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Online learning

Customloads

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#1
I live in a remote location, which means I am very interested in taking as well as providing distance learning. For example when I want to renew a certificate, or partake of a bit of CPD.

As industries Security and Pre-hospital Emergency Care both lend themselves to online learning, as both jobs can involve a fair bit of travel or standby time. Being able to stay on top of learning material while on the job, means it frees up more of our down time for family.

There are some good providers out there, but there are more poor ones in my experience. And I have yet to find a truly outstanding one.

This gave me cause to think. And in turn to seek your opinion on this method of delivery...

Stage 1) Brief video or slide introduction to the topic, ending in a list of further reading.

Stage 2) The learner then writes their own essay of the topic, something that many people find to be a highly effective way of retaining the info.

Stage 3) A tutor, yes a real person, then asses the work and feeds back anything needed to complete the topic.

That last stage means that there is no need for an exam, which is the notoriously tricky bit to make secure/useable. In the case of a small CPD project there is perhaps only one topic, but for a full qualification then there would be a pattern built up which the tutor can quickly use to gauge whether the learner is doing their own work or just copying and pasting someone else's.

Clearly not all subjects suit this style, but I think it would be more effective and harder to fudge. If the tutors know their subject matter well then the work load is not onerous, which should keep the cost reasonable.
 

archie

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#2
Hi

This is what we do on our distance programmes. If you have a decent platform, you can set exams, but time constraints for release and close of the exam are key and if you get an online glitch such as broadband failure it is a showstopper. We use real tutors to provide feedback to individuals and we get back to our learners rapidly. But the workload is onerous as providing detailed and valuable responses that involves proper guidance and support takes time, effort and thought - without that it is worthless. Security is ideal as a distance subject (connectivity on board ship and for deployed PSD people can be an issue).

The real challenges are producing material that is not too 'static' (ie has some interactive content) and keeping people engaged when they are facing busy op tempo and family priorities. However, we have guided learners from short course to Masters level and we are getting better, but always striving to get better. It doesn't suit everyone, but those who engage manage just fine. We do a Foundation Degree in Protective Security Management, Business Continuity Diploma, BA Security Consultancy, Certificate in Security Management, MSc in Business Continuity, Security and Emergency Management all by distance.
 

Merit Training

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#4
The challenge is creating a great interactive online learning environment that can still be accessed via slow connection. A lot of our students are on slow boats or in the sandpit with little or no online learning.

We do a blended learning system where they can have a textbook or powerpoint slides on their iPad while sitting in a hardened vehicle waiting for their principle.

Nothing beats hands on learning though. Everything that we do online is backed up by classroom time. One of our instructors has a saying: "There are two types of learning: Head Knowledge and Hand Knowledge"
You don't really have your information until it is so ingrained that your hands can move through the skills without you having to think about it. Your head knowledge seems to go away when the lead is flying around.

Online learning alone cannot replicate that. But it is the best option for lads who are in rough parts of the world who want to keep their minds sharp and who want to better themselves.
 

rhea

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#5
That last stage means that there is no need for an exam, which is the notoriously tricky bit to make secure/useable.
I know nothing on the medical side but without an adjudicated exam would a governing body accept just a course completion certificate?

I mention this as a friend completed an on line Yachtmaster Ocean theory course but is now having problems with the MCA and renewing a commercial endorsement.
 

Customloads

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#6
There are ways to have online RYA quals accepted, but the training provider needs to know in advance.
 

archie

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#8
The challenge is creating a great interactive online learning environment that can still be accessed via slow connection. A lot of our students are on slow boats or in the sandpit with little or no online learning.

We do a blended learning system where they can have a textbook or powerpoint slides on their iPad while sitting in a hardened vehicle waiting for their principle.

Nothing beats hands on learning though. Everything that we do online is backed up by classroom time. One of our instructors has a saying: "There are two types of learning: Head Knowledge and Hand Knowledge"
You don't really have your information until it is so ingrained that your hands can move through the skills without you having to think about it. Your head knowledge seems to go away when the lead is flying around.

Online learning alone cannot replicate that. But it is the best option for lads who are in rough parts of the world who want to keep their minds sharp and who want to better themselves.
Agree - for training and demonstrating skills and drills. For education: study, evaluation, analysis and development of ideas distance is fine- as long as the material and support online is good. If that isn't accessible, as with your students and some of ours, then the problems arise.
 

Merit Training

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#9
There is plenty that can be learned online without classroom time. Take a look at Coursera who provide uni credit for online training at a fraction of the cost.

CPD can be earned online. I do most of my paramedic requirement through WMS.org. They have a great set up for CME education plus their Fellowship for the Academy of Wilderness Medicine is a great course.

If you don't want credit or certification there are plenty of youtube videos that can be downloaded into your ipad or other device for learning on the road. I like to call it "Youtube Internship." I will also convert youtube videos to MP3 files and listen to them whilst driving.

Cheers
 

operator144

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#10
There's also 'American CME' and Boundtree University that do free online Medical CPD. It is of the video / test style with exam/quiz at the end.
 

archie

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#11
There is plenty that can be learned online without classroom time. Take a look at Coursera who provide uni credit for online training at a fraction of the cost.

CPD can be earned online. I do most of my paramedic requirement through WMS.org. They have a great set up for CME education plus their Fellowship for the Academy of Wilderness Medicine is a great course.

If you don't want credit or certification there are plenty of youtube videos that can be downloaded into your ipad or other device for learning on the road. I like to call it "Youtube Internship." I will also convert youtube videos to MP3 files and listen to them whilst driving.

Cheers
Just a note of caution here - Coursera programmes do not give you academic credits! They are great free sources of background info and knowledge and provide an excellent resource and this type of thing has a big future. But (from their T&Cs):

'You acknowledge that the Statement of Accomplishment, and Coursera’s Online Courses, will not stand in the place of a course taken at an accredited institution, and do not convey academic credit. You acknowledge that neither the instructors of any Online Course nor the associated Participating Institutions will be involved in any attempts to get the course recognized by any educational or accredited institution, unless explicitly stated otherwise by Coursera.'

They do have further options - 'In selected Online Courses, you may have the option to enroll for additional services (e.g., the Signature Track or ACE-CREDIT courses) in specific courses for a fee.' But they do cost and still no credits - example here: https://www.coursera.org/signature/course/musicproduction/971044

It is crucial to get this: academic courses take a great deal of time, effort and quality assurance to develop. These programmes are effectively short courses with no credits. However, as long as potential learners are aware of that, haven't paid money in the expectation of achieving credits, and learn something in a way that suits them, there is little in the way of downside.

The only other caveat is that although great for learning, less great for demonstrating to employers your academic capability. Things may change and I, as someone in Higher Education, am a big supporter of that. I'm even more of a supporter of return on investment for learners!

Cheers
 
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