Miscellaneous

Stefanie – our new head of the technical department

Stefanie – our new head of the technical department

Stefanie Mayrwöger

We proudly present our new head of the technical department!

Stefanie just finished her Bachelor studies (BSc) in Media Technology with focus on Interactive Media at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. During her studies, she lived in The Hague, The Netherlands for one semester where she studied Photography and Internet Marketing.

In the last two years, she participated in the LeaD in Practice blended-learning project for which she also traveled to Athens, Greece and took part in the STEPS Education Practitioners Seminar in Potsdam, Germany.

Stefanie started her Master studies in Digital Design & Graphic Design in September and will attend the 3rd ASEF Young Leaders Summit on Ethical Leadership in October in Belgium, Brussels.

Stefanie will be responsible for technical production of intellectual outputs and the technical background for the learning platform. She also is engaged in interface development in the frame of EBI’s project involvement.

Do we need books in technology enhanced learning (TEL)?

Do we need books in technology enhanced learning (TEL)?

In the last three years I met many people mentioning that they use eLearning in their teaching and books are outdated. But – is this true?

Technology in learning

First of all, it would be necessary to clear the term “eLearning”. This term says nothing and expresses everything – from an objective point of view it is more or less meaningless.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines e-Learning[1]

learning done by studying at home using computers and courses provided on the internet

This definition is highly influenced form Marc J Rosenberg[2] who mentions three columns for eLearning:

  1. E-learning is networked making it capable of updating, storage and retrieval, distribution and sharing of instruction or information.
  2. It is delivered to the end-user via a computer using standard internet technology.
  3. eLearning is more than eTraining.

A modern description is done by the North Carolina Education Cabinet (as one example taken from the USA) and defines “eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom”.

Rosenberg’s descriptions are approx. 20 years old. The modern version also does not match with the reality. The term eLearning must be replaced by the new expression technology enhanced learning (TEL).

Technology enhanced learning is used to refer to technology enhanced classrooms and learning with technology (and not through technology), which means a learner centered approach using the technology for the learning.

Where is the place for “traditional” books?

Books are still available – Amazon started the business success by selling books (and still sells them), libraries are still used intensively by people borrowing books there. Masses of books – in small quantities – are published and printed as “book on demand”.

Books are transferred to the digital age as eBooks. The reader used an eBook reader (like Kindle, Kobo, or Tolino) or read the book by a viewer on their digital device (laptop, tablet).

Printed books provide all the advantages of technology enhanced learning: you can read them at any time, everywhere, and in your own pace. An advantage is the use of books without energy (you must not recharge your book).

Another big advantage is that you can share the book easily (this is more or less impossible with eBook readers) and that books have page numbers. Did you ever try to cite a text correctly from a eBook without any page information (pure PDF documents often have page numbers but do not supply the advantages of eBook readers like enlarging the fonts).

 


[1] https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/e-learning

[2] Rosenberg, Marc Jeffrey (2001): E-learning. Strategies for delivering knowledge in the digital age. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Image source: © Peter Mazohl

 

eLearning Quality Fields

eLearning Quality Fields

The use of eLearning and Distance Learning is increasing and plays a more and more important role in the teaching environment. Here are some quality characteristics of eLearning (focusing on the learner):

Sorting some images instead of contribution to the learning.
  • Learning goal: What does the learner want to learn?
  • Learning motivation: Why does the learner want to learn?
  • Learning setting: Activities surrounding the learning object
  • Time: How much time does the learner have to learn?
  • Culture and language: Learners are in a multi-cultural context as well in a multilingual environment (especial in Europe)
  • Educational level: Age and learning background of the learners
  • Accessibility: Access for all (also disabled of handicapped people; in Germany called barrier-free access).

The images show a teaching situation where the motivation of the students is not-existing and the eLearning (in a face to face environment) fails …

No motivation: facebook is more interesting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

eLearning and Blended Learning Materials

eLearning and Blended Learning Materials
Books were a source for learning hundreds of years. Today, they still play a role – but often in an electronical version (ebook)

To plan and develop an eLearning course covers many aspects. To ensure the necessary quality you have to consider the institutional mission, the organizational structure and the available resources. Furthermore, you have to care for a well-fitting curriculum and design, the support from faculty (or similar internal structure) as well as the students’ support and to define the competence oriented learning outcomes.

Create the content

For the content of such a well-designed course, you have to develop the best-fitting material. Content in eLearning should cover different activities and learning content in a well-defined mixture (that depends in most cases from the taught subject). The following issues must be included:

  • Content to gain knowledge
  • Activities to interact with other learners. To promote group work and to develop the skills defined in the competence oriented learning outcomes
  • Content to develop the learners’ attitudes (as defined in the learning outcomes)
  • Assessments and test environment to check the learning progress

Reuse the content

The created content should be reusable – that means, that – as a start developed – content can be used easily also in other courses. The costs of content development for one single course ar too high to create high quality eLearning courses economically.

Where to take content?

There are different types of content based on the used media. Specialists in the subject can do writing a text easily. To provide the necessary graphics or high-quality multimedia material is more difficult and in the most cases cost extensive: You have to buy the material from companies specialized in that field of multimedia or expansive internal or external specialist create it.

Images and graphics

In spite of paying a lot of money for external specialists or image agencies, you may use content from sources under the Creative Commons (or similar environments).

