Wk8 Reflection

In my personal opinion I believe the perception of distance learning in 5-10 years will be on the right track to becoming a form of education that will be sought after more than it is now. “Distance delivery is, and will continue to have an impact on education in the years to come” (Schmidt & Gallegos, 2001). Many people at this present time are worried about teacher and learner interaction, and whether or not they will receive what they need to be successful in an online learning environment. In 5-10 years learners will begin to know that it is possible to get nearly the same and sometimes more interaction than in a traditional face-to-face course depending on the course and assignments designed to encourage interaction among learners. “Providing the student with the best possible scenario where learning outcomes will be maximized is the goal of course development. This applies not only to traditional classroom courses, but also to distance delivery” (Schmidt & Gallegos, 2001).

As designers continue to make technological advances and gain insight from experts around the world to make the way instruction is delivered better, I believe that the perception of distance learning will become the norm for learning period in 10-20 years. This is because there will be so many more advancements in the way it is delivered and I am sure that issues that people worry about will be addressed by then. I also believe that someone will be able to find a way of encouraging or helping to motivate learners to stay on task and complete assignments.

As an instructional designer that has experience in online learning I can be a proponent for improving societal perceptions of distance learning by creating and implementing distance learning programs that will let people gain experience and feel better about any doubts they may have had. Giving people an opportunity to try something that they’ve never experienced helps to make people feel better or become more comfortable with online learning. George Siemens stated that, “Growing acceptance of distance learning is fueled by the increase in online communication, practical experience with new tools, growing comfort with online discourse, and the ability to communicate with diverse and global groups.” I think experience is the best teacher, and until people have some type of experience with online learning they will continue to have doubts. I can also be a proponent for improving perceptions of distance learning by informing others of my personal experiences and how distance learning has benefited me.

I will be a positive force for continuous improvement in the field of distance education by staying informed with all the advances that are being made and being able to intelligently provide feedback and help to try to invent or give ideas on ways of improving distance education experiences for learners. Everything Instructional Designers do are aimed  to benefit the learners, so as I continue to learn throughout the remainder of my program, I will gain more and more knowledge on how to create distance learning programs that will be engaging and beneficial to learners.

References

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). The Future of Distance Education. (Media Resource) Boston, MA: George Siemens.

Schmidt, E., & Gallegos, A. (2001). Distance learning: Issues and concerns of distance learners. Journal of Industrial Technology, 17(3). Retrieved from http://atmae.org/jit/Articles/schmidt041801.pdf

The picture was retrieved from: http://remotelearningproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Learning-with-Distance-Education.jpg

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Click the link below to see the Checklist Form created to help designers use best practices when converting face-to-face learning environments into distance learning formats:

https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=%2An46NCiMbkjMpAYYgjcAPQ

The trainer needs to consider what aspects of the course would be best suited for the online portion of the course and what aspects would be good for the face-to-face portion of the training. “Keep in mind that courses previously taught in traditional classrooms may need to be retooled. The focus of the instruction shifts to visual presentations, engaged learners, and careful timing of presentations of information” (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012 pp.153). The trainer also needs to consider the budget, time restraints, materials, and what type of course management software and technologies will be used. “To Date, however, no clear and verified process for determining whether face-to-face instruction, distance instruction, or a combination of the two is best” (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, Zvacek, 2012 pp.151).
The discussion/communication portion of the original training program could be enhanced in the online format. He would need to use engaging activities, discussions, and projects that would foster participation among learners. The steps that the trainer should take to encourage learners to communicate online are that he should create discussion forums that will require learners to respond and then give insight to other learners as well. There should also be group work and activities that also encourage interactivity. “Not only does the instructor have to plan for interaction but students may require training to participate actively in these types of activities” (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012 pp.153).
Dr. Piskurich states, “It’s the same role the difference is it’s more difficult in an online environment to really make the role happen, to do the communications” (Piskurich & Chauser). Technically his role as a trainer will not change the only difference will be that it is online, and he will have to come up with more innovative ways of getting learners to actively participate in the online format of the course. Since it was difficult to get learners to participate in the face-to-face format, it will be just as difficult online but if he chooses tools that will foster active participation then it will work.
References
Adobe Systems Inc. (2013). Adobe Forms Central Checklist. https://formscentral.acrobat.com/app.html#d=*n46NCiMbkjMpAYYgjcAPQ
https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=%2An46NCiMbkjMpAYYgjcAPQ
Piskurich, G. & Chauser, J. (n.d.). Facilitating Online Learning. Lecture presented for Laureate Education, Inc.
Piskurich, G. & Chauser J. (n.d.). Planning and Designing Online Courses. Lecture presented for Laureate Education, Inc.
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th Ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

WK3Assgn-Distance Learning Technology Solutions

Example 1: Collaborative Training Environment

Challenges:

1. The learners for this training are not able to meet at the same time or the same place.
2. The training workshop implemented must be feasible for different offices.
3. Staff members must be able to share information in the form of screen captures and documents, and participate in ongoing collaboration.

