Viewing 16 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #22726
      David Read
      Keymaster
        @david

        Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to it’s promise of delivering effective and engaging content/learning and where it failed to deliver what it promised? I would imagine you might have seen some in the last year or so ;-) Can you briefly describe and explain why?

        Also, think of one question you have about the article, maybe something that didn’t make sense or something you’d like to know more about and add it here.


        To give my own responses:

        One occasion where I think e-learning lived up to its promise for me was in helping us to flip our pre-sessional summer school a few years  back. To deal with increased numbers, we moved half of the course online, with students asked to work through interactive content before going to their classes. I think this worked really well with most students fully engaging with the content and freeing up time for the teachers to provide more individualised practice in class. I think it worked because the content was carefully designed by a team of teachers to meet the goals of the programme and was tested thoroughly with students beforehand.

        One time where it really didn’t work – and this is a definite case of when I lost sight of the goal – was when I persuaded our centre to buy a pair of not inexpensive Google Glass (remember them? Glasses with a display in them) as I believed we could use them to record lessons etc and help improve teaching. In this case I hadn’t really thought in much depth about how they could be used and just wanted a chance to play with them. They got used a few times and then became a play toy for our tech team!

        As for the question about the text:

        In EFL/EAP what would be the equivalent language skills that would equate to near and far transfer? I’m not sure I can fully map those to what we do in English.

      • #22894
        Paula Villegas Verdu
        Participant
          @paula_villegas

          Ok, here are my answers

          • Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to its promise of delivering effective and engaging content?  (Is it tacky if I say this course? :mail: ) As a learner, I took the corpora course and that was fab, there was a variety of tasks and the course was designed to foster collaboration so even if it is OL you don’t feel lonely/too remove from the tutor. As a teacher, the team  I am a part of designed some async materials for in-sessional students and then the TEL team moved them OL and made them ‘usable’. They are great materials and students love them.
          • Have you seen examples from your own experience where it failed to deliver what it promised? As a learner, I had to engage with some async materials before attending the virtual study weekends for my EdD and not all of them were effective. I had loads of videos that lasted for over an hour and it just felt a bit boring and I struggle to keep up, just because it was all a bit passive. I can’t quite say as a practitioner as I don’t really design much stuff :-(
          • Think of one question you have about the article, maybe something that didn’t make sense or something you’d like to know more about and add it here. I’d like to know more about the engagement matrix
        • #22895
          Caitlin Coyle
          Participant
            @caitlin

            1. Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to it’s promise of delivering effective and engaging content/learning and where it failed to deliver what it promised? 

            I think that I  have experienced a few very text heavy e-courses with little interactivity and little chance to actually demonstrate your knowledge- not like this course, week 1 applying key instructional design principles to Google slides right off the bat :good:   So I agree  @paula_villegas :-)

            2. Also, think of one question you have about the article, maybe something that didn’t make sense or something you’d like to know more about and add it here

            I thought it was interesting the emphasis on prior knowledge:

            ‘Learners with little prior knowledge will benefit from different instructional strategies than will learners who are relatively experienced’ (p.24)

            I understand students in our courses often do diagnostic language tests or come with evidence of recent IELTs scores. I wonder if there should be needs analyses for technology experience and skills. I know I have actually done them  in my roles albeit on a more on a post facto basis because I already doing the jobs but with the move to online I was asked how I confident I was using Zoom, Moodle, etc. I don’t know if students do these types of tech needs/skills ‘questionnaires’ and I it might be hard as there may be preferences for different platforms, software in different countries/ institutions, but maybe more general questions about knowledge and experience of VLEs/LMSs; attending online lessons? When I planned my online course I didn’t even think about finding these things out. I a quick tour of Zoom and Moodle in my first class an that was it- maybe I should have found out more about the students tech skills as well as language ones? I know the assumption of digital natives is now often questioned. Moreover, there may be considerable diversity in terms of prior language, subject and tech knowledge, and thus a tech needs analysis may give you a better sense of  a class.

             

          • #22898
            David Lincoln
            Participant
              @david-l

              Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to it’s promise of delivering effective and engaging content/learning and where it failed to deliver what it promised?

              I took the EAP digital learning course and it live up to its promise . The instructional content supported the learning and it included some problem solving content with a guided approach. Some of the content on the online courses this year have involved a lot of behavoural content and not a lot of engagment or processing of congnitive skills or problem solving. It was all a bit passive.

              Also, think of one question you have about the article, maybe something that didn’t make sense or something you’d like to know more about and add it here.

