Embedding E-Learning in Further Education

Embedding E-Learning in Further Education

Louise Adele Jakobsen (Park Lane College, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-814-7.ch006
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Abstract

This chapter, written from experience in implementing e-learning in further education through various roles, identifies key issues relating to embedding technologies into educational practices. From the concept that the increased expectation for technology to be used is a natural evolution, it identifies key advantages for learners and the learning process in terms of personalisation, differentiation, and interactivity. The importance of taking time to design effective resources, which include higher and deeper levels of feedback, is identified as a motivating factor, especially for independent study. The theme running throughout is the issue of developing staff skills and confidence. Ensuring training opportunities are flexible and manageable is identified as important to successful implementation. The advantages and disadvantages of face-to-face, online, cascaded, structured–play, and observational training and support techniques are highlighted alongside the introduction of a new five-step model to support gradual implementation of virtual learning environments into teaching and learning.
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Introduction

This chapter is written from the perspective and experience of implementing and using technology in further education (FE) through various e-learning coordination and management roles, incorporating strategising and staff development responsibilities. It explores and provides examples relating to the concept of e-learning as a blend of traditional and newer techniques and tools, encompassing the use of various technologies with flexible, accessible, and inclusive characteristics to support teaching and enhance learning. It explores how the increased expectation of the use of information learning technologies (ILTs), a term still commonly used in FE linking e-learning and e-leadership (Lifelong Learning Sector Skills Council, 2005), can be dealt with as a change in culture, capitalising on existing pedagogical practices of individualised learning. Links and transferable elements suitable for higher education (HE) are discussed throughout.

Developing from the view that increased use of technology in teaching and learning is a natural evolution, three key ideas are explored.

  • The section entitled “Personalisation and Differentiation” explores ways technology, including virtual learning environments (VLEs), can reach learners with different abilities, motivation, learning styles, or pace, and support various additional learning needs. The use of and potential barriers relating to e-portfolios are discussed briefly.

  • “Designing Resources” discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using readily available equipment and software to create interesting, motivating, and interactive resources. Key issues relating to developing purely online resources including composing instant feedback for self-assessment are highlighted.

  • “Professional Development and Implementation” details strategies that have worked to encourage and increase the use of technology, including examples of training, a descriptive model for utilising online learning environments, the provision of in-class support for first and early use of technology, the championing of roles, and the use of competitions to motivate individuals.

The chapter concludes by establishing where FE is in terms of embedding e-learning and summarises identified links to HE, suggesting where different educational environments can learn from and help each other. Further research is explored and additional reading is recommended.

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A Natural Evolution

Arguments for the idea that the increased expectation of the use of e-learning can be dealt with as a culture change are explored initially. It is suggested that this change capitalises on existing practices of individualised learning. McKenna (2004) provides the following perspective: “Our world is transforming everyday. The technological transformations and breakthroughs…are increasing at exponential rates. We…are connecting over great distances, exploring and re-shaping our world…. Mobile telephones [and] computers…unthinkable even fifty years ago, are now considered a normal part of…twenty-first-century life” (p. 16). This links with the American Productivity and Quality Centre’s (2002) vision that

e-learning can change the paradigm of learning and transform the lecture model to an interactive model. Benjamin Franklin called for this in 1770 but he couldn’t find a way. John Dewey called for this in 1916 but he didn’t know how to do it. Now we have a way. (p. 6)

Combined, the two views highlight a global change that is occurring and, in relation to the technological perspective of this publication, is a good place to start. The introduction of the knowledge economy and use of ILT in society and education is potentially the most fundamental change since the industrial revolution at the beginning of the 19th century. The resulting demand for skills, linked to the country’s new economy (Byers, 2000), could result in individuals viewing the change as a revolution (Blair, 2000). However, the technological advances are simply a natural evolution rather than a revolution (Williams & Goldberg, 2005). Nevertheless the power of effective inclusion to enhance individuals’ experiences is potentially more radical, as Clarke (2003) highlights, “E-learning has the potential to revolutionise the way we teach and how we learn…. This is about embedding and exploiting technologies in everything we do….It is also about…skills we increasingly need for everyday life and work.”

