Increasing Learning Transfer in eLearning

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT INSTRUCTION

What is the point of learning? Why do organizations and individuals invest significant time and resources in educational opportunities each year? Though many people have surely endured trainings that felt so irrelevant and meaningless that these very same questions came to mind, in reality the purpose behind most learning investments is to influence a desired outcome or change. Whether the desired result is progress toward subject mastery required to earn a degree or employee performance improvement to impact a company’s bottom-line, achievement of that outcome relies on newly-acquired knowledge being applied in context(s) outside the learning environment. In other words, for instruction to fulfill its purpose beyond the classroom, learning transfer must occur.

Achieving effective learning transfer is actually pretty hard to do, though, even in well-facilitated face-to-face instructional settings. When you take instruction fully online, real knowledge transfer can be even more difficult to attain. And, too often, when eLearning participants fail to master and apply new skills, the online environment itself is blamed for the failed learning transfer rather than the instructional design.

ELEARNING DESIGN BEST PRACTICES FOR OPTIMAL LEARNING TRANSFER

It is not impossible, however, to deliver virtual learning content that supports and even accelerates learning transfer. Is it often difficult? Sure. Does it require a unique and deliberate instructional design process? Absolutely. But it can be done. Here are five tips for designing eLearning to maximize learning transfer:

1. Complete a thorough assessment of the organizational goal(s) and the targeted learner

This might sound like common sense, but it is shocking how often this critical first step is left incomplete or is skipped altogether. Before you can design any effective eLearning program, you must understand the learners who will be engaging with it. The technical capabilities & access, existing skills & skill gaps, any prior knowledge that should be called upon during the learning process (part of instructional scaffolding), and the context in which the learners are likely to apply new knowledge are all factors that should greatly inform instructional design decisions.

It is also important to have extreme clarity around the organizational end-goals inspiring the investment in new eLearning content. It is not at all uncommon for a company to think it simply needs to beef up its customer service training in order to solve a declining customer satisfaction rates but, in the end, the root issue is more systemic. Still solvable, just not with the customer service training they originally sought. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that get to the why-behind-the-why before you go down a specific design path. A complete and accurate assessment at the outset ensures the final product facilitates learning transfer that will actually impact the organization’s desired outcomes.

2. Provide ample opportunities for practice

Regardless of the content category, the only way to ensure learning transfer in eLearning is to include lots and lots of practice. This is especially important for building-block knowledge, theoretical principles, and dependent processes upon which the course’s terminal learning objectives are based. Practice opportunities should be varied, in both format and cadence, to maximize the potential for transfer to long-term memory.

Regular practice exercises also provide early and consistent insights into how each learner is digesting and understanding the eLearning content, which provides opportunities for both individual intervention and content optimization, based on trends observed at the cohort-level.

3. Make content relevant and linked to real-world application

For knowledge to stick, it needs to be applied to appropriate scenarios in different contexts. With certain process-oriented knowledge, this is fairly easy to do in an online environment. But attaining contextual parity for more interactive environments requiring the application of critical thinking skills is not so simple.

To expose learners to authentic application-based eLearning, incorporate interactive case studies and branching scenarios that allow for individualized decision making and feature personalized feedback at specific decision-points throughout the learning path.

4. Utilize collaborative instructional strategies and tools

There are more virtual collaboration tools out there today than existed just a few years ago. And experts in learning transfer agree that collaborative activities are especially instrumental in knowledge retention.

In addition to the familiar collaborative tools from Google (Docs, Hangouts) that support collaborative eLearning strategies, there are many exciting new options to enrich the online learning space. Here are just a few:

  • OoVoo: A fluid (and free!) video chat tool
  • Conceptboard: Easy-to-use, virtual whiteboard to enable effective online group work
  • Cacoo: Allows multiple users to work on flowcharts, mind maps, wireframes, and much more in an intuitive and real-time environment

5. Design an appropriate learning assessment strategy

How do you know if learning transfer is actually happening unless you are actually looking for it? In addition to practice opportunities and relevant application throughout the eLearning content sequence, a well-designed assessment strategy that targets the end-goals of the eLearning initiative and the participants’ ability to reliably (and continually) achieve those goals, is perhaps one of the most important considerations in eLearning design.

