TRENDS & ROLES BLOG

distance learning

Trends and Roles

Reflection topic: Distance Learning

Introduction
Distance Learning is a mode of delivering education and instruction, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom. Distance learning provides “access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both. Distance education courses that require a physical on-site presence for any reason have been referred to as hybrid or blended courses of study. MOOCs (Massive open online courses), aimed at large scale interactive participation and open access via the web or other network technologies, are a recent development in distance education.
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New Insights
What new insights have you gained in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play in distance learning? As a first year adult educator I’ve gained a deeper insight to the role that online courses play in our education system. I have learnt that remote locations/communities are estimated to still have a low internet training percentage, this maybe due to funding or access to computers, especially as one report had it, for the most northern Native Indian communities. So whether online education can help reduce potential barriers to accessing education, such as cost or distance, it appears that rural and small town internet users from more remote communities are in fact more apt to go online for distance education. My question is, can online education help reduce potential barriers to accessing education, such as cost and distance. It appears that rural and small town internet users from more remote communities are in fact more apt to go on line for distance education. Myself, living in a largely populated Native Indian community and also a very remote underserved community, I find this fact and insight very true today. As an adult educator I encourage our students to use our on campus computers to help avoid the wall of not having access.

Trends
What are some trends in your field? How are you preparing to address these trends? Today’s adult learners differ still from traditional college students. They tend to be practical problem solvers. Their life experiences make them autonomous, self directed, and goal oriented and they need to know the rationales’ for what they are learning. Also trending with Distance Learning is the learner’s motivation of professional advancement. Distance education also is now providing an option for students to obtain professional degrees without having to uproot themselves or their families. They no longer need to leave their jobs or decrease their hours of work and suffer financially, and are able to still take care of their families. So in turn students are shopping for courses that meet their schedules and circumstances, while still able to complete their degree or course. Wireless technology is a rapidly advancing trend that is not only making distance learning more accessible for learners on a daily basis but cheaper as free wireless cafes are available. Examples of these trends are smart phones, mini note pads (computers), Skype and texting, all things that were not available even 10 years ago for distance learners. As a faculty member, distance education will require us to have specialized skills and strategies to better organize our cyber class. As online educators we will need to be accessible to students and work in teams with our other faculty members. As Distance educators we will need to prepare ourselves to be highly organized and be able to maintain great communication skills, as there are usually no face-to-face real life opportunities with our students.

Web-Conference
Reflect on the Web-Conference experience. How was it? What was one thing that you learned about from your
learning partner? Karen and I were very happy to have the opportunity to work on this Trends assignment together. Both as first year educators we learnt a lot about not only ourselves and each other, but also about adult learners of all ages in our class. We enjoyed our Skype conference and we tossed around many ideas as a topic but concluded on Distance Learning as we both live in an undeserved community and this is a challenge that our population face. We discussed the pros and cons on distance learning. We both found a lot of pro’s, I however found more con’s because I have many personal obligation such as a full-time job, a disabled husband and teaching at the University, as well as 1 last adult child still at home until the end of October. I would have much preferred face-to-face learning. Karen always brings forth such great insight to our topics of conversation and this was no exception. Her busy work schedule and also taking on an extra semester of students, taught us both how important communication and organization is not only for our students but our personal adult education path. Karen taught me to look at ideas in a more grey zone and keep a better open mind instead of being a

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Lesson Planning: Media (possible considerations)

socially-educated

November 7, 2014

Lesson Planning: Media (possible considerations)

 

Media and different audio visual ways to instructor students are vital, for many reasons. Media can be a component of active learning strategies such as group discussions and or case studies. Media can come in the forms of a film clip, podcast, YouTube or even a newspaper article. Being able to teach students how to do a PowerPoint and being able to download TV clips onto their Moodle, are good tools to use as well, but it is all easier said than done. While I am instructing a class, I will use many different forms of media, simply just to keep their interests. A study I read once said that after 10 min of lecture the student is no longer truly listening. For that reason I am constantly changing up my lesson, with you-tubes, handouts, hands-on scenarios etc. Making my students comfortable with their computers and their Moodle for assignments I offer a full day course on the full in’s and out’s of how to use social media, video, TV clips etc and add them to Moodle. Depending on your course you can offer a how to for your students. I found this was greatly appreciated. Making sure to have a great internet provider and connection is key!

 http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.ca/2013/03/5-ideas-to-inspire-students-to-use.html

 http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lesson+planning+useing+forms+of+media&FORM=HDRSC3#view=detail&mid=EED028713745181E9F81EED028713745181E9F81

Lesson Planning: Motivational Techniques

 

motivation-road-sign

 

 

November 7, 2014

Lesson Planning: Motivational Techniques

 As teachers we want our students to learn and progress during our course. In order to do this, we as instructors need to use many techniques. Myself I use humor and stories of personal experiences related to our field of work and study. I chose the link below because I feel it describes best how to motivate all your students, even those who do not wish to even be motivated. By doing this and helping the student meet their learning outcomes, goal setting is an excellent realistic technique. I will have all students write down their learning goals at the beginning of the course and reflect on them at the end of the course. I also liked the method of giving motivational feedback on assignments, tests, and in class labs. Always use a method of teaching however that suits your own personality, as this will seem most genuine.

 http://www.priceless-teaching-strategies.com/student_motivation.html

 http://www.ehow.com/how_4919994_teach-goal-setting.html

Lesson Planning: Characteristics of Adult Learners

child picture anagogy

November 7, 2014

Lesson Planning: Characteristics of Adult Learners

 

As adult learners, to find out what type of learner you are will assist you in being able to not only enjoy your course but be able to get the most out of what is being taught. The resources I have chosen are particularly helpful in showing students the many learning styles and showing them how they will best learn their curriculum. I will also use the link below on Andragogy. I will inform students of the differences between Andragogy and Pedagogy, because as learners they bring a great amount of readiness to learn and this will help them to see how it is self guided and also applied to things learnt in the past. The last link will help show students the characteristics of an adult learner and allow them to better understand themselves and their co-students, in that they all come from varied back grounds and will learn different ways and at different paces.

 

 Merriam, S.B., Bierema, L.L. (2014), Pg. 56-59. Adult Learning, Linking Theory and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

 http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/knowlesa.htm

 http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/547417_3

 http://www.ucd.ie/adulted/tutors/tutorresourcematerials/adultlearningstyles/

 

Lesson Planning: Creating a Positive Learning Environment

 

  kanji_respect

 

November 5, 2014

Lesson Planning: Creating a Positive Learning Environment

Having just finished teaching my first group of students, I can now reflect on the storms n’ norms of the classroom do’s and don’ts. I will most definitely do research into how to talk to my new group of students in the New Year in regards to making a caring environment for all adult learners. We will make a chart of classroom rules that we would all like to see for one another as a guideline and class norms ie: no eye rolling, no sarcasm. Creating respect will be our goal. We will do this by also agreeing to have respectful open communication when difficulties arise. I will use the following sights to help me apply these techniques to my next class.

http://www.brighthub.com/education/online-learning/articles/41064.aspx

 

http://www.humber.ca/centreforteachingandlearning/assets/files/Teaching%20Resources/01%20Laugh%20and%20Learn-B.pdf

 

Self Empowerment