Rose’s Article Discussion 2

http://www.aupress.ca/books/120146/ebook/10_Anderson_2008-Theory_and_Practice_of_Online_Learning.pdf

“In an ideal world, instructional media developers – those who will actually create the planned instructional materials with which the student will interact – are included in the course development process from the beginning, to consult with and advise course team members on development-related topics as they arise.”  That does sound ideal!

I chose this article because I teach a distance course to our ACP Students.  I am still learning how the whole process works and the best ways to deliver the content. I was hoping this article would shed some light on all of it. One thing is for certain, long articles, 19 pages for instance, are not the way to deliver information…I seem to have the attention span of a squirrel.

Anyway, I did have some take away’s from this article. It was interesting to see how far distance learning has come and to feel out where our program currently fits in. I also enjoyed the easy break down of tips suggestions and considerations to help you along as you develop your course.

A couple things the article discusses is the importance of stakeholder buy in. If you don’t have buy in from ALL parties, you are going to run into problems. Everyone needs to be ready to work towards the common education goals. The way the article breaks down all those who should be involved in the development phase was interesting. I am now curious who was involved in creating our online program. Should new employees have some training in e-learning as they come in?  What transitions should be given to the veteran instructors now expected to, in essence, create a new course with new structure and materials. What do you do if you don’t get buy in from all parties?

I think the direction distance education is heading sounds exciting. As long as the resources, support and training come along for the ride, which all too often they don’t.  It feels like our program is just now starting to move from a simple text based approach to the next generation of collaborative and interactive learning.  Especially after this course, I definitely buy in more to the distance learning idea. And now have some new tools to add to the party to help transition my course to a more collaborative model.  When we look at the feedback from students in the distance program, we consistently see that they need more support and more material catered to the online approach. I agree with the article in that what better way to do this then to find ways for students to connect and collaborate easily and more effectively.

The other big feedback piece is the lack of technical support. This goes back to the development phase. Where are those people now?  I know I sure wasn’t able to field a lot of their techy questions. I was glad it was distance so I could go and look stuff up or ask around before replying.

Overall, despite the length, I enjoyed the article’s content. I have actually saved pieces of it into another document for me to reference later. My new “DL program learning tips” google doc 🙂

 

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