The standard-setting model for assessing whether learning transfer has actually occurred is Kirkpatrick’s Summative Assessment Theory. Based on this model, it is only possible to know that learning transfer occurs in level 3 evaluation (Can Learners apply the knowledge and skills beyond the course or training?). So it is important to develop an assessment strategy that not only includes in-course testing and assessment, but also post-training evaluation. Some options for an effective post-evaluation include learner surveys, comparative performance benchmarking, and surveys/interviews with organizational members/departments impacted by the training.

DESIGN STRATEGY IS KEY

Delivering training online is an increasing necessity in today’s global, telecommuting work world. And eLearning content that is engaging, relevant, and promotes effective learning transfer is possible with the right instructional design strategy. Just as with anything worth doing, eLearning design is worth doing well.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9461560

Technological Advancements in Online Examinations

Technology plays an important role in our lives today. It has penetrated into almost all the departments that we know. Education is no exception to this rule. Gone are the days when educational institutions had to burn the midnight oil to prepare exam papers for their students. Today, these question papers can be prepared in a jiffy, thanks to the technological advancements. Currently, there are lots of software packages that aim to make your life easy by creating innovative, responsive and interactive exam papers for all levels. Let us now look at some of the features and benefits of these packages:

Win-win situation for the teacher and the taught

Online examination software’s main objective is to create a mutually beneficial scenario for the educational institutions and the students. Self-explanatory and straightforward questions with relevant options make the lives of students easier, as they don’t have to waste time in reading between the lines like they usually do in the traditional format of exams. For the institution, this software not only helps in preparing the questions but also helps immensely in correcting, tracking and grading as well. You can easily download these packages from the internet and use it on your mobiles, laptops, tablets and desktops as they are compatible with all platforms.

Detailed performance analysis

Online examination software can be downloaded by anyone by paying a subscription fee. It is very easy to use and comes loaded with some great features that bring about a great deal of time and cost savings for you. They are:

– Interactive Admin Dashboard

– Clear demarcation of subjects and exam groups

– Charts to demonstrate performance levels

– Option to add multiple subjects

– Variety of questions

– Categorisation of questions according to their difficulty levels

– After-exam supports in the form of explanation

– Editing options

– Ability to export the questions from this software to another file for future reference

– Smooth student management support

– Exam control features like defining the number of attempts, permitting negative marking, access to free exams, setting time limits for taking up certain exams, giving students, access to answer sheets after correction, etc.

Reliability

When you use a reputed online examination software that is trusted by hundreds of educational institutions in the world, you will get full value for your money. There is absolutely no human intervention in this; therefore, chances of errors are zero. The software prepares questions across various levels and subjects and categorises them accordingly so that it is easily accessible by the students and the boards. Institutions are given special access permissions to evaluate the papers and grade students accordingly in these packages. Similarly, students are given full permission to choose the papers of their choice, as per the subscription plan they have chosen.

Cost Benefits

Using a reliable online examination software package ensures that you get the best of both worlds – cost benefits and professional services. It costs you a hefty sum when you opt for individual services from any web development company for online exams. When you choose a package as a whole, you get a host of user-friendly, well-categorised and a structured process, all within a reasonable price structure.

The online examination system in PHP format in Edu Expression software has been designed to provide ultimate flexibility and comfort for the educational boards and the students. With clear categorisation of sections, both the parties find it easy to navigate the paper and derive maximum benefits out of it.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9554548

Enhance Your Business Capabilities With Big Data And Hadoop

As technology is pacing at a rapid rate, it is important to embrace the most innovative and creative approaches that are not only helpful in tackling things smartly, but also empower organizations in a bigger way. Today, there are many frameworks and approaches have surfaced that are highly precision-oriented and order seemingly in order to build competitive companies. Some trends are becoming ubiquitous that will take the businesses to the next level of excellence in the future such as big data and hadoop. These are re-defining and revolutionizing the overall understanding of data and its processing. These are highly smart and accurate tools that can bring a massive change in the business landscapes.

Companies Are Embracing Frameworks and Approaches

Most companies are making conscious decision to embrace such frameworks and approaches that are required for the information revolution. In fact, these things are really useful for the businesses to survive in the fast growing environment. The role of big data in varied industries seems almost compelling and allowing companies to have data-driven approaches to have better understanding of the market. The significance of big data cannot be ignored when it comes to the transformation of the businesses.

