Tag Archives: online learning

Online Talent Development Part 5

Online Talent Development – Toolset

by Mark Sivy. Ed.D.

Based upon recent information found at the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies website, there are currently over 2100 technology tools, programs and applications that can be used for corporate talent development, training, and learning. Most of them are proven performers, relatively easy to use and free or low cost. As an instructional designer or manager, combining these to develop various online learning lessons and activities or mobile learning chunks can make your program more exciting and engaging. Most of these tools can be included in the following categories:

  • Documents – these provide for offline creation and presentation of information such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
  • Web Browsers and Related Tools – allow for accessing, subscribing to, searching, aggregating, and reading web content.
  • Personal Productivity – includes calendars, concept mapping applications, computer utilities, organizers, and accessibility tools.
Concept Map

Bringing ideas together with a concept map.

  • Web Information – offer the ability to create, post, and read information using websites, wikis, and blogs.
  • Audio, Video, Images, and Graphics – allow for the creation, review, editing, and presentation of a variety of multi-sensory presentation
  • Collaboration and Sharing – provide for common digital work spaces for groups or teams to collectively create, share, and modify content.
  • Instructional Design and Development – support course content authoring and learning assessment
Instructional Design

You need the proper tools to complete an outstanding instructional design project.

  • Communication Tools – permit both synchronous and asynchronous options such as email, instant messaging, texting, and discussion forums.
  • Public Information – present many forms of information access including but not limited to frequently asked questions (FAQs), tutorials, podcasts, and open courseware.
  • Course Management Systems – enable the creation and delivery of course content as well as interactive participation, social exchange, collaboration, tracking, communication, and grading.
  • Web Conferencing and Web Meetings – allow individuals to meet synchronously using voice, voice and video, whiteboards, and screen sharing.
  • Social Networks – permit the creation of various online communities, and allow for the formation of personal and professional networks.

Using these when and where there is a need can result in positive learning experiences and good evaluations.

“In chess, knowledge is a very transient thing. It changes so fast that even a single mouse-slip sometimes changes the evaluation.” ~ Viswanathan Anand

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Online Talent Development Part 4

Types and Extent of Online Talent Development

by Mark Sivy

Different forms of online learning exist that vary based upon the intended outcomes, level of interactivity, number of connected users, and the forms of communication which are used.

Types

Four general types are:

  • Passive Information

Usually low level of interactivity, single user, reading.

This can provide on-demand learning as in the case of online frequently-asked-questions or other knowledge bases which were purposefully created to provide some form of specific information for learners. This could be related a certain topic, process, task, or product. Other online information sources such as blogs, wikis, and websites can also provide passive learning. These are posted for public access and can be found through searches or “web-surfing”. Since the learning they provide usually require nothing more than reading, only low levels of interactivity and engagement occur.

passive online learning

  • Web-based Dialogue

Usually moderate level of interactivity, multiple users, text-based communication exchanges.

Learning occurs through the use of forums, chat rooms, discussion boards, text-messaging, e-mail, or live instant-messaging. This form of learning often involves a knowledgeable person who responds to questions or comments by providing needed information.

  • Synchronous

Usually moderate to high level of interactivity, multiple users, various forms of sensory input.

This occurs in real-time with a live instructor presenting information or with a facilitator guiding learning activities and processes. The experience can somewhat be similar to a traditional class meeting, but the online meeting differs in that the participants are geographically separated and they use specialized meeting technologies and strategies. Everyone logs into the common application or system at a specified time and for a given length of time. An event can happen once or meetings can occur on a regular basis for as many times as is required. Communication typically involves text, voice, and sometimes video.

online collaboration

  • Asynchronous

Usually moderate to high level of interactivity, single to multiple users, various forms of sensory input.

This is the most commonly used category for organized web-based talent development. It involves self-paced learning which means the learner accesses materials, resources, activities, etc. at a time that fits their schedule and physical environment. Often asynchronous learning occurs through a well-designed website or learning management system course which has been developed by an instructor or instructional designer.

For more on synchronous and asynchronous online learning, read EDUCAUSE and eLearners.com articles.

Reflection Point 1 – I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. ~ Confucius

online talent developmentExtent of Online Learning

Online learning can also be described based upon the degree to which the learning occurs online:

  • Fully online – the instruction and learning occurs almost completely in the online environment.
  • Hybrid / Blended – there is a blend between substantial learning occurring both online and face-to-face.
  • Supplemental – the majority of learning occurs in the physical classroom with ancillary materials and resources available online.

