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methods

Open Learning Policy Methods

Blended learning: The provision of structured learning opportunities using a combination of contact, resource- based, and/or distance education methodologies, with different levels of ICT support to suit different purposes, audiences, and contexts.

Distance education: A mode of education provision based primarily on a set of teaching and learning strategies (or educational methods) that are used to overcome spatial and/or transactional distance between educators and learners. It is not necessary for learners to attend classes fr equently and for long periods. Instead, it may use a combination of face-to-face interactions, different media, learner support mechanisms, discussions, and practical sessions.

e-Learning (also referred to as ‘technology-enhanced  learning’):  e-Learning uses ICT to access programmes or courses.  It involves the use of electronic devices (for example computers and mobile devices) to provide, access or  interact  with  learning  materials,  interact  with  peers  and  lecturers,  participate  in  discussions  and  do assessments. e-Learning can take place online, offline, or in a combination thereof.

Learning management system – LMS: A multi-user software programme for delivering programmes and courses to learners, registering students, administering, tracking, reporting on and documenting their participation, progress, performance and achievement/results. This information is accessible to lecturers, tutors and administrators, and, in most cases, information on each student is made available to the individual concerned, enabling students to track their own progress.

Learning  content  management  system  – LCMS:  A  multi-user  software  programme  enabling  lecturers, instructional designers and course/materials developers to create, develop, modify, store, re-use and organise e-learning content. It includes a centralised repository of learning materials and resources archived so as to be searchable and adaptable for use in any online course. Ideally, an LCMS should be entirely compatible and integrated with the LMS used by the same organisation.

Massive open online course – MOOC: An online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the World Wide Web. Currently most institutions do not award credit for completing MOOCs; however, many award a non-formal certificate of completion on payment of a fee.  There is an international move towards recognising learning obtained through MOOCs in formal learning programmes.

Mode of provision: The method/s by which learning is taking place. There is a move away from traditional, single mode institutions (where all courses and programmes are mediated either by distance or contact-based methodologies) to dual and mixed-mode institutions where courses and programmes are mediated by a range of distance, resource-based  and contact-based methods, with the blend of methods varying from context to context. Internationally there is a move away from individual programmes being accredited either as contact or distance provision.

Online learning: The predominant use of the Internet to learn. Learners have to be connected to the Internet to access and interact with learning materials, interact with peers and lecturers, participate in discussions and do assessments.

Open (and) distance learning – ODL: The use of distance education methods to support the realisation of open learning purposes and principles. Omission of the ‘and’ as in ‘Open Distance Learning’, and possibly the use of the acronym ‘ODL”, imply erroneously that ALL distance programmes are based on open learning principles. This policy framework does not support this term because of the ambiguity associated with its meaning.

Open learning: An educational approach which combines the principles of learner-centredness, lifelong learning, flexibility of learning provision, the removal of barriers to access learning, the recognition for credit of pri or learning  experience,  the  provision  of  learner  support,  the  construction  of  learning  programmes  in  the expectation that learners can succeed, and the maintenance of rigorous quality assurance over the design of learning materials and support systems.

Open Educational Resources – OER: Any educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks,  streaming  videos,  multimedia  applications,  podcasts,  and  any  other  materials  that  have  been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are published under an open licence and are available for use without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees. Openly licensed content can be produced in any medium: text, video, audio, or computer-based multimedia.

Post-schooling (in the South African context): The provision of education and training opportunities to all people who have left school. It includes education and training for out-of-school youth, and institutions offering second chance learning, Technical and Vocational (TVET) colleges, Community Education and Training (CET) colleges, and education and training offered by the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), universities of technology and universities, private providers and other training colleges and institutes.

Resource-based learning: Learning which actively involves a range of resources (both human and non-human) in the learning process.

Open Learning Policy Methods

Blended learning: The provision of structured learning opportunities using a combination of contact, resource- based, and/or distance education methodologies, with different levels of ICT support to suit different purposes, audiences, and contexts.