The Role Of Big Data In Different Industries

Today, the role of big data in different industries is growing like never before; it has eliminated all the limitations and allowed managed to procure, refine and analyze data to take measurable steps. It has certainly increased the understanding of the market, user behaviour, and much more, which can improve the company’s bottom lines.

The approach of big data integrates everything and gives accurate results to analyze. Moreover, companies have also mitigated the risks involved and improved the operational standards. No doubt, it has fine-tuned the working capacity of the organizations and allowed managers to improve the working efficiency at almost all the levels of the company.

Data Managers Can Cost-Effectively And In Real-Time Analyze Data

Today, data managers can cost-effectively and in real-time analyze data to get insight into business. They can easily merge incoming data from customers, and other devices to make fine decisions through greater context. They can enhance their skills and knowledge by obtaining and interpreting more and more data precisely.

Today, more and more professionals are choosing Big Data and Hadoop to empower their organization and enhance their capabilities. They are joining top institutes that offer big data and hadoop certification courses for the working professionals.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9551473

How to Search for Schools When Moving to a New Area

Sometimes the search for a school can carry slightly more issues than normal, and this is particularly the case if you are moving to a new area. You may be moving jobs, or moving back to the place you grew up – whatever the scenario, you are left with the task of searching for schools in a new area you may not necessarily be familiar with. So, how do you begin to search for schools in the area?

1. Do some research – the first place to begin to search schools in a different location is from the comfort of your own home, on your computer (or tablet or phone!). If you are reading this article then chances are you have access to the internet, so start by having a good look around at what is available on a map of the local area. There may only be a couple of schools which are suitable, there may be a lot, but you can do some research into the schools, check the OFSTED ratings and get yourself a shortlist of schools from where to begin.

2. Go on visits – now you have a list of searched schools (or school!) you are considering, contact them and see firstly if they have open days or evenings, and if not see if they will show you around anyway. The chances are they will. Keep an open mind and be prepared to ask plenty of questions. It is a good idea to note your questions down before you go, to ensure that you ask the same questions at each school. This way you will end the process with a fair reflection of every school.

3. Discuss with your child – if you are going to search schools in a location other than where you live then it is a good idea to discuss the options with your child. They will have an opinion of their own, and after all they are the ones who are going to be attending on a daily basis, so you may as well try to make them happy. They can probably help you search schools and research them anyway, so try to get them involved from the beginning.

4. Visit again if needs be – if you were left with a bigger choice than you thought and have been on visits which have been useful, then don’t be afraid to go and visit some of them again. You may get a different vibe second time around, you may spot things you didn’t spot at first, or you may be able to go on a school day as opposed to a structured open evening which is designed to show the school off.

5. Remember you can always move – finally, when you start to search schools in another area it is important to remember not to get too concerned about making the perfect choice. If you do make a bad choice, then you can always move. You are not tied in forever so don’t worry about it too much. If your child comes home after a week and they are really not settling in, or likely to settle in, then be open minded and start your school search again, it isn’t a bad thing, you could never have known.

The search for schools is not a difficult process if managed correctly, so remember to do your research properly before you begin, visit the schools, and chat to your child about them. More than anything, don’t get too concerned, picking the right school first time is important but not irreversible if you get it wrong.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9495385

Most Common Mistakes When Choosing Sports Massage Courses

When it comes to courses, massage courses are very common since it can provide individuals good job opportunities. In addition, massage courses can also help individuals improve their future. That is why more and more are now enrolling in sports massage courses. However, some individuals make mistakes in choosing such courses. To prevent these mistakes from happening, below are some of the most common things you need to know.

Not investing time in comparing course providers

One of the main mistakes individuals make when choosing sports massage courses is not investing time in comparing service providers. Massage courses are quite popular these days. That is why more and more educational institutions offer such services. However, not every course provider offers the same lessons. Not to mention, you may also find that course providers also have different course rates. Therefore, individuals need to exert effort and invest in time to look for course providers who can accommodate their needs properly.

Neglecting educational facilities

The next mistake that individuals make when choosing sports massage courses is neglecting educational facilities. Surely, enrolling in institutions with good educational facilities can make a huge difference with regard to your skills and knowledge. This is possible since massage equipment allows individuals to provide better services to their clients. In addition, knowing how to use special massage tools can also help you gain better job opportunities. So, before enrolling, you need to check if the institution is equipped with the best massage tools.