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Table of Contents
Foreword
Charles Juwah
Acknowledgment
Roisin Donnelly, Fiona McSweeney
Chapter 1
Sabine Little
This chapter has been composed as a piece of reflective practice, and as such traces and researches the development of a new technology-rich... Sample PDF
"Oily Rag" or "Winged Messenger": The Role of the Developer in Multiprofessional Teams
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Chapter 2
Rhona Sharpe, Jillian Pawlyn
This chapter reports on an implementation of blended e-learning within three modules in the School of Health and Social Care at Oxford Brookes... Sample PDF
The Role of the Tutor in Blended E-Learning: Experiences from Interprofessional Education
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Chapter 3
Diana Kelly
This chapter makes a case for the importance of preparing e-teachers by requiring them to have an experience as an e-learner. The chapter begins... Sample PDF
Modeling Best Practices in Web-Based Academic Development
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Chapter 4
Tony Cunningham, Claire McDonnell, Barry McIntyre, Theresa McKenna
This chapter explores the insights gained by a group of teachers from their lived experience as e-learners participating in a blended module on... Sample PDF
A Reflection on Teachers' Experience as E-Learners
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Chapter 5
Catherine Manathunga, Roisin Donnelly
Professional development for academic staff in higher education is receiving increasing attention. The focus has been on providing an opportunity... Sample PDF
Opening Online Academic Development Programmes to International Perspectives and Dialogue
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Chapter 6
Louise Adele Jakobsen
This chapter, written from experience in implementing e-learning in further education through various roles, identifies key issues relating to... Sample PDF
Embedding E-Learning in Further Education
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Chapter 7
Catherine Matheson, David Matheson
This chapter considers some of the major questions around access and accessibility, beginning with the most basic: just what is meant by access and... Sample PDF
Access and Accessibility in E-Learning
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Chapter 8
Morag Munro, Barry McMullin
This chapter examines some of the tensions that may exist between e-learning and accessibility in higher education, and aims to redress the balance... Sample PDF
E-Learning for All? Maximizing the Impact of Multimedia Resources for Learners with Disabilities
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Chapter 9
Ursula Wingate
This chapter proposes online preinduction courses as an innovative method for preparing students for learning in higher education. It is argued that... Sample PDF
Enhancing Students' Transition to University through Online Preinduction Courses
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Chapter 10
Pankaj Kamthan
The discipline of software engineering has been gaining increasing significance in computer science and engineering education. In this chapter, the... Sample PDF
A Methodology for Integrating Information Technology in Software Engineering Education
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Chapter 11
Gordon Joyes, Sheena Banks
The focus of this chapter is on the use of technology in the teaching and learning of research methods in masters’ and doctoral programmes in higher... Sample PDF
Using Technology in Research-Methods Teaching
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Chapter 12
Richard Walker, Walter Baets
Blended learning occupies a prominent place within higher education teaching strategies, yet there is no clear definition for what we mean by this... Sample PDF
Instructional Design for Class-Based and Computer-Mediated Learning: Creating the Right Blend for Student-Centred Learning
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Chapter 13
Ann Donohoe, Tim McMahon, Geraldine O’Neill
The primary purpose of this chapter is to explore how online communities of inquiry can be developed to facilitate students to engage in reflective... Sample PDF
Online Communities of Inquiry in Higher Education
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Chapter 14
Nick Pratt
The aim of this chapter is to explore e-learning and e-teaching from a social perspective in order to show how the use of new technologies, like... Sample PDF
Using Multipoint Audio-Conferencing with Teaching Students: Balancing Technological Potential with Practical Challenges
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Chapter 15
Timo Portimojärv, Pirjo Vuoskoski
This chapter will illustrate a combination of problem-based learning (PBL), information and communication technologies (ICT), and leadership in the... Sample PDF
The Alliance of Problem-Based Learning, Technology, and Leadership
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Chapter 16
Steve Millard
This chapter sets out a number of ways in which effective use of the online discussion board in a virtual learning environment can contribute to the... Sample PDF
The Use of Online Role Play in Preparing for Assessment
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Chapter 17
Simon Wilkinson, Heather Rai
This chapter focuses on the use of computers for online summative assessment, in particular for objectively marked items. The aim of this chapter is... Sample PDF
Mastering the Online Summative-Assessment Life Cycle
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About the Contributors