning goal(s).
5. The self-directed learner aspires to learn how to motivate herself and what motivates her. She uses these lessons to meet her desired learning goals.
6. The self-directed learner strives to embody the new knowledge or skill.The goal is for her to own the lesson, for it to become a part of her thoughts and actions. She communicates the ideas in her own words and her own ways.
7. The self-directed learning reviews, refines, and re-creates what she learns. Once a learning goal is achieved, she returns to it, reviews what she learned, and uses it to learn and create new knowledge and skill.
8. The self-directed learner establishes feedback loops that give her insight on whether she is progressing toward the desired learning goal(s). This might be feedback from self, mentors, peers, or any number of non-human feedback sources.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Learning Trends
Education in the 21st Century
In today’s dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming more nuanced, more seamless, and it flows back and forth from students to teachers.
200,000: number of teachers who graduate from college annually.
3.7 million: Estimated number of elementary and secondary school teachers in 2011. This number has risen 7 percent since 2001. Of the 3.7 million, 3.3 million are public school teachers and 0.4 million private school teachers.
The crisis in education:
- 19: number of states that cut education funding by more than 5 percent between 2010–11 and 2011–12.
- 4: number of states, Illinois, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin, that cut education spending by 10 percent or more.
- 80: percentage of school administrators who describe their budget as inadequately funded.
So, how do you solve the crisis?:
Collaboration: Web 2.0 has taught us to play together. In progressives schools across the country, students and teachers are learning from each other through social media to…
- Learn more about specific subjects
- Test out ideas and theories
- Learn facts
- Gauge each other’s opinion
Technology power: Kids are learning through the use of…
- Kid-specific social networking sites
- On their blogs
- On school sites
- On Facebook
- On Twitter
Technology power: Teachers are learning and sharing ideas through the use of sites like…
- Teacher Tube
- PBS Teachers
Technology Power: Teachers are reaching kids through the use of programs built around teaching kids
- How to create video games using Guitar Hero.
- To communicate using Voice Thread
- To learn global languages using ePals and LiveMocha
- To create avatars of characters using Voki
- To communicate with other kids around the world using Skype
- Tech-savvy teachers are threading media-making tools into the curriculum with free tools like comic strip-creation site ToonDo, MicrosoftPhotoStory3 for slide shows, Microsoft Movie Maker and Voice Thread to string together images, videos, and documents.
And finally, during tight economic times, administrators, parents, and teachers ask:
Q: How do you meet the demand to increase access to learning opportunities and reduce costs (of all this technology) without sacrificing instructional quality?
A: Implement a blended learning strategy.
Blended learning involves:
- Courses that integrate online with face-to-face activities
- Courses that are taught both in the classroom (face to face) and at a distance
- Mixing or combining instructional technology with actual job tasks in order to create a harmonious effect of learning and working.
- Blended learning is combining computers with traditional teaching. It’s also referred to as reverse teaching, flip teaching, backwards classroom, or reverse instruction.
It’s not really new: The Blended Learning concept has its antecedents
1840: Establishment of the first correspondence school in Europe
1883: Chautauqua (Correspondence) Institute founded in New York
1910: International Correspondence School launched in Pennsylvania
1999: the first use of the term blended learning is used, although the technique (minus the technology) has been around since at least 1840.
Teachers use the blended technique in different ways. Some teachers…
- Assign interactive quizzes and online projects at home
- Use computer time in classes
- Assign watching videos and lectures at home and use class time for hands-on projects
- Use home-time online discussions and collaborative projects as fuel for content and discussion in the classroom.
Thus, Blended Learning is the use of two or more distinct methods of training. This may include combinations such as:
- blending classroom instruction with on-line instruction
- blending on-line instruction with access to a coach or faculty member
- blending simulations with structured courses
- blending on-the-job training with brown bag informal sessions
- blending managerial coaching with e-learning activities
This movement is growing quickly:
$30 million: Amount that the Dept. of Education plans to spend over next 3 years bringing blended learning to 400 schools around the country.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Better eLearning
Do you know how to learn? Many people don’t. Specifically, they don’t know how to look inward to examine how they learn and to judge what is effective.
That’s where metacognitive strategies come in. They are techniques that help people become more successful learners. Shouldn’t this be a crucial goal of instructional design?
Improved metacognition can facilitate both formal and informal learning. It can improve the performance of new tasks on the job and help teams problem solve more effectively.
But let’s start at the beginning. Here are some things instructional designers should know about metacognition.
What is metacognition?
- Metacognition is often referred to as “thinking about thinking.” But that’s just a quick definition. Metacognition is a regulatory system that helps a person understand and control his or her own cognitive performance.
- Metacognition allows people to take charge of their own learning. It involves awareness of how they learn, an evaluation of their learning needs, generating strategies to meet these needs and then implementing the strategies. (Hacker, 2009)
- Learners often show an increase in self-confidence when they build metacognitive skills. Self-efficacy improves motivation as well as learning success.
- Metacognitive skills are generally learned during a later stage of development. Metacognitive strategies can often (but not always) be stated by the individual who is using them.
- For all age groups, metacognitive knowledge is crucial for efficient independent learning because it fosters forethought and self-reflection.
The Two Processes of Metacognition
Fortunately, many theorists organize the skills of metacognition into two components. This makes it easier to understand and remember.
- According to theory, metacognition consists of two complementary processes: 1) the knowledge of cognition and 2) the regulation of cognition.
- Knowledge of cognition has three components: knowledge of the factors that influence one’s own performance; knowing different types of strategies to use for learning; knowing what strategy to use for a specific learning situation.
- Regulation of cognition involves: setting goals and planning; monitoring and controlling learning; and evaluating one’s own regulation (assessing results and strategies used).
Metacognition and Expertise
- Many experts cannot explain the skills they use to elicit expert performance. (Perhaps this is due to the automatic functioning of the expert.)
- Metacognitive strategies often separate an expert from a novice. For example, experts are able to plan effectively on a global level at the start of a task—a novice won’t see the big picture.
- Some adults with expertise in one domain can transfer their metacognitive skills to learn more rapidly in another domain.
- On the other hand, some adults do not spontaneously transfer metacognitive skills to new settings and thus, will need help doing so.
Examples of Metacognition Skills You May Use
Successful learners typically use metacognitive strategies whenever they learn. But they may fail to use the best strategy for each type of learning situation. Here are some metacognitive strategies that will sound familiar to you:
- Knowing the limits of your own memory for a particular task and creating a means of external support.
- Self-monitoring your learning strategy, such as concept mapping, and then adapting the strategy if it isn’t effective.
- Noticing whether you comprehend something you just read and then modifying your approach if you did not comprehend it.
- Choosing to skim subheadings of unimportant information to get to the information you need.
- Repeatedly rehearsing a skill in order to gain proficiency.
- Periodically doing self-tests to see how well you learned something.
Metacognitive strategies facilitate learning how to learn. You can incorporate these, as appropriate, into eLearning courses, social learning experiences, pre- and post-training activities and other formal or informal learning experiences.
- Ask Questions. During formal courses and in post-training activities, ask questions that allow learners to reflect on their own learning processes and strategies. In collaborative learning, ask them to reflect on the role they play when problem solving in teams.
- Foster Self-reflection. Emphasize the importance of personal reflection during and after learning experiences. Encourage learners to critically analyze their own assumptions and how this may have influenced their learning.
- Encourage Self-questioning. Foster independent learning by asking learners to generate their own questions and answer them to enhance comprehension. The questions can be related to meeting their personal goals
- Teach Strategies Directly. Teach appropriate metacognitive strategies as a part of a training course.