Enrolling in a course with limited lessons

Another common mistake that individuals make with regard to choosing massage courses is enrolling in a course with limited lessons. You may find institutions that have the right tools, but there are cases when courses offer limited lessons. As a result, some individuals cannot provide the best massage services for their clients.

Not checking the instructor’s credibility

Finally, individuals also forget to check the instructor’s credibility. Of course, even if institutions can provide reliable lessons and provide the right massage facility, having inexperienced instructors can easily affect your knowledge and skills. Because of this, there are instances when individuals may experience certain difficulties in understanding the lessons. Not to mention, it is imperative to ensure that instructors are certified in teaching sports massage lessons to ensure that you can gain the right techniques.

By knowing all these, individuals can find the right massage courses that can provide them with the best benefits to improve their careers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9534784

7 Reasons Why Teachers Should Celebrate Less Intelligent Students

In the education sector, the grading scale is used to judge a student’s academic performance. The letter grading system is used for measuring and grouping of students into either excellent student or a failure based on their cognitive achievement. Today, there is more to do than just setting up a standard grading scale for assessment of students.Generally speaking, learners have academic challenges, and it is accepted as a norm in the academic world that the intelligent active students with higher IQ are more successful in life than less intelligent students. However, based on real life experiences, the opposite is happening.

For instance, I studied the lives of great men and famous women and I discovered that those who got to the top were those who were not with high IQ. Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft dropped out of High School and started the largest software incorporation in the world. Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of College to start the most competitive social media. They were tagged ”less intelligent and failures”. On the other hand, the less intelligent students may appear to be doing nothing and making mistakes in their academics, they eventually end up doing better than the clever ones.

Are you a teacher? What is your opinion about students who have slipped academically like a crumbled wall? As strange as it seems, it is ninety percent probable that the slack, lazy students become millionaires or billionaires in the future. These drop outs latter turn out to be the beasts in the business arena. Teachers who get burned out teaching lazy inactive students do not continue learning.

Hence, there are seven reasons why you should celebrate the less intelligent students in your classroom.

  • Problem solvers: Based on my personal experience, students with inadequate learning tools possess the ability to give you quick answers to your problem. I think they stimulate a more creative and innovative approach to problem solving and decision making. Thomas Edison is an example. He couldn’t cope in school and after he was withdrawn and homeschooled, he invented the electric light bulb.
  • Self-taught: Because they lag behind does not mean they are not learning. They can educate themselves and as custodians of apparatus we can turn and twist to acquire the excellence that distinguish less intelligent students. Evaluate them seriously and help them improve.
  • They inspire independence: As you celebrate these kind of students you’ll be amazed how they get ideas to clear the way that makes them ineffective. Appreciate their failures as human error.
  • Imperfect: Nobody is perfect and fingers are not equal. Never expect perfection from less intelligent students because human beings are far from perfection. They will make mistakes so appreciate the little effort they put in daily.
  • The best resource: Initially, the not so clever students go through a tough path and some receive less support from home but later, their success story is a powerful testimony. Oprah Winfrey is an example of a kid who came from a poor background and she did not excel in school. However, today, she is one of America’s richest T.V presenter.
  • Amused minds: The less intelligent students have amusing minds. They accept their failures and usually do not bother about it. They may be lazy intellectually, however, they are good thinkers. They like to do what amuses them. So, as a teacher help them to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of their genius.
  • The tide will turn: less intelligent students know they have a problem but they believe that with time, their persistent spirit will turn the tide.

In conclusion, play the ‘Believing Game.’ It is about making the effort to at least consider the reasons for an opposing view on an issue. You may have an exclusion criteria that makes you think the less intelligent have characteristics that disqualifies them from the inclusion criteria of high IQ students. They may be tardy, not clever or truant students, just go out of your way to keep them on track. It is important you keep on believing in them so that you can win their trust. All you have to do as a teacher is to push a little further and never doubt the success of such students.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9517741

How to Find a School That’s Right for Your Child

There comes a point when every parent goes through the process to find a school for their child. It can be a difficult process – you might have a different opinion on choice of schools than your child; you may be moving to a new area; or you may be looking at an independent, fee paying school for your child. Whatever the scenario, help is on hand to ensure you find the right school where your child is happy.

