and Time Table
International Online Workshop
in e-Learning" - Notes
Carmen Holotescu and Jane Knight
second online workshop organized together by e-Learning
Centre UK and Timsoft
Romania ran 23-30 June 2002, the moderators being Jane Knight, founder e-Learning Centre UK and Carmen Holotescu,
topic "Methodologies in e-Learning" started challenging debates
and sharing for the 90 participants, from five continents. The virtual
environment was a variant of eLearnTS developed
by Timsoft, offering all the facilities needed for a successful workshop.
important for the workshop success were the keynotes generously offered
by Dr.Nic Nistor
- Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, University Munchen, Germany, and Claude
Whitmyer - Research,
training, publishing, and consulting on virtual communications and e-learning,
Styles and implications for e-Learning Strategies
- Carmen Holotescu & Jane Knight
identify and to discuss the following topics
related to "Methodologies in e-Learning":
Styles and the implications for Instruction
and Methodologies used in e-Learning
Based Learning Methodology
Page: Papers proposed for initial discussion
Page: Other online resources
will be permanently opened:
"Learning Styles and implication for e-Learning
"Problem Based Learning"
"Case Study Approach"
"It's your turn"
till the next Online Workshop:
"Keep in touch"
Learning - Nic Nistor
the first debate of our workshop, we propose you to focus on Learning
Styles and their
implication in e-Learning Strategies. The
theme would demand a whole workshop - of course the discussion here will
lead to further reflection. We'll try to investigate multiple points of
view, as some of us come from universities, some from industry, some from
more than a quarter century, learning style theory has knocked on the door
of universities and of corporate training offices offering itself as a
credible alternative to one-size-fits-all instruction. Now that technology
has given us the means to deliver truly individualized learning, it begs
the question: Is it time to let learning
styles come in?
to getting and keeping learners actively involved in learning, to reduce
learning time, to improve knowledge retention and to increase motivation
lies in understanding learning style preferences. From adjusting instructional
strategies and teaching materials to meet the needs of a variety of learning
styles benefit all learners.
A. Kolb defined the Four Learning Styles:
are different ways to classify learning styles: perceptual modality, information
processing, and personality patterns - The
Critical Technology - www.learnativity.com/download/Learning_Whitepaper96.pdf.
It's very important to identify individuals, or groups of individuals,
with similar learning styles, then constructing learning activities around
the curriculum that correspond to their style.
combines preferences for experiencing and reflecting
combines preferences for reflecting and thinking
combines preferences for thinking and doing
combines preferences for doing and experiencing.
recent articles of Nishikant Sonwalkar:
the Interface of Education with Revolutionary Learning Technologies
Sharp Edge of the Cube: Pedagogically Driven Instructional Design for Online
Education focus on pedagogically driven design principles for online
education. Sonwalkar defines The
Five Fundamental Learning Styles for Online Asynchronous Instruction:
Blackmore's says in the Learning
Styles article - cyg.net/~jblackmo/diglib/styl-a.html:
"Students who are actively engaged in the learning process will be more
likely to achieve success, as they begin to feel empowered and their personal
achievement and self-direction levels rise."
- A “building block” approach for presenting concepts in a step-by-step
procedural learning style
- Based on “events” that trigger the learning experience. Learners begin
with an event that introduces a concept and provokes questions
- Learners are first introduced to a concept or a target principle using
specific examples that pertain to a broader topic area
- Based on stimulating the discernment of trends through the presentation
of simulations, graphs, charts, or other data
An inquiry method of learning in which students learn by doing, testing
the boundaries of their own knowledge.
and an active learner role, as well as solution-centered activities are
key concepts of Andragogy
- introduced by Malcolm Knowles
in the USA.
most articles show that adults
are: autonomous and self-directed, goal oriented, relevancy oriented (problem
centered), practical and problem-solvers, have accumulated life experiences.
Teaching Models Guide gives an overview of
the most known and used teaching strategies - www.edtech.vt.edu/edtech/id/models/index.html,
classifying them as being: instructor-directed, student-instructor negotiated,
share our experience and insights:
your programs adapt to the learners styles?
do you evaluate them?
a learning style be changed or improved?
teaching strategies do you use?
are the barriers to making better use of individual learning styles?
