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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Dan Davies

Dan Davies

JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching - 0 views

  • The multi-dimensional learning tasks of the first time eLearner This author proposes a conceptual model which identifies the multiple learning tasks that a first-time eLearner must deal with immediately and simultaneously on embarking on an eLearning course. These are: (1) negotiating the technology; (2) negotiating the course website; (3) negotiating the course content (4) becoming an eLearner (5) negotiating CMC interaction.   Negotiating the technology: This is where an eLearner is required to come to terms with the computing technologies involved. Osika and Sharp, (2002) comment that not only does a learner have to master the course material presented in course, but they must also become competent in using the range of technologies involved in online learning. Many overestimate their own skills in computing and underestimate the broader range of skills required by an eLearner. It also brings learners face to face with the vagaries of computing technology and their feelings of helplessness when technical support is not immediately available or easily accessed. Negotiating the Learner Management System (LMS) interface:  In this the leaner has to develop a mental model of the content structure and navigation system in order to find his/her way around. Many learners do not have the experience of ‘drilling down’ through a deep website, preferring instead to “Google” many websites.They tend only to peruse one or two pages until they find what they want. The site and content structure of an eLearning course is often multi-levelled and deep, requiring familiarity and understanding of the functionality of the LMS.  Negotiating the learning content: In this the learner has to engage with the learning materials, readings, activities and assessments that make up a programme of study.  It should be noted that this anxiety of negotiating the content may have two component parts: Confronting the actual content and of becoming a learner again. Many learners experience some apprehension when learning something for the first time. Negotiating the content relates more to the ability to master the material covered in the course. Levels of experience, pre-knowledge and aptitude would be factors in determining the level of confidence or anxiety experienced.Anxiety on becoming a learner again is more likely to relate to thoughts of whether one is capable of learning anything again after a long period without formal learning experience. This is especially so if the potential learner had poor experiences in the secondary school system or earlier.  Thoughts like “Am I up to it? Am I clever/disciplined or literate enough? Will the others be smarter or more knowledgeable than me? Will I make a fool of myself?” All would contribute to levels of learner anxiety. Becoming an eLearner: In this a learner is required to effectively abandon his/her existing mental model of what it is to be a learner in a formal learning situation. For most learners, this is likely to be the model of a teacher led classroom. eLearners need to embrace a model based on a self-directed and motivated learner who is physically isolated from fellow learners and the tutor; and communicating primarily by electronic text. Negotiating CMC interaction: In this a learner has to undertake the learning tasks involved in interacting with peers via synchronous and asynchronous Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). For those unused to the format and conventions of Discussion Forums and Bulletin Boards, communication via text, and with others a learner doesn’t know, can be quite intimidating. Klem (1998, p. 1 cited in Smith, 1999, p.3) puts it this way: “…some are afraid they will embarrass themselves with postings that are not clever, erudite or interesting to others." In addition, learners can become quickly overloaded if they are unable to get online for a period of time and the quantity of discussion forum contributions has grown to such an extent that trying to work through the backlog can be overwhelming and daunting. (Fox, 2002)  It is clear that these complex and multiple learning tasks could significantly contribute to a learner’s cognitive load at the start of an eLearning course, which may lead to rapid rises in anxiety for the learner; feelings of being overwhelmed and of despair coupled with a sense that eLearning is just too hard, the result of which is the virtual shutting down of the learning process. At this point, the decision to drop out may seem the only option. Successfully negotiating this early experience depends very much on the relevant skills, circumstances, motivations and personal attributes of the learner. It follows then, that paying particular attention to how an eLearning course is structured and introduced and the manner in which the learner is inducted can make a very important difference in a learner deciding whether or not to engage and persist or to drop out. 
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    Adult e-learners and drop out rates
Dan Davies

Google Custom Search - Learning Management System CSE - 8 views

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    A CSE for HROD professionals to quickly scan leading LMS software options for their organization
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    Let me know what you think - Dan
Dan Davies

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/HR2011.pdf - 3 views

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    Horizon Report
Dan Davies

Campfires in Cyberspace: Primordial Metaphors for Learning in the 21st Century - 0 views

  • True interactivity provides, at the minimum, the capacity to branch to different scenarios, to gather additional information, to take new twists and turns and, when very well done, to explore avenues never anticipated by the creator of the program.
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    Notes on interactivity
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