Please have read and studied this text and the following by Wednesday of Week 5
Instead of a PDF/iBook for Blended and Online Learning, please refer to the following:
Online Learning refers to the use of electronic media and information and communication technologies (ICT) in education. Online or E-learning is broadly inclusive of all forms of educational technology in learning and teaching. Online Learning is inclusive of, and is broadly synonymous with multimedia learning, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), computer-based training (CBT), computer-assisted instruction (CAI), internet-based training (IBT), web-based training (WBT), online education,virtual education, virtual learning environments (VLE) (which are also called learning platforms), m-learning, and digital educational collaboration. These alternative names emphasise a particular aspect, component or delivery method.
Online Learning includes numerous types of media that deliver text, audio, images, animation, and streaming video, and includes technology applications and processes such as audio or video tape, satellite TV, CD-ROM, and computer-based learning, as well as local intranet/extranet and web-based learning. Information and communication systems, whether free-standing or based on either local networks or the Internet in networked learning, underlay many Online Learning processes.
Online Learning can occur in or out of the classroom. It can be self-paced, asynchronous learning or may be instructor-led, synchronous learning. Online Learning is suited to distance learning and flexible learning, but it can also be used in conjunction with face-to-face teaching, in which case the term blended learning is commonly used.
The extent to which online learning assists or replaces other learning and teaching approaches is variable, ranging on a continuum from none to fully online distance learning. A variety of descriptive terms have been employed (somewhat inconsistently) to categorise the extent to which technology is used. For example, 'hybrid learning' or 'blended learning' may refer to classroom aids and laptops, or may refer to approaches in which traditional classroom time is reduced but not eliminated, and is replaced with some online learning. 'Distributed learning' may describe either the e-learning component of a hybrid approach, or fully online distance learning environments.
Online learning may either be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous learning occurs in real-time, with all participants interacting at that point, while asynchronous learning is self-paced and allows participants to engage in the exchange of ideas or information without the dependency of other participants involvement at the same time.
Synchronous learning involves the exchange of ideas and information with one or more participants during the same period of time. A face-to-face discussion is an example of synchronous communications. In e-learning environments, examples of synchronous communications include online real-time live teacher instruction and feedback, Skype conversations, or chat rooms or virtual classrooms where everyone is online and working collaboratively at the same time.
Asynchronous learning may use technologies such as email, blogs, wikis, and discussion boards, as well as web-supported textbooks, hypertext documents, audio video courses, and social networking using web 2.0. At the professional educational level, training may include virtual operating rooms. Asynchronous learning is particularly beneficial for students who have health problems or have child care responsibilities and regularly leaving the home to attend lectures is difficult. They have the opportunity to complete their work in a low stress environment and within a more flexible timeframe. In asynchronous online courses, students proceed at their own pace. If they need to listen to a lecture a second time, or think about a question for awhile, they may do so without fearing that they will hold back the rest of the class. Through online courses, students can earn their diplomas more quickly, or repeat failed courses without the embarrassment of being in a class with younger students. Students also have access to an incredible variety of enrichment courses in online learning, and can participate in college courses, internships, sports, or work and still graduate with their class.
Both the asynchronous and synchronous methods rely heavily on self-motivation, self-discipline, and the ability to communicate in writing effectively.
Computer-based learning or training (CBT) refers to self-paced learning activities delivered on a computer or handheld device. CBT often delivers content via CD-ROM, and typically presents content in a linear fashion, much like reading an online book or manual. For this reason, CBT is often used to teach static processes, such as using software or completing mathematical equations. Computer-based training is conceptually similar to web-based training (WBT), the primary difference being that WBTs are delivered via Internet using a web browser.
Assessing learning in a CBT is often by assessments that can be easily scored by a computer such as multiple choice questions, drag-and-drop, radio button, simulation or other interactive means. Assessments are easily scored and recorded via online software, providing immediate end-user feedback and completion status. Users are often able to print completion records in the form of certificates.
CBTs provide learning stimulus beyond traditional learning methodology from textbook, manual, or classroom-based instruction. For example, CBTs offer user-friendly solutions for satisfying continuing education requirements. Instead of limiting students to attending courses or reading printed manuals, students are able to acquire knowledge and skills through methods that are much more conducive to individual learning preferences. For example, CBTs offer visual learning benefits through animation or video, not typically offered by any other means.
CBTs can be a good alternative to printed learning materials since rich media, including videos or animations, can easily be embedded to enhance the learning.
However, CBTs pose some learning challenges. Typically the creation of effective CBTs requires enormous resources. The software for developing CBTs (such as Flash or Adobe Director) is often more complex than a subject matter expert or teacher is able to use. In addition, the lack of human interaction can limit both the type of content that can be presented as well as the type of assessment that can be performed. Many learning organizations are beginning to use smaller CBT/WBT activities as part of a broader online learning program which may include online discussion or other interactive elements.
Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) uses instructional methods designed to encourage or require students to work together on learning tasks. CSCL is similar in concept to the terminology, "e-learning 2.0".