This chapter of the webpage will supply you with information about “open resources”.

Animations

The same situation as mentioned above is in the field animations. There are many applications available either to create animations or ready-to-use animations that can be used without copyright violation.

You will also find here some information about free material and the legal conditions for their use.

Advantages of eLearning

Advantages of eLearning
Technology is a fact in learning. Multiple devices varying in size, power, and functionality can be found frequently used by learners.

Here is an overview about eLearning advantages (we always compare eLearning with pure face-to-face classroom teaching). The list is split into three parts respecting the different target groups involved in eLearning. The summary is based on modern eLearning courses using an optimized platform (that does not really exist) and well done courses using a lot or multimedia elements and interactivity.

Advantages of eLearning (learner’s view)

  • Learner actively involved in his/her e-learning
  • Interactivity and attractiveness of eLearning content
  • Flexibility and adaptability according to availability (time, location)
  • Training at own pace, independently of other learners
  • Self-assessment during and at end of course
  • Personal progress monitoring during eLearning course and appraisal of results obtained thanks to tracking
  • Tutorial support on demand (if necessary)
  • Contact to other learners (if planned and necessary)
  • No travel costs

Advantages of eLearning (company’s view)

  • “Mass” training (big number of learners)
  • Savings relative to classroom-based training indirect costs (travel, accommodation, etc.)
  • Flexibility and adaptability according to learner availability (time, location)
  • Customization and adjustment of training courses to predefined skills and teaching goals
  • Low logistical constraints (no room booking, employee travel, accommodation, etc.)
  • Precise course reporting and automated results analysis thanks to tracking (based on the eLearning platform)
  • Durable and updatable teaching materials (often reuseable)

Advantages of eLearning (trainer’s view)

  • Prerequisites for assessing learner levels
  • Training performed on interactive and attractive tools for both trainer and learners
  • Flexibility and adaptability according to availability (time, location) especial for the tutorial support
  • Learner monitoring from the platform (tracking)

The Importance of Technolog Enhanced Learning

The Importance of Technolog Enhanced Learning
Techology is a fact in teaching and expected by learners.

eLearning, with all its characteristics defining its advantages and disadvantages was a major breakthrough in academic education and professional training. Various Universities worldwide have incorporated eLearning solution in their curriculum and commercial companies from different fields of business have also integrated this method in their staff training programs to further enhance and develop the skills and knowledge of their workforce which can significantly contribute in the company growth in terms of production and profit.

One of the advantages of eLearning is its flexibility which allows any people willing to study but with always a limited time can access education and training by using eLearning tools and modules related to the field he or she wants to study. For students, this is major advantage in trimming down tuition fee expenses and other miscellaneous fees related to their academic pursuit.

eLearning includes all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. eLearning is the computer and network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. eLearning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual education opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.

In eLearning environments learners interact with learning materials, their instructors and other learners from various locations and often at various times using network technologies. So by its nature, eLearning offers significant flexibility as to when and how learning occurs. eLearning can include independent, facilitated, or collaborative approaches to learning.

eLearning can be asynchronous (meaning learners are experiencing the learning at different times) or synchronous (meaning learners are experiencing the learning at the same time) or it can incorporate both drawing on the strengths of each. Independent learning is, by definition, asynchronous. Facilitated and collaborative can be either asynchronous or synchronous learning.

What does eLearning and Blended Learning mean?

What does eLearning and Blended Learning mean?

eLearning means to learn with electronic media. In many descriptions it’s reduced to learning using the internet. That’s basically not correct. eLearning covers the learning process supported by any means of electronically media (Computer, CD-ROM, digitized video, sound, the Internet, …).
eLearning as a term is outdated and should be replaced by “Technology Enhanced Learning”. This covers all the learning techniques as mentioned above, also the learning using the internet (as the access to the Internet only can be done by using multiple devices1 the learning with the Internet is fully covered by this term).

Blended Learning combines classical classroom teaching with eLearning. You may also call it “Hybrid Learning” or “Mixed Learning” – there are a lot of different terms existing – all meaning the same.

eLearning does not exist apart from already established and traditional learning venues. As new technology is introduced and adopted, it immediately becomes integrated with the instructional technology that preceded it. This is called “Blended Learning” or “Hybrid Learning” delivery.

Online learning content and strategies are showing up in classrooms nationwide. Digital content is replacing textbooks and much of it was initially used in formal or informal learning online.

If you are interested in technology enhanced learning and teaching methods have a closer look atour pages and in the blog!

 


1 Multiple devices means computers, laptops, norebooks, convertibles, tablets, and even smartphones. The use and the term “multiple devices” was created by Carlos Guerrero (SAFA) and Peter Mazohl (EBI/EIE). You will find mor information in this blog post!

VTT-Box Project – consultations in Latina

VTT-Box Project – consultations in Latina

Peter Mazohl and Harald Makl, both from the board of the EBI/EIE, visited Francesca Neiviller (I.T.S. Vittorio Veneto Salvemini) for consultations and the first planning of the VTT-Box Erasmus+ Project begin of September 2017 in Latina.

The aim of the meeting was the planning and structuring of the courses that should be developed during the project. Besides this, many organisational and structural issues were discossed and taken in account for the kickoff meeting of the project, which will take place in Wiener Neustadt in October 2017.

 

This project aims to develop special Distance Learning courses, an innovative self-evaluation method and an appropriate transferability guide.