              How instructioinal methods support the cognitive process and more about the near and far transfer.:bye:

            • #22904
              Jemima Perry
              Participant
                @jemima

                Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to its promise of delivering effective and engaging content and where it failed to deliver what it promised?

                I agree with Paula’s comments about the Corpus course. I found the activities engaging and useful because they made you practice the features that they had just introduced you to. By practicing a number of times I was able to remember how to use the tools when in the ‘real world’ i might just perform a search once, then the net time I want to do I I’ve forgotten how! (Is this an example of ‘Acceleration of expertise through scenarios’? When I was reading the text I wondered if this promise was relevant in our field, but maybe it is?

                In terms of the pitfalls, again similarly to Paula, I’ve been writing the storyboards for some asynchronous materials this year which TEL have then been transforming into the online materials. I’ve been finding it hard to find useful images and provide multimedia materials. TEL have been doing an amazing job of making the materials more interactive but I feel that the materials themselves have not always been very suitable for online asynchronous delivery.

                Question about the text: I was also wondering about the near and far transfer perform goals. Is it like controlled and free practice of a language point?

                I was also really interested in the idea of customizable lessons which would provide more practice for those that need it and allow other to move on to the next stage. I often provide links to other sites for students to go to if they think they need more practice, but I don’t know how well this works and it would be great to be able to actually build this into the lesson. I guess this needs some super complex software though!?

              • #22906
                Georgina Lloyd
                Participant
                  @georgie_l

                  Eeesh, quite a few online courses don’t quite live up to expectations. I teach on one course (that will remain nameless) where the students are given endless PDFs to download with reams of intructions on them for how to do the task. I feel I can think of a 1001 ways already of how to do this better.

                  This course is nicely living up to expectations, and I think it’s really nicely structured so that the cognitive load is not too much. I enjoyed reading the bit about the ‘discovery’ pitfall – I didn’t understand what they meant by this before reading, but it makes so much sense (this is something I saw far a lot of in conventional f2f EAP teaching too).

                  I also want to pick up on the point about customisation, as quite a bit of what I read in the text I thought, yeah but am I going to able to do that (another case in point being the accelerated expertise). In reponse to @jemima most of the EdTech Language learning firms use AI to personalise learning (they will answer a series of questions when they join the platform and the system will then build a course based on their preferences with no human intervention). They are (maybe quite rightly) very proud of these systems and for them it ticks the personalisation box and this is something they market heavily. I remain a little skeptical…. And no, I won’t be able to offer that myself, but I would offer a more human personalisation, I guess! :good:

                   

                   

                   

                • #22910
                  sue robbins
                  Participant
                    @suerobbins

                    ·         Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to it’s promise of delivering effective and engaging content/learning and where it failed to deliver what it promised?

                    In the rapid ‘pivot’ online last year I moved the module I convene online without enough time to think about how, and lacking the expertise required to do it in a properly informed way. I think this is true for many other modules at my institution and perhaps at others. In my view it’s essential that my institution invests in training and development for staff so that we are able to proceed in an informed way from now on, but am concerned that this will not happen for a variety of reasons unrelated to pedagogy (which is not fore-fronted in the way one might expect). I worry that the fact we have managed fairly successfully this year will be taken as a sign that ‘moving online’ is possible, desirable for all modules, and straightforward. As Clark and Mayer point out it is (unsurprisingly) the quality of instruction in the online environment that most affects student learning. If we are unprepared for teaching in the new medium we cannot optimise learning in the way we have learned how to in the f2f environment.

                    Various elements of the module did work online – particularly a web-based resource that students use for asynchronous study and which is picked up in the online seminars and discussed/scaffolded/extended. Students reported finding the resource easy to navigate and use autonomously; they responded well to the multimedia content (multimedia/UDL); were able to tailor the information to their own research project (customise). The assessed work of the majority of students showed high levels of psychological engagement and the ability (with scaffolding) to engage in far transfer between the exemplars and their own research project.

                    ·         Also, think of one question you have about the article, maybe something that didn’t make sense or something you’d like to know more about and add it here.

                    The authors make the point that delivery and accessibility can be impeded by technology problems. Although online study can make access easier for many groups of people for whom attendance at the physical campus is challenging I am mindful of the fact that for many of my students from a widening participation background access to a private space to study as well as to the required technology and/or a secure internet connection is problematic.

                  • #22912
                    Allison Dresner
                    Participant
                      @spottypoppy

                      I too have had experience of both really engaging and dull eLearning courses, one which will remain nameless but was about TEL and the only manner of providing content was 80% reading endless theoretical journal articles with hardly any practical use of TEL to speak of – I had to force myself to continue with the course due to the upfront expenditure!! It was a slog and as it was university hosted it seemed like it was set in the dark ages – I suspect it had previously been a face to face course which had suddenly been placed online – disappointing and expensive!!

