Archive for May, 2012

Distance Learning: Week 3 Assignment

May 20, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Walden 6135

Distance Learning: Week 3 Assignment

May 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Week 3 Assignment

Application: Blog—Selecting Distance Learning Technologies

Blogs are typically conversational and informative. I will blend both as I delve into asynchronous training solutions for “Example 3.”

I have relatives who work in automobile manufacturing plants in Michigan. I’ve heard first-hand there are no unions, contracts, paramedics, or doctors that can fix negative interactions between man and machine.

That is why I have chosen to focus on “Example 3” of our Distance Learning class.

“Example 3: Asynchronous Training

In an effort to improve its poor safety record, a biodiesel manufacturing plant needs a series of safety training modules. These stand-alone modules must illustrate best practices on how to safely operate the many pieces of heavy machinery on the plant floor. The modules should involve step-by-step processes and the method of delivery needs to be available to all shifts at the plant. As well, the shift supervisors want to be sure the employees are engaged and can demonstrate their learning from the modules.”

Essentially, we are tasked with creating a series of safety training modules for a manufacturing plant that needs help. In addition to the training, we need to focus on asynchronous delivery because we are dealing with shift workers.

I will focus on the benefits of Course Management Systems (CMS) and Podcasting as forms of asynchronous delivery of these critical training materials. Each method would first require training students to use the medium.

I believe both CMSs and Podcasts can support the application of “adult learning principles with nontraditional students.” (Simonson, Smaldino, Albreight, Zvacek. P. 136. 2012) This includes that notion that if our students are working adults, “the course design should incorporate the basic principles of adult learning. Adults are more self-directed and have specific reason for taking the course.” (SSAZ. P. 136. 2012).

In our case, it appears safety is the issue. That would be a big motivator if I was a rank-and-file employee, a manager, or an executive.
Our text indicates an andragogical approach would include activities and assignments focused on the immediate needs of the leaners. They need to know how to safely operate heavy machinery on the plant floor.

A CMS potentially allows

  • instructional designers to craft individual modules for specific behaviors/skills
  • learners to access these modules ad-hoc/as needed or sequencing can be enforced
  • interaction between learner and instructor
  • recording of learner start and completion dates
  • transcripts
  • pre and post assessments
  • grades
  • flexibility of access because of the Internet

While I’m a big fan of CMSs. I am a member of the E-Learning Guild and cannot discount the emerging value of mobile learning to communities outlined in our scenario. I believe individuals in “Example 3” can benefit from portability of their learning experiences.

A Video Podcast allows

  • Instructional designers to craft individual modules for specific behaviors/skills
  • learners to access these modules
  • video demonstration of key concepts
  • access via portable devices including laptop computer, PDA (smart phone), and tablet device

(Sloan, Shea, Lewis. P27. 2010) argue that video podcasts were “generally seen as less useful than audio podcasts. This is primarily because of the need to stop multitasking and, if the charts or graphs are detailed at all, view them on a device with a larger screen than an MP3 player, like a computer.”

I’d counter that by saying a lot has changed in two years including the increase in screen size and resolution of devices.

Concluding, I believe only time will tell, but technology trends coupled with applied instructional design offer great portable potential in the academic, business, and manufacturing education environments.

Works cited:

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson

Sloan, T. Shea, T. and Lewis, D. (2010) “Use of New Technologies in Distance Education: The Case of Operations.” California Journal of Operations Management, 8(1) 21-30.

“The eLearning Guild : Learning Management Systems 2008 : Research Library”, n.d. from:

Categories: Walden 6135

Week One Assignment

I feel the definition of distance learning is always changing because our definitions of “distance” and “learning” are always changing.

For example, air travel, the telephone, and Internet have breached barriers of distance. Additionally, E-learning has continued to evolve with technology to deliver “learning” and “education.” This has taken us from correspondence courses, to closed-circuit television, to the Internet.

ID professionals have managed to ensure institutionally-based formal education can connect learning groups (teacher, student, resources) regardless of geography and time (Simonson, 2012)

I can relate this to my own experience of older relatives taking courses by mail. In my rural community, it was common for the school district to use its television networks to deliver instruction in subjects such as advanced French and physics.

The caveat is that regardless of the situations outlined above, educators need to be proficient in the technologies required to deliver effective instruction. I know veteran educators who say they know the principals of instructional design, but cannot apply them in distance – specifically online – environments. This supports the notion that “Not only is there a pedagogical difference, but also the inclusion of technology often requires new skill sets, new ways of thinking, new time and resource management skills, new ways of communication …” (Moller, Foshay & Huett. 2008. P. 68)

My personal definition of distance education (DE) has always included a model of “one-to-many.” This can mean one instructor off-site delivering content to many learners or one medium (with multiple instructors) delivering content to many learners. However, I do acknowledge that DE can be one-on-one. This week’s readings have confirmed my personal definitions.

I’d like to think distance learning can move away from societal stigmas and faculty fear to large scale adoption and even collective bargaining for its employees. I work for a labor union. Hence, I believe “course development, control of the learning process, collaboration, and intellectual property rights are not the only adjustment issues for faculty. Faculty also have concerns about training, salary, workload, and promotion and tenure.” Everything in the aforementioned-sentence can be addressed by a collective bargaining agreement.  (Moller, Foshay & Huett. 2008. P. 68)

Finally, I was home schooled for a few grades of secondary school. I’d be interested to see what DE can contribute on K-12 levels to home-schooling parents in the United States.

Works Cited:

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, N., &Zvacek, S. (2102). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearosn.

Chapater 2, “Definitions, History, and Theories of Distance Education” (pp. 32-41)

Moller, L, Foshay, W., & Huett, J (2008). The Evolution of distance education:  Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4). 66-70

Categories: Walden 6135

Welcome to My

May 2, 2012 2 comments

I’m studying Distance Education at Walden University via a method of distance education. Does this mean I’m wearing the sweater and knitting it at the same time?

Categories: Walden 6135