- Promote Autonomous Learning. When learners have some domain knowledge, encourage participation in challenging learning experiences. They will then be forced to construct their own metacognitive strategies.
- Provide Access to Mentors. Many people learn best by interacting with peers who are slightly more advanced. Promote experiences where novices can observe the proficient use of a skill and then gain access to the metacognitive strategies of their mentors.
- Solve Problems with a Team: Cooperative problem solving can enhance metacognitive strategies by discussing possible approaches with team members and learning from each other.
- Think Aloud. Teach learners how to think aloud and report their thoughts while performing a difficult task. A knowledgeable partner can then point out errors in thinking or the individual can use this approach for increased self-awareness during learning.
- Self-explanation. Self-explanation in writing or speaking can help learners improve their comprehension of a difficult subject.
- Provide Opportunities for Making Errors. When learners are given the opportunity to make errors while in training, such as during simulations, it stimulates reflection on the causes of their errors.
In summary, metacognition is a set of skills that enable learners to become aware of how they learn and to evaluate and adapt these skills to become increasingly effective at learning. In a world that demands lifelong learning, providing people with new and improved metacognitive strategies is a gift that can last forever.
- Hacker, Douglas J., John Dunlosky and Arthur C. Graesser (Eds.). Handbook of Metacognition in Education, 2009.
- Pashler, H. et al., Organizing instruction and study to improve student learning. IES practice guide, 2007. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practiceguides/20072004.pdf
- Smith, Cecil M. and Thomas Pourchot. Adult Learning and Development: Perspectives From Educational Psychology, 1998.
- White, Barbara and John Frederiksen. A Theoretical Framework and Approach for Fostering Metacognitive Development. Educational Psychologist, 40(4), 211–223, 2005.
- Wilson, Arthur L. and Elisabeth Hayes, Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education by American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.
- Handbook of Metacognition in Education Douglas J. Hacker, John Dunlosky and Arthur C. Graesser (Eds.).
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
Adventures in Online Learning
Eduventures, the marketing research firm, predicts that hundreds of nonprofits will seek to move online more aggressively, as a way to compete with for-profit schools.
First, some historical perspective (a timeline):
FACT: Before they called it Online Learning, it was called simply learning from a distance
1840: Sir Issac Pitman, the English inventor of shorthand, came up with an ingenious idea for delivering instruction to a potentially limitless audience: correspondence courses by mail.
1873: the first official correspondence education program, called the “Society to Encourage Home Studies”, was established in Boston, Massachusetts.
1895: Distance learning was legitimized as a term used by the U. of Wisconsin in their catalog.
1911: The University of Queensland in Australia founded its Department of Correspondence Studies in 1911, which also relied on Australia’s postal system.
1921: First radio courses, offered by Penn State College.
1953: The University of House made distance learning history when it began offering the first televised college classes on KUHT (today called HoustonPBS).
1960: PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations), developed at U. of Illinois, the first computer assisted instruction system. It was widely used starting in the early 1970s, with more than 1000 terminals worldwide. PLATO ran in four decades, offering elementary through university coursework to UIUC students, local schools, and more than a dozen universities.
1962: Stanford University implemented a type of online education that allowed students and teachers to communicate with each other with instructions and notes online. Data packets were sent between parties to complete assignments and monitor progress.
1982: he Computer Assisted Learning Center (CALC) was founded in 1982 in Rindge, New Hampshire, as a small, offline computer-based, adult learning center. The center was based on the same premise as today: to provide affordable, quality instruction to individual learners through the use of computers. Origins of CALCampus.
1989: The University of Phoenix became the first institution to launch a fully online collegiate institution that offered both bachelors and masters degrees.
1992: CAPA (Computer Assisted Personalized Approach) was first introduced to the WWW. The system was developed at Michigan State University and was first used in a small (92 student) physics class in the Fall of 1992.
1996: Entrepreneurs Glen Jones and Bernand Luskin launched Jones International University, which became the first accredited and fully web-based university.
1997: The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) launched its “Instructional Enhancement Initiative” that required a number of programs to have Web sites.
2003: The Blackboard Learning System staff announced that 40,000 instructors were teaching 150,000 online courses to more than 6 million students, across 55 countries.
2009: More than 4.5 million students take online classes, with a Master of Science in Business Administration (MBA) being the top degree offered in the United States.
2013: An estimated 1 out of 4 college students are enrolled in at least one online classes. Currently, 83% of all U.S. institutions that offer online courses say they expect an increase in online enrollment in the coming decade.
And the future:
19 million: Estimated number of online students by 2014. To encourage this, President Barack Oabama has pledged over $500 million for the creation of new online course materials to fuel the industry.
You Tube Goes to College
1995: University of California, Berkeley, computer science professor Lawrence Rowe began recording lectures and posting them as webcasts on the school’s intranet for his students to view at their leisure outside of the classroom.
2013: students and curious minds worldwide have viewed the more than 1,000 lectures posted by the school nearly 5 million times via Berkeley’s channel on YouTube EDU.
450: Number of universities, worldwide, that have a channel on YouTubeEDU.
63,500: approximate number of hours worth of video content on those channels. Content ranges from class lectures to interactive question-and-answer “office hours” with professors.
20: number of video posts required by YouTube EDU for a school to qualify for its own channel.
Pros and Cons of taking Online courses
Pro: Less Expensive: Online tuition generally cost less (plus no travel and housing costs to classroom; class attendee can continue to work at his/her job while taking classes
Con: Additional cost of high-speed Internet
Con: Computer boot-up time, software programs, and connection to Internet; students may be required to learn new or enhanced computer and troubleshooting skills
Pro: Most community colleges believe that student demand for fully online courses is outpacing the college’s supply
Con: But new studies suggest that colleges may be overestimating students’ desire for more online learning, particularly in certain subjects.
Pro: Students appreciate the flexibility and option of online learning
Con: Most would not want to take all their classes online. Students indicated they valued the more intimate connection with teachers and fellow students offered in traditional classrooms.
Pro: Students report that they only take courses online if they feel they can learn the material on their own.
Con: If students expect a course to be difficult, they prefer face-to-face courses.
Con: Students feel that certain subjects, such as languages, public speaking and counseling, are particularly unsuited to the online setting.
Infographics and post published with the authorization of Heidi Thompson, content manager of Nonprofitcollegesonline.com,
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Better eLearning
Whenever the subject of why some people learn faster comes up, I get a whole host of common answers:
- Some people are just naturally smart. (Often implying you can’t improve)
- Everyone is “smart” in their own way. (Nonsense, research indicates different “intelligences” often correlate)
- IQ is all in the genes. (Except IQ changes with age and IQ tests can be studied for, like any other test)
There may be some truth to these claims. But, I don’t believe that means that average learners are doomed to mediocrity. I’ve met and heard of many people who went from middle to spectacular students after changing their learning habits and finding motivation.
Considering the upcoming launch of my rapid learning program, I wanted to share my favorite tactics to learn faster, retain information better or just enjoy the process of learning more:
#1 – Pegging (or How Mental Magicians can Perfectly Recall Hundreds of Numbers)
One of my favorite learning tactics, that is rarely mentioned, is pegging. This is a great tool for remembering numbers, provided you practice it.
The systems I’ve seen typically work with a special cheat sheet. This is a list of the digits 0-9 which each correspond to the sound of a consonant. All you need to do is memorize the corresponding consonant and digit match (e.g. 0 = t, 1 = s, 2 = k, 3 = r, etc.)
From there, you can translate any series of numbers into a series of letters. Now all you need to do is make groups of letters into nouns by adding vowels between the consonants. So 201 becomes, k-t-s, which can become “kites”, for example.
