Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pre-Planning Strategies

Pre-Planning Strategies

What are some of the pre-planning strategies the trainer needs to consider before converting his program?

·         Create an orientation so that effective course orientation can be achieved by students.
·         Depending on how much you need to restructure your course, you can strip the syllabus of dates, directions, goals, and requirements so that you have only content. From there you can restructure the course based on the modality (blended).
·         Make sure you have the course fully functional on the first day so that you can concentrate on teaching.
·         Make sure you have your instructions for students in a multiple locations and are clear and concise.
·         Equate your classroom/face to face activity that is currently implemented and convert & equate the activity level to online/blended.
·         Decide what your pedagogical approach will be:
o   Will it include discussions, individual, collaborative, all of the previous?
o   How much of the course will be performance based now that it is a blended modality?
·         The facilitator is responsible for encouraging individuals in the course to become thoughtful inquirers, autonomous thinkers, and constructive co-learners (Matthews-DeNatale & Doubler, 2000)
·         What constraints can you plan for before the course starts?
o   What constraints might your run into when the course starts?
§  Plan of action should your run into constraints once your course is live?
·         What new evaluation techniques should be created with the conversion of the course (blended)?
·         Align your new learning objects with the entire course.
o   Make sure it aligns with the assessment.

What aspects of his original training program could be enhanced in the distance learning format?

·         Now that all of the information is available online via a server, the instructor should make sure he digitizes as much of the content as possible. This will increase communication and collaboration between all of the students and the instructor.
·         He will also be able to add more media to the current content i.e. videos, graphics, animations, audio etc.
·         Corrections, additions, access, and delivery of the content can be made quickly and efficiently. 

How will his role, as trainer, change in a distance learning environment?

The instructor will still be in charge of facilitating effective, positive and constructive communication. Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) defined teaching presence as “The design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social process for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” (p. 5).

The instructor will now have more flexibility and accesses to his learners with the blended course. However, he will have to learn and build other methods of communication into his course that are directly related to online learning. For example, updates via email, course mail, announcements, etc. Facilitators must engage in meaningful conversation and debate (Simonson et al 2012).

What steps should the trainer take to encourage the trainees to communicate online?
·         Create assignments that require the use of online communication tools.
·         Send updates, comments, instructions, etc via online communication tools.
·         Ensure discussion post and replies are built into the course.
·         Build group projects into the course that can occur asynchronously.
o   Students can communicate and collaborate via e-course tools such as Skype, Wimba, Go To Meeting, Meet Now, etc.
·         Remind students via announcements and tips to collaborate and communicate online.
·         Creating a culture/community is the shared responsibility of all participants, not just the instructor (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012).

Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), 1-17.
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.
Stuttard, E. (2012). Students’ Responsibilities in Online Discussions. Retrieved from

*I can not add the PDF attachment with this particular blog tool*

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