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Archive for June, 2010
In the past decades our life has been increasingly influenced by technology. One of the latest achievements is transformation of face-to-face learning into distance learning. E-learning has become a powerful source of education. It enables people to get knowledge and information instantly without leave home. People have an opportunity to study at their own place and on their own time. Besides, they get easy access to any resource they need.
People often use the Internet for getting knowledge. So why not use online learning for that purpose? Learning management systems, used for delivering knowledge and organizing the process, facilitate the search for information immensely. The information is presented as thematic courses and is strictly structured. In this case a person has only to spend some time looking for the right course. Once managed to find one, people will get access to all possible resources on the topic and the possibility to manage the learning process on their own. Learning management systems allow arranging the process easily and at any time.
Online education provides incredible opportunities for course sellers as well. It is one of the ways to present useful information and teach people something they want to know as well as to increase profit.
E-learning also provides good knowledge ground for employees. In the context of globalization and labour-tight market it is necessary that employees be competitive and keep up the proper knowledge level. Online learning is therefore a good source of enriching horizons and use up-to-date information. Use of learning management systems allows cutting on transportation and administration costs. In some cases it is effective to apply e-learning together with the ordinary type, thus complementing and completing each other. Besides, distance learning allows holding interactive conferences,which is obviously a strong benefit as it helps bringing people together from different parts of the world.
E-learning can as well be useful for expanding knowledge on subjects one is interested in and exchanging experiences and advice with people having similar interests. Students themselves can add useful files to courses, thus sharing information with other participants. The self-paced education provides opportunity for enjoying the learning process and studying materials thoroughly. The absence of teachers immediate control results in a more relaxed and absorbing education. Online quizzes, builders and streaming audio facilitate the e-learning process and allow acquiring knowledge more willingly.Online learning is especially good for those who lack the ability to concentrate having too many people around. It is also efficient for children who are taught at home and require special attention.
Thus, online learning has become an essential part of our life. Its main benefit is that it perfectly fits our modern pace of living which requires multitasking,quick response and elimination of unnecessary moves.
So what is eLearning? First, I want to emphasize that they are learning. The difference between e-learning and traditional learning is that e-learning on the Internet and other integrated technologies that are available there. It may be conceived as a convergence of students and old new.The be exposed to blog, flash video, music, text animation and a number of additional virtual classroom assistants. The virtual classroom replaces, but does not eliminate the obstacles that are eternaltraditional classroom. Every teacher is aware of the dynamic nature of the class. He / she has an understanding of the orchestration of the floor of the classroom, the importance of intonation, proof of loss of interest, the relevance of the material, the factorization of “meaty” issues and in particular the individual learner.
E-learning environment presents challenges for the teacher / presenter. Absent is the human contact. They arenot given the opportunity to benefit from the confusion was to identify the jaw or eyebrows raised. Students have rejected the one-on-one interaction. Students express satisfaction when they receive this response satisfactory. Virtual classroom, if not anthropomorphized, can radiate more isolated. And ‘essential that the designer or the presenter of that sum, adapting his vocabulary. You can choose words like “use”, “us”, etc. Remember, a click of the mouse is different from raising his hand. Thevirtual environment from that knee-jerk reaction. In the classes I taught, students have the body language and response times to tell me when to pause necessary. The human brain does not suffer from information overflow. An abstract class should contain a short, well-orchestrated themes. Monotones are hypnotic. The moderator should practice your presentation. A brief history of the ice is breaking up, is often welcomed by students. Comedy digest the stress away with too manyInformation.
I found myself with crutch words or fillers. They know that ever present “uh.” I never realized how often I have this pen until I decided to tape. To be honest, I am angry with myself. This habit is extremely difficult to break, it takes much practice. Breaking Bad News spokesman for hours talking habits. The technical courses are also very difficult to be present in the courtroom jargon and live twice as problematic for the problemvirtual students. Grouping is a phenomenal help in the traditional classroom. Although it needs a lot of planning and supervision, it can be achieved in a virtual space. Once again we have overcome distance.
PowerPoint, Flash, Dreamweaver, Camtasia, Captivate, all the tools with great functionality. Creativity is at its best with these instruments may also remove some of the general class of destination. Too much distraction can be a matter of form. This amounts to a classfar too many graphics, colors and pictures. The designers of the program should be wary of exaggerated media.