                      I  need variety of instructional methods to avoid me ‘losing the will’.

                      Like others I am wondering how the concept of ‘previous knowledge’ works in designing language courses – for a pre-sessional do I assume that most students will have no previous knowledge about Citing or Referencing for example – at what point is previous knowledge actually ‘knowledge’? :unsure:

                       

                    • #22945
                      Thomas Leach
                      Participant
                        @thomasleach

                        In terms of good experiences of online learning, I completed my MA online with a UK university, which was mostly done asynchronously. It was a really well designed programme and it really changed the way I thought about online learning. I’m currently doing my PhD online with a different UK university but again I’ve been really impressed with the delivery of the programme. It is mostly asynchronous but we have had synchronous seminars and, due to Covid, an online “on-campus” week which was also synchronous. This course has also been excellent and the interactive aspects of it have been both interesting and creatively inspiring.

                        That being said, after my MA, so I was already experienced at learning online and regulating my own learning, I signed up to do an Trinity DipTESOL. Like the DELTA but Trinity College not Cambridge. Anyway, it was awful. The lessons were a mess, it was mostly random PDFs with no guidance or explanation as to why we were reading them. I signed up for it because some places prefer the DELTA over the MA so all of the theoretical stuff I already knew and some of their own developed materials had incorrect information on it. I ended up quitting and losing my money but I spend most of the course wanting to reorganize their work.

                        I’m going to third the near/far question. I used to do a lot of IELTS preparation and so I was trying to think of it in terms of which skills would be considered near, steps repeated identically, compared with far, which promotes more open-ended thinking.

                      • #22956
                        Bernadette Kelly
                        Participant
                          @berniek

                          Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to its promise of delivering effective and engaging content and where it failed to deliver what it promised?

                          Lived up to: Like @david-l , I really enjoyed the LTEAP course and thought there was a great balance of theory and practice.  I also agree with him that some of the content on the courses we have been teaching this year needs improving – there is a lot of scope for increasing the interactive asynchronous content/flipped learning in order to make the synchronous content more engaging and less teacher-centred. But given that we had to switch to online in such a hurry, I think we are getting there bit by bit.

                          Failed: The staff training compulsory e-learning at a previous institution where I worked was just dire. Very long videos followed by a ‘test’ to see if you remembered them.  Sample questions would be “What shape is the label on a CO2 extinguisher?” – this question was asked 40 minutes after you had seen it for 3 seconds on the video. Hilariously inept diversity training – obviously designed by someone who had never been outside his hometown or spoken to an international student, international member of staff or (possibly) any woman.  Happy to say the training has been radically improved since my time there.

                          Question about the text:

                          I’m also curious about the near/far thing as it applies to EAP teaching.

                           

                           

                        • #22962
                          Juliet Parfitt
                          Keymaster
                            @juliet

                            A number of people (e.g. @paula_villegas, @caitlin, @david-l, @jemima, @suerobbins, @spottypoppy, @thomasleach) use terms like engagement, collaboration, interactivity, and involvement to evaluate their e-learning experiences, and some also talk about the importance of practice, demonstration of knowledge, and problem solving (e.g. @berniek, @georgie_l, @david-l).

                            As @suerobbins says, training for teachers is essential, and this goes for students too. I like your idea @caitlin of having some kind of needs analysis. It might also be necessary to offer a technology training session or two to students at the start of their courses.

                            A few of you talk about near/far transfer. I like your suggestion @jemima of comparing controlled practice to freer practice. In terms of EAP, I’d suggest that near transfer could be, for example, learning the mechanical aspects of writing a reference (procedure), but far transfer might be selecting, paraphrasing and interpreting the source (strategies). What do others think?

                          • #22968
                            sue robbins
                            Participant
                              @suerobbins

                              Given transfer is about applying knowledge to new and unfamiliar contexts it is one of the main aims of an EAP course. Transfer is a cognitively challenging task that requires students to realise what they are being asked to do and think about which answers/approaches make sense; infer the most relevant prior learning; try out an approach; and adapt their answer in a novel setting.