Study Approach - Carmen Holotescu
learning - PBL - is an educational theory
that arose from the observation of the way people learn in real-life situations.
has been successfully applied in several domains of teaching and learning,
and it is expected to stimulate similar learning performance in virtual
learning environments too. PBL should avoid the acquisition of inert knowledge
and support knowledge transfer - Reinmann-Rothmeier & Mandl, 1999.
order to achieve this, problem-based learning environments have to fulfill
should start from authentic problems
find place in authentic and multiple contexts, as well as in a social context,
should receive instructional support in order to avoid cognitive overload.
question is: What is the meaning of authenticity in this context? Common
sense regards authenticity in connection with reality. If we think of virtual
learning environments, we have to admit that it is hard - if not quite
impossible - to embed reality into them.
more, we know that high authenticity can reduce learning performance, either
because learners are being distracted from the actual learning, or because
the learning situation generates emotions that leads to a similar distraction.
In other words, authenticity is quite recommendable for the design of learning
nevertheless too much authenticity can disturb the learning process and
a few questions for our discussion:
of PBL can you think of from your "learning history"? Why do you think
learning in these cases was problem-based? How was the learning environment
built? To which extent and through which features was it authentic?
of an example of topic that you would like to teach problem-based (and
that is not yet being taught problem-based). How would you build a problem-based
learning environment for this purpose? In which sense would you understand
authenticity in your environment?
Projects - Claude Whitmyer
Study Approach represents another successful
teaching methodology which increases student learning, retention, analyzing
situations, critical thinking, research and collaboration skills. It is
relevant for most fields, but used extensively in law, business, medicine,
education, architecture, and engineering.
a prepared case can be used, but when new cases are developed, the instructor
should focus on an important dilemma or issue, create enough detail for
the students to comprehend the case, and choose a situation about which
there is room for debate and several possible courses of action. Case studies
present real or hypothetical situations that demand group discussion to
develop recommendations or achieve a preferred solution (make decisions
I have learnt about this methodology in a wonderful online workshop organized by University of Maryland USA, facilitated by the energetic Chris Sax - thanks, Chris!
The following presentation is an adaptation of that offered by Chris.
Use Case Studies?
& engage students with course content
students' time on task
analysis & conclusions on the part of students
students to think
relevance to the course content.
is a Case Study?
read also what Kipp Herried says in Case Studies in Science - A Novel
Method of Science Education - ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/teaching/novel.html.
is a story
with a message
is a realistic
everyday scenario that is based upon and integrates multiple areas of content
"issues" related to the "science"
conflicting data and criteria
a problem and a discussion of the problem and its potential solutions.
Makes a Good Case?
in the past 5 years
empathy with characters
to the reader
dilemmas be solved
Does a Case Look Like?
contains the following basic elements:
does one of these case studies look like? An excellent source of fully
developed case studies can be found through the National
Center for Case Study Teaching in Science,
which is located at the University of Buffalo. We encourage you to take
a moment now to visit this site: ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/case.html.
Click on UB Case Study Collection, then choose an area of general
interest to you, and then a case study whose title catches your eye. Examine
this case for the elements listed above.
goals and objectives
characters and perspectives
dilemma, or question to be solved
of a "story"
and assessment questions
zoom in a little closer. The basic steps in creating a case study are:
you don't have enough time to write a full-blown case, story and teaching
notes. Then you may base the cases on a general idea or an article take
from the news which fits the topic.
a topic in the curriculum
all the possible subtopics
the "blocks of analysis"
your purpose in using this case
the specific learning objectives for the students
characters in your story
the case from the perspective of one character
study, assessment, and discussion questions
other possible work for the students
to a number of case study collections are available at: ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/webcase.htm.
the basic steps to follow when using a case study:
is Carmen's Case
Study for a Web Technology Online Course.
lessons, lectures, readings on the course content
students with the case study and study questions for their reading and
a discussion based on the case study
follow-up assessment work (quiz or research paper covering the science;
individual position paper or essay covering the problem/dilemma/issues.
serves as discussion facilitator, probing for detail, support for arguments,
let's move on to the perspectives section of this conference. :
see how the case study approach may or may not be useful in your courses?
already use it, please provide us a few details on the topic, the case
format ( a general idea, story line, or article upon which you based the
case ), learners participation.
find in the recommended resources case studies that can be used in your
courses? Tell us about them.