So what’s the future of eLearning? These comments were report in 2000, Richard C. Close, Rob Humphreys and Brian W. Ruttebur at SunTrust Equitable Securities, titled “E-Learning and Knowledge Technology: -” Technology is increasingly transforming our lives. First it was the emergence of desktop computers, now is the Internet. It allows the ordinary person whoAccess to the infinite amount of information and knowledge. Technology and the Internet to strengthen and facilitate individuals a more active role in the educational process. As mentioned above, the Internet, the way people shop (B2B) and how to manage transactions in another company (B2B) transformed. In recent months, we must develop a third area that we believe may have seen the greatest impact on our lives. The e-learning sectorjust beginning to emerge. How the Internet has transformed the retail market, we remain confident of transforming education and market knowledge. In 1999, John Chambers (CEO Cisco Systems) said: “The next big killer application for the Education Internet will be. Education on the Internet will be so great, it is watching and email as a rounding error.” As were right, now billions of dollars are spent on education and knowledgeMarket.
E-learning brings a lot of convenience for students. Progress Technologies for remote access, streaming, video conferencing and VOIP has made education available anywhere at any time and for all. High-speed desktop amazingly cheap. The employers and individual students to travel realized significant cost savings through the elimination of the need. After saving the formation Magazine companies between 50-70% through the implementation of e-learning instead of instructor led training.The elimination of static class curriculum allows students a degree of adaptation to improve their learning. A current-students and expressed their comfort while taking a course online. He described the environment as risk-free to avoid the intimidation of classmates who sometimes are advanced.
I tend to agree that we are witnessing the total revolution of schools and education. With the competitive nature of big business, Learning Management Systemsbecome more efficient, robust and functional. I stress, however, the maintenance of social interaction, especially for children. The class is crucial for the overall development of social skills. That said, hinge, I bet that e-learning is here to stay.
By Shelley A. Gable
You’re tasked with outlining an eLearning lesson. You’ve analyzed your content and audience, and you have a clear understanding of what learners need to be able to do by the end of the lesson.
But how do you avoid designing a lesson that’s little more than a basic info dump?
How do you truly engage learning?
A handful of instructional design models offer formulas for assembling training in a way that captures learners’ attention, conveys content, and provides learners with an opportunity to practice and receive feedback on new skills. One of the more popular models is Robert Gagne’s nine events of instruction.
Here are the events:
- Gain attention
Spark learners’ interest and curiosity to motivate learning
- Inform learners of objectives
State training objectives or goals to communicate expectations
- Stimulate recall
Include questions or an activity to engage existing knowledge to which learners can relate new content
- Present content
Present the new content learners must learn, preferably with a variety of media
- Provide learning guidance
Elaborate on presented content by telling stories, explaining examples and non-examples, offering analogies, etc.
- Elicit performance (practice)
Prompt learners to practice using newly learned skills and knowledge
- Provide feedback
Provide immediate and specific feedback to learners while they practice, to help shape their behavior to improve performance
- Assess performance
Test learners on newly learned skills and knowledge to confirm that they’ve met the originally stated training objectives or goals
- Enhance retention and transfer to the job
Provide support to ensure learners apply newly learned knowledge and skills on the job (e.g., post-training follow-up plans, job aids, etc.)
Although you may encounter situations when it’s not practical to include all of these steps in training, and sometimes you might apply these steps in a different order, this formula provides the basic structure you need to begin designing training that goes beyond basic communication.
Let’s look at an example of how this formula can be applied to a short eLearning lesson. This lesson is part of a larger eLearning course designed to teach experienced support staff in a small lending firm how to conduct quality control checks on mortgage applications. The purpose of this particular lesson is to teach learners how to identify errors.
-1- Gain attention
Prompt learners to guess the percent of mortgage applications that have errors (could set up as a multiple choice or free response question). After learners attempt to guess, reveal the alarming statistic. Then briefly explain to learners that they can dramatically decrease that number, and outline some of the positive impacts of catching errors.
-2- Inform learners of objectives
State: After completing this lesson, you will be able to identify errors on Application 1487B.
Note that this is not the standard three-part objective (behavior, criterion, condition) that we should write when outlining the course. Although opinions on this vary, many believe that it is not necessary to present the entire objective to learners and that a simple purpose statement is sufficient.
-3- Stimulate recall
Prompt learners to identify the types of application errors they’ve heard about (could set up as a multiple response question). Ask learners to recall the consequences of those errors (could set up as a free response or matching question).
-4 & 5- Present content and provide learning guidance
Guide learners through the application, and explain how each section should be completed. Provide multiple examples of correct entries and common mistakes. When appropriate, ask questions to prompt learners to anticipate these examples based on their experience.
