Week 3: Discussion on Quality and eLearning Guidelines:
The project that I hope to use for the Evaluation is related to quality aspects of a new eLearning course that I am presently assisting in getting up and running here at UCOL. Briefly, the project is an eLearning Solution to a new Short Course in Preparing for and Enhancing your Career (Level 2).
With this course, the students use a 'virtual visit' to a large Company, as a platform for discovering the neccesary skills and experiences that are important as a job seeker. While they 'visit and observe' all the departments in the Company and 'talk' to relevent people, they are also completing an online electronic CV (which will eventually be hosted by the following company, (www.qjumpers.co.nz). The elearning component is called GETSET (the 'Virtual Tour'), and UCOL have created additional materials to make it into a 15 credit Level 2 programme, with material such as Stress Management, how this affects you in the workplace, along with the neccessary Interview Skills. Currently, the GETSET component is used in a f2f situation, with students being stepped through the programme in a traditional classroom environment. However, with the new UCOL programme, the students will be distance students, studying off campus and will be stepping themselves through the GETSET programme. Therefore all the
neccessary guidance and interaction/feedback will need to be included in the form of extra instructions, with tutor support and learning/feedback e-tivities built into the Elearning part of the course.
The end result of this programme, is that students will have a better understanding of what employers are looking for, understand more of their own traits and skills, how they can contribute to a workplace, resulting in the production of a relevent and
current CV, and to eventually have that CV verfied by UCOL (whilst completing the course). Embedded into the course are 3 Unit Standards, relating to Interview Skills, Problem solving and Stress Management.
One of my concerns is that the students may simply scroll too quickly through the virtual Company Tour, just so that they can get their CV up and running, and therefore possibly not engaging in the real learning aspect of the programme.
We also want to them add as many details as they can to their CV, and if they skim through the programme too quickly, some of the subtle learning that we would want occurring may be missed.
So, these are two of the issues that relate to quality in elearning:
1. Is their enough interaction with the students- how will the tutuors know when the students are struggling? How can we get
them to engage fully?
2. Is the extra course material relevent / will the students use it to add to their current experience?
Following on from the e-Guideline that I looked at last week (which I misquoted actually- it was SD 5 I referred to, not SD 4(http://elg.massey.ac.nz/index.phptitle=Students/Learning_design/Good_practice):
Listed under (Students/Learning Design/Good practice) are some guidelines that can be related to the (quality) issues, the two I hope to explore further for this course are as follows:
SD 3:Do students gain knowledge relevant to employment and/or current thinking in their field?
SD 5: "Do students aquire the learning skills for successfully completing the course?"
In the example of my course, if we were evaluating aspects of the course in terms of quality, I'd still ask "Did the use of interactive tools and forums help the student complete the course"?
By asking such questions, we can evaluate the technology-assess the interaction and check that the knowledge gained is relevent by the CV verifcation process (verify the content). If the CV is verifiable- we could say that the intended outcome is acheived...
There is another quideline as well, that is relevent-
ST 9: Do the technologies employed help students successfully meet the learning outcomes?
I would ask- can the students successfully engage and complete the course in an eLearning format with no f2f contact (apart from the "Interveiw" at the end of the course (to verify the CV)?