                              In my experience students need support and practice opportunities to identify how to apply their knowledge to new situations even when there is little ‘distance’ from how the content was learned to where it’s applied (near transfer) – such as taking a learning point in a seminar and applying it to their own essay. When there is a greater distance (far transfer) – such as taking a learning point from a pre-sessional and applying it to their later studies – students don’t always realise that they need to transfer their knowledge/skills and often fall back on previous methods without us there to support them. Embedding study support into students’ main programmes rather than ‘bolting it on’ can help, as transfer opportunities within their discipline/subject area are easier to identify than if they are required to transfer from a ‘skills’ course to a subject course (far – both cognitively and temporally).

                            • #22969
                              Julie Ibdali
                              Participant
                                @julie

                                Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to its promise of delivering effective and engaging content and where it failed to deliver what it promised?

                                From my experience all the courses that David has put together live up to their promise and deliver clearly the ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of e-learning.  I did an online course (won’t mention which one) about 5 years ago which in technology terms it probably means centuries ago, but it didn’t live unto its promise.  It was just PDF after PDF and forum after forum. I think even the teachers were bored as they seemed to attend the forums less and less.

                                 

                                Like Paula, I would like to know more about the engagement matrix.

                              • #23192
                                Rachel Beresford
                                Participant
                                  @rachel-beresford

                                  Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to it’s promise of delivering effective and engaging content/learning and where it failed to deliver what it promised? Can you briefly describe and explain why?

                                  I think that the pre-sessional course that I am currently teaching on is a good example of effective e-learning. Students have reported that they find the asynchronous content useful, and having them work independently on the material before class allows more time in class for practice and exploring different topics in more depth. While all students complete the same asynchronous content, the weekly tutorials allow students to focus on their specific needs, and there is further asynchronous material, such as a grammar bank, which we can signpost students to, so there is a level of customization.

                                  In terms of examples where e-learning hasn’t lived up to it’s promise, I have done some online training courses which would fall into the category of page turners, described in the Pitfall 2 section. In these courses, there was little opportunity to process the content through practical exercises, and I don’t feel that I engaged with the material, or recalled much of the information afterwards.

                                  Also, think of one question you have about the article, maybe something that didn’t make sense or something you’d like to know more about and add it here.

                                  I was interested in the part about the engagement matrix, as I hadn’t though of engagement in terms of these two different aspects before.

                                • #23245
                                  Aline André
                                  Participant
                                    @aline

                                    I have seen plenty of good examples of e-learning in different contexts over the years. Of course, we are getting better at this as technological tools evolve. I wouldn’t say fail, but changing face-to-face delivery to online lesson delivery was at least tricky. I was unsure whether I was choosing the best tools to address students’ needs, and I couldn’t always know how much students were absorbing or their engagement with materials. The question that has been in my mind for a while now is: how to engage students in this new environment while helping students to operate at high-level thinking? Sometimes, I have the feeling that students are only operating at the top of the engagement matrix (behavioral engagement) and not psychological engagement. I am planning to read chapter 15/16 to check the authors’ guidelines for problem-solving activities.

                                  • #23252
                                    Natallia Novikava
                                    Participant
                                      @natallia

                                      I have done an excellent course on materials development which had the right mix of theory and practice and synchronous and asynchronous elements, much like this course. Like Rachel, I’ve also worked on a pre-sessional course that was a good example of online learning as it used the principles of flipped learning and combined synchronous and asynchronous learning effectively as well as different types of sessions – tutorials, seminars, recorded lectures and webinars.

                                      A negative example of online learning I have observed is a traditional lecture delivered synchronously without any adaptation or consideration for students’ circumstances, e.g. time zone, connectivity issues or their ability to use the learning platform. I’d probably say it’s also an example of ‘Not enough of a good thing’ although of a different kind.

                                      Two things I’d like to know more about are the engagement matrix and how to ensure psychological activity (I sometimes find it challenging even with synchronous learning) and accounting for learner differences. I read about tiered lessons and different entry points used for differentiation but always found them difficult to implement in face-to-face classes so it would be interested to see if/how this can be done more effectively with online delivery.

                                    • #23280
                                      Toshihiko Kitagawa
                                      Participant
                                        @ktoshi

                                        Have you seen examples from your own experience where e-learning both lived up to it’s promise of delivering effective and engaging content/learning and where it failed to deliver what it promised?

                                        Unlike others here, I don’t have much experience of taking online courses apart from several training modules for a new starter at the current workplace and this one.  Am I lucky one?

                                        Looking back how I have been teaching online, I would say it’s neither highly effective nor complete failure but there are many things that can be done better.

                                         

                                        Think of one question you have about the article, maybe something that didn’t make sense or something you’d like to know more about and add it here.

                                        I am wondering what “evidence-based techniques” are like to achieve high psychological engagement.

                                    Viewing 16 reply threads
                                    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.