Please be informed that this unit has two assessments; a) post to the forum, b) provide feedback to two peers’ posts.
I’ve already done section A (post to the forum), and now I need to provide feedback to my peers’ posts.
Note: the feedback must be Relevant and comprehensive.
THE ASSIGNMENT CRITERIA ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Provide feedback to the following two peers’ posts (500 words – 250/peer). Provide advice, support or direction to enable peers to use your information in a useful way in relation to their own issues.
Issues within my workplace in regards to elearning implementing and supporting:
I work for a Registered Training Organization that is well known. The training we deliver is in Retail, Hospitality, Financial Services and Business. We cover all Certificate and Diploma qualification levels.
The training is delivered in a classroom setting and assessed in the practical elements at a designated workplace, where the students are placed for work experience. The Training Organization is government run, with fee paying and non fee paying students.
We cover a large demographic of students ranging in age from 16yrs-60yrs, and cover all socio-economic and diverse cultural backgrounds.
Educator resistance and support issue
One of the biggest hurdles is to introduce a learning system which is based on the use of technology to Trainers that are not well versed in the use of such technology, and are unwilling to adapt to change, and continue to believe that the traditional style of delivery to be superior and most trusted.
If the Training Organization provided adequate support, and training in to the use of these learning systems and technology, the Trainers and staff would feel more confident and open to the positive change.
It is through the lack of encouragement, training and support that ensures the implementation of elearning is a slow and taxing one. When it doesn’t need to play out that way.
Two interesting readings that give insight in to this common reluctance:
Valencia,Sheila W.; Killon, Joellen P.(2004). Overcoming Obstacles to Teacher Change:Direction from School Based Efforts.
http://www.sojel.co.uk (Scottish Journal of elearning). Reluctant Teachers and Traditional Learning Methods:The Multimedia teaching as a crossroads between the old and the new.
The resources available are limited in my workplace. It is frustrating to try and fascilitate professional training, without the correct or functional hardware to drive the course. We are restricted to 5 computers for a class of up to 15 students, and the hardware is outdated with the monitors not even being flat screen. This is a big deal to this generation of students( and is often remarked upon) and to show that we are a progressive institution.
The computers provided aren’t always functional. They overheat,the screens freeze and the keyboards get stuck and we have had hazardous equipment that sparks and is not useable. The projector and EFTPOS machine have intermittent use also which is not practical for continued training.
There is one Laptop to share between 5 Trainers to run through specific programs with the students. Which isn’t conducive to our time to organize and shuffle schedules for it’s use.
Increased bandwidth,Expansive Broadband, IT support 24/7,Intranet,Wireless internet connection,Updating of software,Specific access for students and admin, and blacklisting certain Websites are all factors that are lacking and need to be acted on. Whether improved or provided these are important issues that need to be addressed before elearning can be fully supported and run seamlessly. The lack of diligence with our IT department and staff following up on IT issues impacts on valuable time,that is usually allocated to training.
File conversion for students as software isn’t regularly updated, and compatible programs available for electronic equipment such as iPad, iPhone etc would also be useful.
A link I found useful on this topic to explore further:
www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/Altilab04-infrastructureV2.pdf Trends and Issues in E-learning Infrastructure Development(2004)
To conclude these issues,the three main concerns are;
Educator resistance and support issue:
How can our organization lessen the fear surrounding progression and change with elearning, and encourage and provide incentives to Trainers and staff?
What proceedures can be put in place to maximise use of current equipment, to make conducive to needs for elearning?
How to minimise and reduce IT issues, to ensure elearning can be delivered online with minimal disruption?
www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/Altilab04-infrastructureV2.pdf (2004)Trends and Issues in E-learning Infrastructure Development.
www.sojel.co.uk Scottish Online Journal of elearning.(2004) Reluctant Teachers and Traditional Learning Methods:The Multimedia teaching as a crossroads between the old and the new.
Valencia,Shelia W.; Killon, Joellen P.(2004) Overcoming Obstacles of Teacher Change:Direction from School Based Efforts.
The placement of paramedic students in an operational environment in locations well outside the university’s catchment area creates challenges for the delivery of course content. The internship constitutes 2 courses of the 3 which are necessary to successfully complete the final semester of the degree, with all three courses having a requirement to interact with academic staff and course content to varying degrees throughout the semester. Three key issues have been identified with the implementation of m-learning or web-enhanced learning for this particular cohort of learners. The three key issues identified for consideration are equity, gender access to ICT and learning styles.
The introduction of any of the various technologies associated with e-learning could further marginalise already marginalised individual learners or groups of learners and this must be a significant consideration given socio-economic status of the cohort and the university catchment. The university recognises that approximately 35 per cent of the student body is drawn from areas which the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports as being low socio-economic in nature. Moving to an e-learning environment to support the learners on internship placements could result in marginalisation of those learners who cannot afford a ‘smart phone’, iPad, or laptop to access the materials in this web-enhanced environment. From an equity perspective the introduction of this web-enhanced learning environment is not such a challenge in the on campus setting as the learners have access to computer facilities through the library, an option which may be unavailable to the same learner when they are placed 1 500 km away from the library on campus. Whilst it may be possible to place the lower socio-economic members of the cohort locally so they have access to the web-enhanced environment, this in itself creates significant equity issues as this approach would discriminate between social classes and result in an impost on the learners who were able to afford the required technology to access the web-enhanced environment.
For the two and a half years prior to undertaking internship placements the learners have experienced an intensive, highly structured, learning environment in a face to face context where the theoretical component is supported by structured practical application of the concepts. This approach allows the teaching staff to determine the optimal approach to deliver the content and the practical skills education required with an ability to adapt the delivery to suit the various learning styles in the cohort. Learners are also able to receive one on one tuition in the skills component in this environment. Having this one on one support and the usual approach of having material adapted to suit learning styles, suddenly removed and replaced with learning through web-enhanced environments whilst on placement well away from the learners usual support networks is likely to increase difficulties if the e-learning environment does not support the different learning styles. It is likely that having the face to face teaching aspect suddenly removed from play will be confronting and potentially lead to difficulties which may be insurmountable in a 12 week placement without the usual support network.
The current IT infrastructure at the institution is not capable of sustaining the increased traffic and load associated with a web-enhanced environment and it is likely that the proposed changes would be strongly resisted by the IT project team. The other aspect of technology that impacts on the implementation of web-enhanced environments into the internship program is the lack of reliable internet access in many areas and the fact that the learners are placed for 12 weeks, thus negating the option to establish a fixed line internet connection. Wireless internet would be an option but again unless the learner uses pre-paid internet there are contractual obligations and there is no guarantee of adequate wireless service in the area where the learner is placed.
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