Thursday, March 27, 2008
Week 4. Examples of Flexible Learning
Having listened to the paper on "Reorganizing Universities for the Information Age" the first comment I took from the paper was from Peters 2004. His view, the Learner may become more autonomous with the availability of digitally based courses and information leading to more self paced learning. He also said this may lend itself to the student being able to complete the course without a predetermined schedule or timetable.
Without the direct contact of other students and tutors in a Trade based course, the necessary timing of the practical portion of assessments and practice demonstrations could not be achieved on ones own. As I have witnessed on far too many occasions the usual reason for unsafe and incorrect procedures away from the learning and practice environment is the less experienced person is called upon to complete tasks that they have not been correctly critiqued on and have had little practice at.
I would venture to say if a trade course was to go too far into the digital realm
the student would find themselves in that situation far to often. Not fair on the student and could lead to the course's reputation being damaged.
My reference to these comments would be Taylor 2001. "The fifth generation" he dubbed, "Intelligent Flexible Learning" From the same paper: "Besides the relatively commonplace features found in most on line learning systems, fifth generation distance education also incorporates business technologies that streamline instructional material production. These permit multiple types of media outputs from a single source document.
This is what we are trying to move forward in our course, not to have a "Fordist approach" where the Teaching Craft is diminished (Stevens 1996)or the students needs are not fully satisfied, but to cover as many bases as we can for as many learning styles as we can sensibly put in place without sacrificing any of our course content.
On reading the Wiki's: Distance Education/Types of Distance Education Courses, Testing and Evaluation and Electronic Learning I would like to look into using an automated practice system (in the future) for some of our theory based units such as Nutrition and Food Costing. I could have a blend of multi choice and written response to practice questions relating directly to unit standard requirements and to our own more in depth requirements. Posting the assessments with required completion times would certainly give a more flexible approach to what is traditionally the not so favored compulsory portion of our course.
This would free up time for one on one or small group sessions, speed up marking and would show up any individuals problems before the Learner may have to sit the unit exams.
Also the fact that most of our students would feel more comfortable with using this style of "Formative Assessment" than sitting in a classroom at 9-15 on a Monday morning may lead to higher completion rates in these topics. Not to mention the benefit for Learners from out of town that could complete these whole units from home or work.
4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice