Selecting Distance Learning Technologies

For this week’s assignment in selecting Distance Learning Technologies, I chose Example 3: Asynchronous Training in finding the best distant learning technology that would provide proper safety training for a biodiesel manufacturing plant that needs to improve its safety training modules.  Most online and distance learning provides the best service and value to learners in more than one way. Some of these examples would be reducing total costs with minimal travel and overnight stays, improved quality of life for learners with less disruption of home and work life, access to a wider range of courses that may not be available in their own location, and 24/7 access where these learners can carry on with their learning at a time that better suits them. Not only was the training for the employees and supervisors, but the supervisors were to ensure that all the employees training followed through with their safety demonstrations. Utilizing a Course Management System (CMS) will provide each employee and their supervisors the proper training online that is affiliated with their training competencies via collaborating and communicating. (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, Zvacek 2012).

 

Another tool that is great in it’s ability to reach learners is by employing a variety on modules using multimedia files or podcasts with training aids consisting of training aids (PowerPoint presentation, Flash animations, tests…etc., with a program certificate for training accountability requirements. Most CMSs and LMSs import the training via programs like Adobe Captivate that will give each learner credit for their completion of the courses.

 

In addition to delivery of online and podcast courses in distance learning, many students also study for our programs in the traditional classroom setting. True, the learners would be required to travel to the lectures twice or three times a week. Or the organization could bring in lecturers to teach the classes onsite if permitted. The advantages of this would be to meet with the lecturer on a regular basis which can be useful in terms of getting feedback, doing group work and also adding to their learning experience. Class times are student focused that would allow time for travel, work and family commitments. Class based courses are interactive and are great for discussion and group work and hands on demonstrations.

The Biodeisel organization can also provide face to face training with exam centers at nearby locations where the employees can participate in modules consisting of formal safety training that should be mandatory before the plant operations begin. This would involve OSHA requirements for items like permits, hot work, confined space entry permits, and personal protective equipment (PPE) (www.osha.gov)

Enabling a CMS program for individualized safety training would be compatible for the Biodiesel organization in managing its learning environment.

 

References

 

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and Learning at a distance: Foundations of Distance Education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

http://www.osha.gov/

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Distance Learning Blogs

I’ve been reading other blogs on the internet about some of the limits to Distance Learning (DL) making it so that learners are feeling almost alone in their quest to attaining higher education. One issue was in finding local resources when you’re not based on a university campus, and teaching isn’t always encompassing all the material. Another issue is that it’s harder to build friendships and bond with classmates when living in different parts of the world. No, maybe DK isn’t for everyone but when you only speak to classmates on a message board, it may seem like your isolated in your learning. I don’t see DL as a downside to learning, but more of an online journey. I have built friendship with my classmates, maybe not in all my classes but in other classes I’ve taken. Yes it can be difficult for me personally especially working full time and running a household. I never saw myself going back to school at this age, figuring it would just be my three kids in college like they are now. I’m glad I went back and don’t complain because I chose this route in my life. I may not be the best student but I don’t stop either.

Distance Learning

Hello,

My name is Letty Knight and I chose the field of Instructional Design to better understand and execute future courses in the field of education and training. As a Training Specialist, I have had the opportunity to assist in projects with Distance Learning and find this form of learning is more viable for me and those that cannot attend classes from a traditional standard of brick and mortar, or simply find it doesn’t fit into their schedule. Distance Learning has redefined the future of learning and I feel will continue to be the mainstream of quality education.

Defining Distance Learning

For me, the term for Distance Learning is a form of instructional delivery that connects a learner with multiple educational resources that provides the learner with educational and learning opportunities that incorporates current and emerging technologies.  The fast pace of technological advances that are being marketed is changing and challenging the way our educational system is and will be. Educational institutions develop distance education programs that provide adults with a second chance at a college education, reach those disadvantaged by limited time, distance or physical disability, and update the knowledge base of workers at their places of employment. Whether the delivery of distance education involves audio conferencing, video, computer assisted instruction for tracking purposes, or print, it has become a vital part of the higher education assembly because it reaches a broader student audience.

In our reading material, Desmond Keegan (1996), defined the five elements of distance learning that included: separation of teacher and learner, planning and preparation of learning materials, use of technical media, two-way communication for students benefit, and absence of the learning group throughout the learning process.  Yet some critics argue that Keegan’s definition did not offer a valid outlook of current and practical purposes of online distance education.

Distance education is a positive alternative for some states to offer schools via the No Child Left Behind Act that allows better options to students attending those schools that do not progress successfully during the school year, (Moller, Foshay, Huett, 2008). Two issues that reasoned the need for distance education were teacher shortages and overcrowded schools, that would permit qualified teachers to teach students where instructor shortages outweigh increased populations, (Moller, Foshay, Huett, 2008).

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 1: Training and development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75.