Reflection Point 2 – Good teaching is good teaching, no matter how it’s done. ~ Anonymous

Online Talent Development Part 3

Benefits and Challenges

by Mark Sivy

Online strategies are not intended or expected to be the magic solution to current talent development challenges. Combining visionary planning, human performance technology, and instructional design, learning design teams can put together content that can help resolve or reduce talent development issues, and it does address modern learner expectations to use digital technologies. To help you determine the extent to which you use online learning strategies, below are lists of benefits and challenges.

corporate online talent developmentBenefits

  • Fit into personal schedules more easily than traditional learning.
  • Be self-directed and self-paced, thus allowing learners the opportunity to speed up, slow down, and review content at an individual pace.
  • Lead to greater self-confidence, thus empowering the learner to take more responsibility for their learning.
  • Be personalized, using a variety of delivery and presentation methods, thus accommodating multiple learning styles and personal preferences.
  • Lead to the improvement of learner attitudes, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, which can result in better outcomes and learner retention.
  • Allow for greater personal mobility, reduced travel time and expenses, and the ability to overcome geographic barriers.
  • Compensate for personal restrictions, challenges, or limitations.
  • Facilitate increased student interactivity, student collaboration, team work, and one-on-one contact with the instructor.
  • Permit learners to experiment, explore, create, fail, retry, and learn without the fear of others being aware.
  • Be used to create peer community and support which enhance learning.
  • Allow for broader learning opportunities and course options at a lower cost to the learner.
  • Lower the cost and ease the scheduling for instructor professional development, training, follow-up contact, and ongoing support.
  • Enhance the learner’s awareness and skills in the use of technologies such as computers, applications, and the Internet.
  • Deliver standard content and consistent messages, ensuring that learners have access to the same resources and opportunities.
  • Provide cost savings to institutions in terms of reducing the need for buildings.
  • Enable global awareness, community, networking and resources.
  • Reduce environmental damage caused by energy consumption, waste emissions, and land use.
  • Provide tools which allow for tracking, analyzing, reporting, and improving teaching and learning.
  • Host simulations and role-play activities that would otherwise not be possible

Reflection Point 1 – Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. ~Albert Einstein

Learning challengesChallenges

  • Learners who procrastinate, are not self-motivated, require frequent prompting, or who have poor study habits may fail to meet requirements and deadlines.
  • Non-verbal communication such as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact will typically be missing.
  • Barriers can exist initially for learners due to the need for new skills which are associated with using technologies and new ways of learning.
  • Technological constraints exist in terms of communication, project completion and submission, inadequate devices, and restrictive file formats.
  • It is more difficult to interact or communicate with individuals who tend to be unresponsive.
  • Issues can arise for instructors due to the need for adapting or learning new online teaching strategies, processes, and routines.
  • Students may miss face-to-face social contact and interaction, can feel isolated, or may need in-person teacher-student interaction.
  • Instructors may not always be available on demand in a manner which is often expected when communicating electronically.
  • Slow or unreliable Internet connections can present issues and frustration.
  • Creating and maintaining the necessary institutional infrastructure, resources, and support can be costly and complex.
  • Learners may be confused or disoriented due to the lack of routines surrounding a traditional class.
  • Hands-on activities or lab work are sometimes difficult to host or simulate.
  • Immediate feedback which exists in a traditional class often is not available
  • There is a dependency on Internet connections and functioning hardware.
  • It often requires a difficult change in attitudes and beliefs by learners, instructors, parents, and community.
  • There is a reduction in opportunities to develop oral communication skills and other social dynamics.

Reflection Point 2 – Technology is not capable of or intended to replace teachers, but “any teacher who can be replaced by a computer deserves to be. ~ David Thornburg

Online Talent Development Part 2

Online Talent Development Part 2 – How Did Corporate Online Learning Originate?

by Mark Sivy

London University

The London University in 1827, drawn by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd.

In tracing the roots of online learning, it’s necessary to put forth a basic understanding of what sets online learning apart from other forms of learning. For the purpose of this article, online learning is learning that takes place via the Internet when there is a lack of physical presence between the learner and instructor due to geographic separation. Given this perspective, evidence of learning at-a-distance is seen in a 1728 advertisement for a Boston mail-based correspondence course for learning shorthand. Recognized formal education at-a-distance can be found as early as 1858 at the University of London and in 1873 through the Society to Encourage Studies at Home in Boston. Early forms of technology-enhanced distance learning are found in the early 1900s with the use of new technologies such as the radio, slide projector, and motion picture. Starting in the 1940s, television provided another medium for distance learning.

