technology

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In the last three years I met many people mentioning that they use eLearning in their teaching and books are outdated.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

 

Official Erasmus+ Project Partner

Official Erasmus+ Project Partner

We got the official Erasmus+ Partner Plate for our new project “Flipped Adult Education”.

The project will start with November 1, 2018 and run until October 31, 2020. The “Flipped Adult Education” project FADE-in takes a look at the horizon of educational developments and takes in account the innovation of the last ten years. This causes to shift the training methods and training activities. Simple onsite teaching courses or technology enhanced blended learning courses must be brought to the state of the art.
Thought to its very end this should be active teaching, a heutagogical approach with self-determining learners, the use of multimedia and a change of the roles of trainer and learner. The trainer will act more as a facilitator of the learning, the learners will use technology to create self-directed learning. The consortium calls this a flipping of learning following the ideas on Jon Bergmann, published in his book Flipped Learning 2.0 (addressing Vocational Education and Training).
For Adult Education (EA) flipped concepts do not exist and are not yet published. Therefore, the consortium of 4 completely different AE providers is going to develop these concepts in a versatile way and to publish the findings in an eBook (as OER to contribute to open education).
The objectives of the FADE-in project are to develop a course concepts to adult learning using a flipped approach. This means active and self-directed learning, to “flip” the roles (Trainer => Facilitater, Learner => Self-determining adult with self-responsibility for their learning (heutagogical approach). The Global Flipped Learning Initiative (GFLI) with Jon Bergman (the developer of Flipped
Learning) will be an associated partner in the project and impact with the state-of-the-art knowledge and experience of “flipping the learning”.

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!

What is Blended Learning?

What is Blended Learning?

Blended Learning – simply defined

The term Blended Learning is generally applied to the practice of using both online and in-person learning experiences when teaching students (Abbott 2014). This term has developed for many years with changing interpretations.

Blended Learning means a teaching method, where face-to-face teaching is combined with distance learning. The teaching process is supported by the use of an appropriate learning platform. The term eLearning (modern: Technology Enhanced Learning TEL) in this document refers to the platform-supplied distance learning.

What does Blended Learning mean?

Blended Learning is a teaching method and no pedagogical or didactical concept. Blended Learning describes the technique used for teaching. This means teaching highly connected with the use of ICT. ICT offers new opportunities but also new challenges for both instructors and students (Redmond 2011). Teachers and trainers change their working place and reduce the time used in the traditional brick-and-mortar environment. Students get the independency to decide, what, where, when and how they learn during the distance learning.

Structure of Blended Learning courses

Hint: This post summarizes the results of the BladEdu project.
Text & Graphics: (c) 2016 Peter Mazohl

 

Sources
Abbott, S. (2014): The glossary of education reform. Blended Learning Definition. Available online at http://edglossary.org/blended-learning
Redmond, Petra (2011): From face-to-face teaching to online teaching – Pedagogical transitions. Available online at http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/hobart11/downloads/papers/Redmond-full.pdf 

VTT-Box

Virtual Teachers’ Toolbox (VTT-Box)

The project aims to create a special virtual toolbox for teachers as a sophisticated tool for developing Open Online Distance Learning (OODL) courses which means open, online, flexible and technology enhanced education (OOFAT). The mixture of of the partners
ensures the necessary competences, values, skills and knowledge for developing an innovative approach to OODL. This project uses a strategic cooperation between formal and non-formal/informal educational providers using ICT based teaching and the
enhancement of digital integration in learning. It will be enhancing teachers’ professional development and support students‘ acquisition of values, skills and competences.

The project team at the teaching event in Teneriffe (in front of the building of the Colegio Internacional Costa Adeje)

The 5 consortium members are well distributed in Europe:

  • University of Crete, GR (specialised in innovative education) will focus on
    supporting students‘ acquisition of skills and competences,
  • EBI/EIE (AT) is a teacher training institution with experienced in Distance
    Learning impacts in enhancing teachers’ professional development and in OODL
  • The I.T.E VITTORIO VENETO SALVEMINI (IT) and
  • Colegio Internacional Costa Adeje (ES) are two high schools (offering a multicultural background) with different orientation in teaching and experienced in eLearning and modern teaching methods.
  • The Swedish Association for Distance Education (SADE) has a special focus on OODL and OOFAT and provides experience in quality enhancement systems.

The VVT-Box methodology focuses on items which are either not yet common or still missing in Open Online Distance Education as a

  • Innovative approach to OODL
  • Appropriate quality enhancement framework
  • Innovative and completely new motivating self-evaluation method for students (Mandala method)
  • New developed innovative tool for course creators
  • Special training course for teachers to implement the new methods in course creation
  • Transferability and evaluation guide to enable the transfer to other educational fields

The project started with October 1, 2017 and will last for two years. The findings and outcomes of the project can be found at the project’s web page VTT-Box.
To follow the project’s activities and to read the related postings please have a look at the project’s blog.