Collaborative learning is distinguished from the traditional approach in which the instructor is the principal source of knowledge and skills. For example, the neologism "e-learning 1.0" refers to the direct transfer method in computer-based learning and training systems (CBL). In contrast to the linear delivery of content, often directly from the instructor's material, CSCL uses blogs, wikis, and cloud-based document portals (such as Google Docs and Dropbox). With technological Web 2.0 advances, sharing information between multiple people in a network has become much easier and use has increased. One of the main reasons for its usage states that it is "a breeding ground for creative and engaging educational endeavours."
Using Web 2.0 social tools in the classroom allows for students and teachers to work collaboratively, discuss ideas, and promote information. According to Sendall (2008), blogs, wikis, and social networking skills are found to be significantly useful in the classroom. After initial instruction on using the tools, students also reported an increase in knowledge and comfort level for using Web 2.0 tools. The collaborative tools additionally prepare students with technology skills necessary in today's workforce.
Locus of control remains an important consideration in successful engagement of e-learners. According to the work of Cassandra B. Whyte, the continuing attention to aspects of motivation and success in regard to e-learning should be kept in context and concert with other educational efforts. Information about motivational tendencies can help educators, psychologists, and technologists develop insights to help students perform better academically.
Classroom 2.0 refers to online multi-user virtual environments (MUVE) that connect schools across geographical frontiers. Also known as "eTwinning", computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) allows learners in one school to communicate with learners in another that they would not get to know otherwise, enhancing educational outcomes and cultural integration. Examples of classroom 2.0 applications are Blogger and Skype.
E-learning 2.0 is a type of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) system that developed with the emergence of Web 2.0. From an e-learning 2.0 perspective, conventional e-learning systems were based on instructional packets, which were delivered to students using assignments. Assignments were evaluated by the teacher. In contrast, the new e-learning places increased emphasis on social learning and use of social software such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and virtual worlds such as Second Life. This phenomenon has also been referred to as Long Tail Learning.
E-learning 2.0, in contrast to e-learning systems not based on CSCL, assumes that knowledge (as meaning and understanding) is socially constructed. Learning takes place through conversations about content and grounded interaction about problems and actions. Advocates of social learning claim that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to others.
In addition to virtual classroom environments, social networks have become an important part of E-learning 2.0. Social networks have been used to foster online learning communities around subjects as diverse as test preparation and language education. Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) is the use of handheld computers or cell phones to assist in language learning. Traditional educators may not promote social networking unless they are communicating with their own colleagues.
Videos may allow teachers to reach students who are visual learners and tend to learn best by seeing the material rather than hearing or reading about it. Teachers can access video clips through the internet instead of relying on DVDs or VHS tapes. Websites like YouTube are used by many teachers. Teachers can use messaging programs such as Skype, or webcams, to interact with guest speakers and other experts. Interactive video games are being integrated in the curriculum at both K-12 and higher education institutions.
Research on the use of video in lessons is preliminary, but early results show an increased retention and better results when video is used in a lesson. Creating a systematic video development method holds promise for creating video models that positively impact student learning.[
Computers and tablets allow students and teachers access to websites and other programs, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, PDF files, and images. Many mobile devices support m-learning.
Blogs allow students and teachers to post their thoughts, ideas, and comments on a website. Blogging allows students and instructors to share their thoughts and comments on the thoughts of others which could create an interactive learning environment.
Video cameras that allow you can connect to the internet and see other internet users. Allows students to become engaging and be able to see who everyone is.
Interactive whiteboards ("smartboards") allow teachers and students to write on the touch screen, so learning becomes interactive and engaging.
Screencasting is a recent trend in e-learning. There are many screencasting tools available that allow users to share their screens directly from their browser and make the video available online so that the viewers can stream the video directly. The advantage of such tools is that it gives the presenter the ability to show his ideas and flow of thoughts rather than simply explain them, which may be more confusing when delivered via simple text instructions. With the combination of video and audio, the expert can mimic the one-on-one experience of the classroom and deliver clear, complete instructions. From the learner's point of view this provides the ability to pause and rewind and gives the learner the advantage of moving at their own pace, something a classroom cannot always offer.
Along with the terms learning technology, instructional technology, the term educational technology refers to the use of technology in learning in a much broader sense than the computer-based training or Computer Aided Instruction of the 1980s. It is also broader than the terms Online Learning or Online Education which generally refer to purely web-based learning. In cases where mobile technologies are used, the term M-learning has become more common. E-learning, however, also has implications beyond just the technology and refers to the actual learning that takes place using these systems.
In higher education especially, the increasing tendency is to create a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) (which is sometimes combined with a Management Information System (MIS) to create a Managed Learning Environment) in which all aspects of a course are handled through a consistent user interface standard throughout the institution. A growing number of physical universities, as well as newer online-only colleges, have begun to offer a select set of academic degree and certificate programs via the Internet at a wide range of levels and in a wide range of disciplines. While some programs require students to attend some campus classes or orientations, many are delivered completely online. In addition, several universities offer online student support services, such as online advising and registration, e-counseling, online textbook purchase, student governments and student newspapers.