-6 & 7- Elicit performance (practice) and provide feedback
Present practice exercises in which learners identify errors (or the lack thereof) on sample applications. Provide immediate feedback to learners about the correctness of their responses, and provide hints as needed.
Practice exercises can be peppered throughout the presentation of content and learning guidance to break up the sections of the application. A final practice exercise could be handled as a game where the learner receives points for correct responses and is challenged to earn a certain number of points.
-8- Assess performance
Include a formal assessment at the end where the learner audits a few applications with varying types of errors. Provide learners with feedback after submitting the assessment and offer remediation as needed.
-9- Enhance retention and transfer to the job
Point learners to a job aid they can use on the job, and tell them where they can go with questions. Ensure that learners begin auditing applications shortly after they complete the training. If possible, assign learners to coaches who can check their early work and provide feedback.
In order to maximize training’s success, you must complement a model like this with instructional tactics that align with adult learning principles. Using this basic framework to begin designing an eLearning lesson can help ensure that you’ve included these critical components in your training.
In online learning, there is a need to create more effective interaction between e-learning content and learners. In particular, increasing the learners’ motivation by stimulating their interests is very important. However, for any e-learning system to be effective, the knowledge transfer must occur in a usable, accessible, and functional manner.
Eye tracking can be used to improve the functionalities of an e-learning system. It can dynamically capture users’ behaviors in such a way that determines what they are doing, how much attention they are giving to each topic, where they are stuck, at and in what order they are reading content.
What is Eye Tracking?
Eye tracking is nothing more than using a device to track the movement of the eyes to understand where the subject is looking and for how long . Eye movements are recorded by means of fixation, saccade, and fixation durations.
Fixation is the time taken for processing a particular image by fovea. Saccade is the time taken by fovea to focus its attention from one image to another. In short we can say that saccades are the time interval between two fixations .
There are a few different types of eye-tracking devices. Head-mounted devices are by far the most suitable for studying reading behavior. On the other hand, devices that are integrated into TFT monitors or standalone eye-tracking units are more typically used for market research and usability.
What Can e-Learning Professionals Gain from Tracking Eye Movement? The data collected from eye-tracking devices indicates the person’s interest level and focus of attention. From eye position tracking and indirect measures, such as fixation numbers and duration, gaze position, and blink rate, it is possible to draw information about the user’s level of attention, stress, relaxation, problem solving, successfulness in learning, tiredness, and more . Even emotions can be tracked, and based on the data, the eye-tracking system can provide more personalized learning.
Applications that use eye tracking can be categorized as either diagnostic or interactive . Diagnostic applications show where the learner’s attention has been caught, thus providing evidence of the learner’s focus of attention over time. In the interactive type, the eye movements are used to replace an input system, such as mouse, allowing the user to interact with a computer using only the eyes .
So far, few projects have explicitly considered the use of eye tracking for e-learning. Among these projects, AdELE (adaptive e-learning with eye tracking)  is probably the first that proposed the use of real-time eye tracking to capture learner behavior.
Another interesting project is the empathic software agent interface developed to facilitate empathy-relevant reasoning and behavior, in which eye movements are used to determine the learner’s interest and to provide feedback to character agents .
As with any technology, eye tracking has its weaknesses. One intrinsic limitation is accuracy. It is well-know that the eye constantly performs microsaccade movements, which result in defected data when gathering eye position information . Another limitation arises from the fact that the retina has a small area of high resolution (fovea) to capture a visual object, and to see the object clearly, it has to be centered in the fovea . This makes it difficult to recognize the exact position where the subject is gazing, thus affecting the accuracy of the captured data.
Still, eye-tracking technology can provide many benefits to e-learning, such as facilitating adaptive and personalized learning, as shown in the Adaptive eLearning system , which can make some assumptions about the learner’s emotions and react accordingly. When using eye tracking in e-learning, the learner pays more attention to the learning system and also tends to have a higher level of motivation .
About the Authors
Hend S. Al-Khalifa is an advisory board member for this publication and is part of the Information Technology Department, College of Computer and Information Sciences (CCIS), at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. Remya P. George is a research assistant, also at CCIS, King Saud University. Before joining the Information Technology Department, she worked as a software engineer at several software firms in India. Her current research work is focused on eye-tracking for web design and e-learning.