So we have put together some general advice to help you not just find a school, but to find the right school.

Moving area – finding a school in an area you are not familiar with can be very tricky, especially given the amount of assistance given by existing primary schools to get their pupils into the right secondary school. The best place to begin is by making a shortlist of schools in the area you are moving to, you can do a postcode search here. Once you have your list, contact them and find out when they are open for you to go and visit. The whole process can then be broken down into a simple, enjoyable exercise for you and your child.

Find an independent school – if you are looking for an independent school for your child then your options will become much narrower. Outside of major towns and cities there are often only a handful of independent, fee paying schools to choose from and you may already know what these are. Independent schools will always have open days or open evenings where you can call in and take a look around to see if it is right for you. As they are fewer in number, it is likely you will need to use the school’s transport service to get your child to and from school each day, so check where this stops and picks up in relation to your home.

Find a school with good OFSTED ratings – OFSTED ratings work on a numbered rating from 1 to 4, with 1 being the best (Outstanding) and 4 being the worst (Needs improvement). A school in category 4 will sometimes be put in what is known as Special Measures, meaning it has outside assistance from the local authority to try to improve, and the senior management team can be replaced if they are deemed to be ineffective. Whatever the scenario, every schools’ OFSTED rating is published online and can be viewed for free, so always go and take a look to find out more and use them to help you find a school.

Find a school your child is in disagreement with – quite often you will have a differing opinion than your child’s. This will almost certainly be the case when you come to find a school for them. They may favour a school where their friends go, or which has the best sports team, or is nearest your home, whereas these may be the schools with the worst OFSTED ratings, or the worst transport links, which you (rather more sensibly!) deem less adequate.

Finding a school is often a very simple process but for some there are a few more hurdles to overcome. When there are, help is at hand from a variety of sources to make sure you find a school your child is happy at.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9495391

Online Colleges Help Deaf Students Succeed

If you are hard of hearing, you may assume that you will have to go to a deaf college to get your degree. While there are a lot of traditional universities that provide deaf-friendly facilities, most hard-of-hearing students go to deaf colleges to pursue their post-secondary education. However, the internet has opened a world of new opportunities for these students by allowing them to attend standard college courses just like everyone else. Going to college has never been easier. Here is a look at just some of the many advantages online schooling provides for deaf students.

Written Materials

In a traditional college setting, classwork may be a derivative of lectures that the professor provides on a subject. While there are still lectures in online courses through videos, they typically rely on PowerPoint presentations and text from the book to illustrate a point. This gives deaf students a better chance to understand materials because they can read about information, rather than having to follow the sign language of their interpreters 24/7.

Written Communication

With an online degree program, you can ask all of your questions through emails and instant messages. This gives you a chance to write out everything you want to say, rather than having to pass the information through an interpreter. You can read over the information to see how it sounds, and then you can edit it to get your point across in full. You will receive answers back through written communication, which should be easy for you to understand. This will ultimately help you succeed.

More Accurate Information

If you have to rely on an interpreter for all of your information, you may miss out on an important point that he or she missed in the process of interpreting for you. He or she may also misspell a technical word for you, which may make you understand work incorrectly. By having all of the class work written out for you on the web, you won’t have to worry about getting a bad grade because of someone else’s misinterpretations.

Wider Degree Selection

You should have a wider range of degrees to choose from online than you would in a deaf college, so this opportunity could ultimately lead you to a career you are actually happy to be a part of. You won’t have to settle for whatever happens to be available when you enroll. You can setup a degree program that fully satisfies your goals in life. You can also customize your schedule to fit your needs, so you could potentially hold down a job and work on a degree at the same time. This is a winning solution all the way around.

Affordability

Online degree programs cost a lot less money than traditional degree problems, so you should have more money left over for medical expenses or general living costs you may encounter throughout the year. There are tons of scholarships for deaf students out there, and most of them will recognize online colleges as legitimate universities. Thus you should have no trouble getting money to pay for your online schooling if you look around long enough.

Conclusion

The internet levels the playing field between deaf students and traditional college students. If you are hard of hearing, you may find the web to be your educational sanctuary. There are tons of schools and degree programs to choose from online, so you just have to look around to see what you like. Whether you want to be an astronaut, a zoologist, or anything in between, you will eventually find a degree program for you on the web.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9534379