PLATOThe first noted use of computers that formed an organized and connected system of learning was PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) in 1960 at the University of Illinois. With the ability to network computers, corporations began exploring and developing Computer Based Training (CBT) that involved text and graphical content. With the conception of the World Wide Web in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee and it being made publicly available in 1993, modern forms of online talent development began occurring.

The increased use of online learning in the work environment was driven by several factors. A primary concern with talent development is the required preparation, travel, and logistics to bring participants and /or facilitators to a common physical location, which can be costly and cuts into productivity. Additionally, in-person sessions are supply-oriented rather than being readily available and need-specific for a given individual. Other drawbacks of traditional development are the limitation in the number of attendees and the lack of having access to subject matter experts. Corporate talent development programs are using online learning as a means to reduce or resolve these and other issues associated with face-to-face events, while at the same time improving participant outcomes and reducing costs.

Today’s online learning occurs through the use of digital devices such as personal computers, laptops, tablets, or mobile phones that are connected to educational content, events, and activities via the Internet. Depending upon personal choices, needs, and resource availability, web-based learning is available in a variety of formats from instructor-led massive open online courses (MOOCs) to self-paced personalized web-based tutorials to corporate universities. Online learning usually involves having access to rich learning environments, experiences, and events which might otherwise not be possible or readily available in a typical learning environment.

corporate online talent development

Today, online learning is often and incorrectly, used interchangeably with e-learning. In actuality online learning is a subset of e-learning, which actually encompasses all forms of teaching and learning through the use of educational technologies whether via the Internet, a network, or a standalone system. This broad expanse of e-learning includes multimedia learning, computer-based training (CBT), virtual learning environments, and mobile learning.

Reflection Point – “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~W. B. Yeats

 

Online Talent Development Part 1

Online Talent Development Part 1 – Internet Trends

by Mark Sivy

The use of the Internet for purposes of communication and information has experienced rapid growth during the past two decades. The 2013 Pew Internet Use Survey results show that over 86% of all adults (18+ years of age) in the United States are connected to the Internet, whereas in 1995 it was 14%. The Miniwatts Marketing Group maintains global Internet usage statistics, which indicated in June 2012 that over 34% of the global population were connected to the Internet and that this indicated a 566% increase since 2000.

Online Learning

Internet Use

The point made by this Internet usage information is that the path is for the broad use of the Internet as an education conduit for online learning is widening. In a 2012 global Internet user survey by the Internet Society, 98% of the participants agreed that the Internet is essential for access to education and knowledge.

In the K-12 setting, there has been a rapid increase in the use of online courses and resources. There is an increasing emphasis on online and blended courses and online learning systems, such as found in the National Education Technology Plan, released by the U.S. Department of Education in 2010. A Project Tomorrow survey report, Learning in the 21st Century: 2011 Trends Update, found that three times as many high school students and twice as many middle school students are learning online as compared to the original 2007 report. It was also noted that in 2011, 27% of all high school students took at least on class online. In Project Tomorrow’s 2013 Trends in Online Learning Virtual, Blended and Flipped Classrooms, it is reported that 43% of US school districts offer access to online courses. In iNACOL’s 2013 Fast Facts About Online Learning states that five states – Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Virginia, and Michigan – require online learning for students in the public schools. According to the Evergreen Education Group’s 2013 Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning Report, 26 states have state-led virtual schools, 24 states have blended schools, 30 states have fully online schools, and the number of private online learning options is increasing.

Evidence indicates that the use of the Internet for education has seen the fastest growth in higher education. An August 2011 Pew Research Center survey, The Digital Revolution and Higher Education, found that 77% of colleges and 89% of four-year universities of offer online courses. Also reflecting this growth in online courses is a Sloan Consortium /Babson Survey Research Group report, Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, 2013, which found that over 7.1 million higher education students (33.5%) took at least one online course in the Fall 2013 term. In terms of fully online higher education institutions, the Online Education Database organization currently contains reviews of over 1847 higher education schools in the US that offer online courses.

Online learning is also playing an important role in the multi-billion dollar corporate training industry as seen in articles such as one at Forbes and another at CNBC. These articles and others indicate the robust adoption of online learning as an active component of corporate training and development efforts. An infographic at the e-Learning Industry website claims that in 2013, 77% of American corporations were using online learning. Global Industry Analysts, Inc. projects that by 2015, education and corporate e-learning will be a US$107 billion industry.

Reflection Point – “The next big killer application on the Internet is going to be education.” ~John Chambers