1. Calvi, C. Porta, M., and Sacchi, D. 2008. “e5Learning, an E-Learning Environment Based on Eye Tracking.” In Proceedings of the 2008 Eighth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies. 376-380.
2. Gütl, C., Pivec, M., Trummer, C., García-Barrios, V.M., Mödritscher, F., Pripfl, J., and Umgeher, M. 2004. “AdELE: A Framework for Adaptive E-Learning through Eye Tracking.” InProceedings of IKNOW.
3. Poole, A. and Ball, L. J. 2005. Eye Tracking in Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Research: Current Status and Future Prospects. In Ghaoui, C. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction. Hershey, PA: Idea Group. 211-219. [PDF]
4. Wang, H., Chignell, M., and Ishizuka, M. 2006. “Empathic Tutoring Software Agents using Real-Time Eye Tracking.” In Proceedings of the 2006 symposium on Eye tracking research & applications. 73-78.
It may not have the nightlife but as a way of accessing a flexible, quality education, I’ve found the Open University can’t be beaten
He was a flying goth with rocker looks. I was a new Open University tutor researching a play. I ventured into the OU room in Second Life, and after a few introductions (He: F04 R08. AL? Me: Yep. A363. R11), we had a long chat about non-Euclidean geometry.
Call me strange, but I found this amazingly thrilling. Living in a rural area, you don’t come across many Gauss experts. Vast academic libraries, with international journals on tap, books and courses to get your brain cranking, people who enjoy a good barney about Shakespeare’s sonnets: the OU has brought all that to my doorstep, and it’s been an absolute joy.
A quick straw poll reveals quite a few of my friends are closet OU students – they just haven’t mentioned it. All over the country, distance learning is helping students overcome not just geography, but also disability, culture, financial and family circumstances.
Susanne Lockie, a full-time mother to three children, told me the mental stimulation has made it a lifesaver: “I need to keep my skills ticking over, but I couldn’t study to a high level without that flexibility. I’ve been able to get credit for my previous full-time study in nursing, which was interrupted when I had a family. I’ve finished my Open degree now, but I need to spend more time with my parents at the moment, so I’m taking a year out before starting on honours.”
Employers tend to be supportive of OU study, knowing that OU students are likely to be unusually determined and committed. That’s why it’s all the more disappointing when you hear lazy “not a real degree, then” comments and ancient stereotypes of tweedy tutors and chalk-and-talk TV. I’ve found the quality of OU learning materials outstanding. The modular structure means you cover the ground systematically, with a clear understanding of context. Elsewhere (I studied at Oxford), I’ve found the learning experience equally stimulating, but much more haphazard.
And these days, you often find the OU logo at the end of some the BBC’s finest factual programmes, including Springwatch and Coast. Playgroup assistant Heather Marshall uses OU materials at work: “The Early learning (E100) DVDs have interviews with leading policymakers, and show professional practice in different nurseries, with diverse cultural backgrounds and much bigger numbers. My boss trained at a local college, without access to that experience. It really helps to bring the world in and broaden your outlook.”
There’s a great site full of available tasters on everything from Textiles in Ghana to Analysing skidmarks (disappointingly about mathematical modelling). But isn’t the experience all a bit – well, lonely? Isn’t university meant to have a social side? Do OU students miss out on the boozing, freshers’ week, parties, friendships? Those great late-night conversations about literature, politics, ideas? The best bits, in other words?
Many courses still have face-to-face tutorials, but more and more of the tuition is moving online. Essays are sent and marked mainly via the internet, online tutorial groups are replacing the legendary summer schools. They’re simply cheaper. My Shakespeare tutor mourned the old days, but admitted that attendance at face-to-face tutorials seemed to be down. Students didn’t have the old appetite for coming out. Intellectual exchange happens online, and tutors have to learn whole new ways to encourage interaction, moderate arguments and keep dialogue flowing, not to mention a whole new language of e-learning.
Education – and the OU – is evolving fast, and not all the changes are ideal. But as a way of accessing a flexible, quality education, it can’t be beaten. At a time when university tuition fees are expected to rise, and places and courses are being cut, it offers a real alternative. Sure, it doesn’t have the nightlife. But it does offer excellent degrees and courses at a reasonable cost, and a 200,000-strong community of students who are genuinely passionate about learning.
You wonder what Willy Russell’s Rita would make of it all. Would she feel cheated by online tutorials? How would Frank cope with marking ETMAs? What would they make of the flying maths goth? I like to think she’d be open to anything. And right now, she’d probably have finished AA316 and A207, and be thinking about A815.
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