The crisis has forced us to study online, but more needs to be done to build systems in the future
Everyone’s doing online training – like it or not – just like the rest of us are forced to use Teams, Zoom or Skype. It may not be our first choice, but how many conversations have we had over the last few months about why we travel around the world for one hour of a much more effective online meeting with more people to attend is? This also applies to coaches and teachers
Throughout my life, I have watched technology become an integral part of work, home, and education, and I have been accused of trying to use it on the “new end” time and again, but the bloody end is quickly becoming the norm.
When I got to school we had a Commodore PET (!). Between 700 of us and my first valuable computer at home was the ZX Spectrum. During my early teens, over weekends and vacation work, I studied the first Supercalc of its kind to load on a 12-inch drive (no cancellation) and made a number of bills and budgets. In 2006, when I was Principal at Aucklands, we introduced IT champions to every course.
Coronavirus: Transition to Online Learning
Most people don’t like change. Many have spoken with many executives in the Independent Training Provider sector at the Employment and Training Providers Association and colleagues in higher education and have tried to change or plan delivery patterns to include online learning for some time – but resistance has often been significant.
There were no options in the last six months. It is recognized that providing a significant level of assistance through online resources and tools is possible. We’ve all read about the benefits of reverse learning, and allowing teachers and trainers to use their professional training to support each learner with a beat they aren’t getting – technology makes it possible to use this approach effectively, but most importantly with a high level of Quality. And let’s be clear: Technology in education is an instrument that allows for more individual training and further education. If not, we shouldn’t use it.
When I started discussing with Skills Network, a provider I recently became CEO of, about their online offering and country blocking soon after, I thought if there was ever a time where change could really continue. now. In fact, Bob Harrison, former e-learning director and advocate, told me that in three weeks the virus had done more to attract people to online learning than in 30 years.
But what is online learning? Multiple PDFs on the Moodle site? Not exactly. Watching three of my teens trying to study online over the last few months has shown me that online learning isn’t about putting lots of resources online and telling students to read and answer questions on Google forms. This is the difference between libraries and classrooms – and everything in between.
What should we strive for?
I’ve been working for a month. What am I seeing? What should we strive for? What supports students, teachers, coaches, universities, school providers and employers – and supports our various supervisory authorities, whether Ofsted, the agency for education and qualifications finance, Ofqual or hundreds of professional associations? What’s on my checklist – and what does it take for a complete online training, not a mixed approach?
A system where students can register and provide all data online, including signatures.
The ability to assess students’ abilities in doing mathematics and English, as well as their competence and knowledge in the subjects to be studied. Ultimately, it will automatically tailor training for each individual, but this is most likely a mid-term goal.
A training program that uses a variety of media is well structured to motivate and stimulate students. When creating your own resources, every system should have simple but effective build tools.
A system that automatically adds content that learners may need to stretch or challenge beyond their starting point.
E-learning content that focuses on developing broader skills such as critical thinking, research, and academic writing in addition to subject-related topics.
Ability to assess formally and ensure that students have learned during the program.
The ability to interact with students individually and in groups, as well as with groups of students to stay in touch with each other.
A system that allows teachers to participate by requesting return students and formal lessons individually and in groups.
Student follow-up and reporting ability to provide immediate, targeted support when students fall behind or struggle to pass grades.
The final assessment is, as far as possible, fully online and issues electronic certificates, identity cards or records.
Complete follow-up reports for teachers, administrators, and those overseeing the quality, funding, and management of organizations. Data collected through training should be able to identify units that may require adjustment when groups of learners experience difficulties or teachers are not performing as well as their peers and need professional development and present students according to their profiles. and a starting point for developing appropriate approaches for different groups of learners. Many of these can only be done directly, accurately and effectively through online training
And of course there are no restrictions in terms of access, time, place, device, learning needs or learning volume.