E-learning can also refer to educational web sites such as those offering learning scenarios, worksheets and interactive exercises for children. The term is also used extensively in the business sector where it generally refers to cost-effective online training.
Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), also known as learning platforms, utilize virtual classrooms and meetings which often use a mix of communication technologies. One example of web conferencing software that enables students and instructors to communicate with each other via webcam, microphone, and real-time chatting in a group setting, is Adobe Connect, which is sometimes used for meetings and presentations. Participants in a virtual classroom can also use icons called emoticons to communicate feelings and responses to questions or statements. Students are able to 'write on the board' and even share their desktop, when given rights by the teacher. Other communication technologies available in a virtual classroom include text notes, microphone rights, and breakout sessions. Breakout sessions allow the participants to work collaboratively in a small group setting to accomplish a task as well as allow the teacher to have private conversations with his or her students.
The virtual classroom also provides the opportunity for students to receive direct instruction from a qualified teacher in an interactive environment. Students have direct and immediate access to their instructor for instant feedback and direction. The virtual classroom also provides a structured schedule of classes, which can be helpful for students who may find the freedom of asynchronous learning to be overwhelming. The virtual classroom also provides a social learning environment that replicates the traditional "brick and mortar" classroom. Most virtual classroom applications provide a recording feature. Each class is recorded and stored on a server, which allows for instant playback of any class over the course of the school year. This can be extremely useful for students to review material and concepts for an upcoming exam. This also provides students with the opportunity to watch any class that they may have missed, so that they do not fall behind. It also gives parents the ability to monitor any classroom to ensure that they are satisfied with the education their child is receiving.
A learning management system (LMS) is software used for delivering, tracking and managing training/education, for example tracking attendance, time on task, and student progress. Educators can post announcements, grade assignments, check on course activity, and participate in class discussions. Students can submit their work, read and respond to discussion questions, and take quizzes. An LMS may allow teachers, administrators, students, and permitted additional parties (such as parents if appropriate) to track various metrics. LMSs range from systems for managing training/educational records to software for distributing courses over the Internet and offering features for online collaboration. The creation and maintenance of comprehensive learning content requires substantial initial and ongoing investments of human labour. Effective translation into other languages and cultural contexts requires even more investment by knowledgeable personnel.
Two widely used internet-based learning management systems tools for e-learning are Blackboard and Moodle.
A learning content management system (LCMS) is software for author content (courses, reusable content objects). An LCMS may be solely dedicated to producing and publishing content that is hosted on an LMS, or it can host the content itself. The Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC) specification provides support for content that is hosted separately from the LMS.
Computer-aided assessment (also but less commonly referred to as e-assessment), ranging from automated multiple-choice tests to more sophisticated systems is becoming increasingly common. With some systems, feedback can be geared towards a student's specific mistakes or the computer can navigate the student through a series of questions adapting to what the student appears to have learned or not learned.
The best examples follow a formative Assessment structure and are called "Online Formative Assessment". This involves making an initial formative assessment by sifting out the incorrect answers. The author/teacher will then explain what the pupil should have done with each question. It will then give the pupil at least one practice at each slight variation of sifted out questions. This is the formative learning stage. The next stage is to make a summative assessment by a new set of questions only covering the topics previously taught.
Learning design is the type of activity enabled by software that supports sequences of activities that can be both adaptive and collaborative. The IMS Learning Design specification is intended as a standard format for learning designs, and IMS LD Level A is supported in LAMS V2.elearning has been replacing the traditional settings due to its cost effectiveness.
A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aiming at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and TAs. MOOCs are a recent development in distance education and often use open educational resources. Typically they do not offer academic credit or charge tuition fees. Only about 10% of the tens of thousands of students who may sign up complete the course.
MOOCs originated about 2008 within the open educational resources (or OER) movement. Many of the original courses were based on connectivist theory, emphasizing that learning and knowledge emerge from a network of connections. 2012 became "the year of the MOOC" as several well-financed providers, associated with top universities, emerged, including Coursera, Udacity, and edX.
There are few standard practices or definitions in the field yet. Three other organizations, Khan Academy, Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU) and Udemy are viewed as being similar to MOOCs, but differ from the three above providers in that they work outside the university system or mainly provide individual lessons that students may take at their own pace, rather than having a massive number of students all working on the same course schedule. Note, however, that Udacity differs from Coursera and edX in that it does not have a calendar-based schedule; students may start a course at any time.
Many universities scrambled to join in the "next big thing", as did more established online education service providers such as Blackboard Inc, in what has been called a "stampede." Dozens of universities in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia have announced partnerships with the large American MOOC providers. Nevertheless, by early 2013, questions emerged about whether MOOCs were undergoing a hype cycle and whether academia was "MOOC'd out."
Features associated with early MOOCs, such as open licensing of content, open structure and learning goals, and connectivism may not be present in all MOOC projects.
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