Then, once you have your string of nouns, you just need to create a story that combines each of the nouns in a sequence. To translate them back you only need to remember the story and decompose the objects back into their original digits.
#2 – Metaphor (Juliet is the sun… or is she a chemical formula?)
Here’s a quick way to separate the rapid learners from the average learners. Ask them to give you an analogy for whatever they are learning. The rapid learners probably have already thought of at least one analogy, application or metaphor. Slower learners usually are baffled by the question.
Linking ideas allows you to retain them longer and understand them better. Shakespeare isn’t the only one who should be making connections between ideas.
#3 – Total Immersion (Or How a Guy Can Become Fluent in 8 Languages)
Benny Lewis became fluent in eight languages in under a decade. More, his current goal is to become fluent in a new language in under 3 months. When I asked him how he achieved this his answer was straightforward: “I stop speaking English. I do everything in the language I want to learn.”
When you’re totally immersed in a subject (or language), even if you’re lost, you’ll learn far faster than everyone who just dabbles.
#4 – Visceralization (What does a derivative look like?)
When we were kids, we played with crayons and drew pictures of fantastic things that never existed outside our imagination. What happened?
Now most of us feel embarrassed if we try to imagine anything exciting or creative with what we learn. This is, I believe, a key reason many people struggle scholastically. They try to memorize exactly the way they were taught, instead of visualizing the material in an inventive way.
When I recently had to write a test on international labor law, a key topic was the International Labor Organization. Rather than memorize facts, I drew a picture of a creature which had three heads for each of the sections of the ILO, one with 4 mouths for each of the different delegates. In all, I managed to incorporate a page of notes into one picture.
Learning only needs to be boring because you make it that way.
#5 – Linking (Or How to Remember a Grocery List Without the Paper)
Like pegging, linking is another trick mental magicians use. The idea here is that you form a chain, linking each item in a sequence to the next item. You form these links by imagining bizarre and surreal pictures which combine the two elements.
For a simple list like Milk -> Honey -> Apples, you would need to form a link between milk and honey, which you could imagine a giant cow that had bees which came from its udders instead of milk. For the honey and apples, you could imagine an giant apple beehive swarming with tiny apple seeds.
Like pegging this technique can go far beyond the scope of this article. I’ve used it successfully to remember lists of abstract principles that need to be memorized in a sequence for tests.
#6 – The 5-Year Old Method (Try explaining quantum physics to a first grader)
Most rapid learners know how to simplify an explanation. Obviously, actually explaining your masters thesis to a first grader might be impossible. But the goal is to reduce the complexity, by explaining, breaking down and using analogies, so that someone far below your current academic level could understand it.
If you can teach an idea, you can learn that idea.
#7 – Ambiance Catalysts (Or How Drinking a Pint Can Improve Your Studying)
Cal Newport, wrote about the importance of context when studying. If you lock yourself away in a library to get work done, no wonder you’re going to hate it. If the ambiance is appealing, it can push you to get working.
He suggests even going to a quiet bar with your reading material and ordering a beer. How’s that for a more inviting study setting?
#8 – Diagrams (Who said doodling in class was wrong?)
It turns out doodlers perform better in mental retention tests than non-doodlers. I would add even that if the drawings you create in a class are related to the course material, you would probably learn even better.
#9 – Speed Reading (Or How to Read 70 Books in a Year)
Speed reading is less about speed and more about control. Just as racecar driving is more about controlling speed for tight turns, rather than just hitting the accelerator.
If you want to speed read, the basics are:
- Use your finger as a pointer to underline the text as you read it. This reduces the impact of saccades and distractions in slowing your reading time.
- Practice reading books faster than you can comprehend, by moving your finger faster. This “practice skimming” helps you improve your comprehension at higher reading rates.
- Stop subvocalizing. Practice reading faster than you can say the words aloud in your head. Subvocalization can help at slower speeds, but if you require it to read, your top speed will be reduced.
Source: Scott H Toung’s Blog