Distance Learning Technology Solutions

1. Web-conferencing (www.anymeeting.com)
2. Blackboard
3. Adobe Captivate

Anymeeting.com

A distance learning technology that I believe would be good for this collaborative training environment is web-conferencing tools. I found the resource http://www.anymeeting.com , and I believe it would be feasible for the training program. This web-conferencing tool has a free version and a paid version to choose from. It is geared towards small business use. The paid version is very cost-efficient making it very affordable for small businesses and individuals that may want to use it. Here are the features listed below:

Anymeeting.com Features

Examples:
http://www.anymeeting.com/WebConference-beta/RecordingDefault.aspx?c_psrid=EA53D886874A
http://www.anymeeting.com/WebConference-beta/RecordingDefault.aspx?c_psrid=E957D780814B

Blackboard

Blackboard is a tool used by many distance learning programs. There are many platforms, such as Blackboard learn, transact, connect, engage, mobile, collaborate, and analytics. Blackboard collaborate is the tool I will be discussing as a possibility to create the interactive training program with. Collaborate was designed specifically for education. “It is helping thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations worldwide, deliver a more effective learning experience through online, blended, and mobile learning. And it will help you open up all new aspects of real time, or anytime, learning to engage more students and improve outcomes (Blackboard, 2013).”

Blackboard Collaborate Features

Examples:

http://www.brainshark.com/blackboardinc/vu?pi=zIKzqrsiYz35Sgz0
http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Resources/Recorded-Demos.aspx
http://www.brainshark.com/blackboardinc/vu?pi=zFnz4tp24z35Sgz0
Link to other platforms of Blackboard:
http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms.aspx

Captivate

Captivate software has the ability to do screen captures, multimedia and interactive presentations with a lot of user/learner control. The new version allows you to create courses that meet accessibility standards. I believe that this program would be good to create an interactive training program because it gives you the ability to “add more interactivity to your courses with drag-and-drop modules, YouTube video streaming and in-course web browsing (Adobe Systems Inc., 2013).”

Captivate Features

Examples:
http://library.osu.edu/headhunt/game/click-zone
https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/34035/orgflash.htm;jsessionid=08C1B7192575399CFE580286EE994C76

Open Course Website

The Open Course website that I examined was Yale University’s Listening to Music course. In this course the instructor talks about and explains the syllabus provided to the learners in the beginning or intro. He talks about expectations, the course lay out, tools that will be used, and he even gives a pre-test/evaluation that will let learners know whether or not this particular course is for them. It has the lecture chapters listed so that learners can go to specific topics to watch, listen, and learn about it.
This course seems like it has a very, good carefully planned out foundation. It has the necessary components for learning to take place. It is very well-organized and I think the lay out of the course was designed to be effective. I think it would be an excellent resource to use in collaboration with an online music course that has discussions on music theory and the different genres.
I believe the learner audience that this Open Course is addressing is Adult learners who are interested in learning about music or just simply loves music. The course was created at a university for adult learners in a face-to-face learning environment. MIT gives two reasons for creating Open Course websites. One is to “enhance human learning worldwide by the availability of a web of knowledge,” and the other reason is “that it would allow students (including, but not limited to its own) to become better prepared for classes so that they may be more engaged during a class” (Wikipedia, 2013). The theories being employed are Borje Holmberg’s Theory of Interaction and Communication. In this theory, “The core of teaching is interaction between the teaching and learning parties; it is assumed that simulated interaction through subject-matter presentation in pre-produced courses can take over part of the interaction by causing students to consider different views, approaches, and solutions and generally interact with a course. Emotional involvement in the study and feelings of personal relation between the teaching and learning parties are likely to contribute to learning pleasures” (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012 pp. 48).

References
Open Yale Courses. (2013). MUSI 112: Listening to Music. Retrieved from http://oyc.yale.edu/music/musi-112#overview
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th Ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.
Wikipedia. (2012). OpenCourseWare. In Wikipedia Encyclopedia online. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCourseWare