Thursday, September 30, 2004

Welcome to e-learning engagement

Education practitioners have for some time now been looking for the "killer approach" to conduction successful e-learning and there has been some excellent research carried out of a number of approaches that seem to work well. Unfortunately, these findings are only rarely applied to courses offered online.
So why is this? It would seem to me that there are a number of factors at work here:
  1. Fear of change: when we are use to doing things in a particular way many have an innate fear of failure that limits how far they are prepared to risk different approaches to learning.
  2. Basic misconceptions about learning: many practitioners still believe that learning is about filling an empty vessel--a content delivery model. The truth, of course, is very different with the enormous growth in publicly accessible knowledge over the past 20 years it is no longer possible to be the Sage on the Stage. No one person can know everything in their own discipline and learners need to know how to find and evaluate information and develop skills.
  3. A belief that e-learning will go away like many of the educational technologies before it: back in the 1970's videotape became the new technology that took over from film, but videotape is now declining in its use. The use of print study guides and resources are also in decline with audiotapes almost non-existent now. So you can see that there is a trend to discard older educational technology for the new stuff. What some educators are failing to recognise, however, that we have undergone a fundamental cultural shift with the proliferation of the Internet and that while media will wane and wax, the delivery technology will become evermore sophisticated. Flexible learning is here to stay and those who do it well will prosper— the rest will need to play catch up.
So what is the answer? Well, while there is no single answer, there are some strong indications as to how to design successful e-learning courseware. The contemporary research seems to indicate that e-learning courses need to engender high levels of learning engagement and there are a number of ways that this can be achieved.
The purpose of this Blog is to articulate and discuss these methodologies and where their implementation is appropriate. Think of this Blog as a learning journey that we share together.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all and listening to yours.

Kind regards,



Albert Ip said...

Hi Scot,

Thank you for you comment to my posts at Random Walk in E-Learning. I have put it up verbatum.

Very nice blog. Hope we can collaborate more.


Scot said...

Hi Albert,

Yes I'd like to think that we will get a chance to do some more e-learning projects together.

I'm currently looking at designing some courseware with elearn Australia and using their Janison LMS.

Stay in touch,