Your Turn! - Jane Knight
a group together for collaborative work or study is a complex process requiring
careful planning, facilitation, and management. At FutureU when we embark
on a collaborative project, whether learning or work related we use the
following steps for both higher education and corporate clients (from this
point forward I will assume that any "project" we are talking about could
be either a traditional workteam project or a study group or learning experience):
Your Needs Back to Menu
Your Web Site
successful collaborative project or learning experience begins with a discovery
period. Questions about attitudinal readiness of the team members or learners
must be addressed. Technological capabilities must be assessed, including
both skill and the availability of hardware and software. Space for face-to-face
meetings must be determined and reserved. The tools needed for the online
classroom must be chosen.
Your Tools Back to Menu
the project needs have been determined it's time to choose the right tools.
virtual teaming or online learning is actually "blended." That is, it contains
some face-to-face learning experiences as well as online. The more face-to-face
you plan to deliver, the more different your online tool set will become.
A fully 100% online course would need to replace all the components of
a traditional meeting or classroom. To effectively decide which tools to
use, one must clearly understand the difference between the physical and
electronic space. For details on these differences check out FutureU's
study guide on the "Physical
versus Electronic Classroom."
Your Web Site Back to Menu
Internet provides a venue for a wide variety of very powerful communicating
and learning tools including real-time meeting spaces, time and space-independent
discussion forums, live chat, course authoring tools, electronic classrooms,
gradebooks, file and data sharing tools and so forth. Building a project
or course Web site makes it easier to bring all the tools you are going
to use into a single virtual space where it is easy for participants to
access them. And it also makes it possible to create privacy and security
for information you don't want the rest of the world to see. FutureU offers
extensive guidance about the various online tools you might use in The
Bargain Hunter's Guide to Building Your Course Web Site.
Best Practices Back to Menu
is a critical step in making sure your project or learning experience works.
Best practices means both the way you use the technology and they way you
facilitate the process. Building community, facilitating participation,
and performing basic management tasks are all key to creating a stimulating
supportive environment for learning and collaboration. The following FutureU
study guides go into more detail on six key best practices for collaborative
work or learning:
A Community Covenant
An Opening Celebration
the Learning Back to Menu
average person quickly forgets a majority of what has been presented in
a meeting or learning experience. To make up for this it is possible to
use the semi-automated characteristics of Internet-based communication
tools to reinforce the communication or learning. Following up with reminders
and questions about how to apply the learning or work agreements in the
day-to-day environment consolidates the learning or behavior and helps
make it more applicable in the real world. It's easy to send out a summary
of findings and agreements from a work meeting or special suggestions for
ways to apply key learning from a particular lesson.
Program Success Back to Menu
get what you measure. If you want a behavior change, measure the behavior.
If you want an increase in the ability to recall facts or procedures, use
standardized testing. If you want faster typing, count keystrokes.
be careful what you measure. If you count only keystrokes without also
counting accuracy, you'll get rapidly produced, completely unreadable pages.
we have followed these simple procedures our collaborative projects and
and learning outcomes have always turned out superior to any other approach.
I invite your questions and comments.
these steps all seem necessary to you?
Whitmyer, CIO and Chief Community Strategist
not, do you have examples of when you skipped one or more of these process
and still had a successful project or learning experience?
their additional steps or possible sub-steps that you think are important
you have a different approach that gives you good results?
not the technology; it's what you do with it.
|For this last
conference "It's your turn", we are inviting you to help us create a Gallery
of projects based on some of the strategies that we have been discussing
over the last few days.
a short entry in this conference which includes a link to your own course
site or a course site that you know, together with a few
what we will find there or what you think is of particular interest.
© 2002 by Carmen Holotescu and Jane Knight.