Distance education: A mode of education provision based primarily on a set of teaching and learning strategies (or educational methods) that are used to overcome spatial and/or transactional distance between educators and learners. It is not necessary for learners to attend classes fr equently and for long periods. Instead, it may use a combination of face-to-face interactions, different media, learner support mechanisms, discussions, and practical sessions.

e-Learning (also referred to as ‘technology-enhanced  learning’):  e-Learning uses ICT to access programmes or courses.  It involves the use of electronic devices (for example computers and mobile devices) to provide, access or  interact  with  learning  materials,  interact  with  peers  and  lecturers,  participate  in  discussions  and  do assessments. e-Learning can take place online, offline, or in a combination thereof.

 

Learning management system – LMS: A multi-user software programme for delivering programmes and courses to learners, registering students, administering, tracking, reporting on and documenting their participation, progress, performance and achievement/results. This information is accessible to lecturers, tutors and administrators, and, in most cases, information on each student is made available to the individual concerned, enabling students to track their own progress.

Learning  content  management  system  – LCMS:  A  multi-user  software  programme  enabling  lecturers, instructional designers and course/materials developers to create, develop, modify, store, re-use and organise e-learning content. It includes a centralised repository of learning materials and resources archived so as to be searchable and adaptable for use in any online course. Ideally, an LCMS should be entirely compatible and integrated with the LMS used by the same organisation.

Massive open online course – MOOC: An online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the World Wide Web. Currently most institutions do not award credit for completing MOOCs; however, many award a non-formal certificate of completion on payment of a fee.  There is an international move towards recognising learning obtained through MOOCs in formal learning programmes.

Mode of provision: The method/s by which learning is taking place. There is a move away from traditional, single mode institutions (where all courses and programmes are mediated either by distance or contact-based methodologies) to dual and mixed-mode institutions where courses and programmes are mediated by a range of distance, resource-based  and contact-based methods, with the blend of methods varying from context to context. Internationally there is a move away from individual programmes being accredited either as contact or distance provision.

Online learning: The predominant use of the Internet to learn. Learners have to be connected to the Internet to access and interact with learning materials, interact with peers and lecturers, participate in discussions and do assessments.

Open (and) distance learning – ODL: The use of distance education methods to support the realisation of open learning purposes and principles. Omission of the ‘and’ as in ‘Open Distance Learning’, and possibly the use of the acronym ‘ODL”, imply erroneously that ALL distance programmes are based on open learning principles. This policy framework does not support this term because of the ambiguity associated with its meaning.

Open learning: An educational approach which combines the principles of learner-centredness, lifelong learning, flexibility of learning provision, the removal of barriers to access learning, the recognition for credit of pri or learning  experience,  the  provision  of  learner  support,  the  construction  of  learning  programmes  in  the expectation that learners can succeed, and the maintenance of rigorous quality assurance over the design of learning materials and support systems.

Open Educational Resources – OER: Any educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks,  streaming  videos,  multimedia  applications,  podcasts,  and  any  other  materials  that  have  been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are published under an open licence and are available for use without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees. Openly licensed content can be produced in any medium: text, video, audio, or computer-based multimedia.

Post-schooling (in the South African context): The provision of education and training opportunities to all people who have left school. It includes education and training for out-of-school youth, and institutions offering second chance learning, Technical and Vocational (TVET) colleges, Community Education and Training (CET) colleges, and education and training offered by the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), universities of technology and universities, private providers and other training colleges and institutes.

Resource-based learning: Learning which actively involves a range of resources (both human and non-human) in the learning process.

Cost-effective methods for employee training and development

Cost-effective methods for employee training and development

Employee training and development needs to suit your organization’s context, job descriptions, employment contracts and collective agreements. When selecting employee training and development methods, it is important to remember the learning process. There are many ways to provide employees with learning opportunities, including:

On-the-job experience

Committees
Committees are part of every-day activity in any organization. They can also be effective learning tools, with the right focus
Committees made up of staff from different areas of your organization will enhance learning by allowing members to see issues from different perspectives
Set aside part of the committee’s work time to discuss issues or trends that may impact on the organization in the future

Conferences and forums
Employees can attend conferences that focus on topics of relevance to their position and the organization
Upon their return, have the employee make a presentation to other staff as a way of enhancing the individual’s learning experience and as a way of enhancing the organization. (Some conferences and forums may be considered off-the-job learning)

Critical incident notes
Day-to-day activities are always a source of learning opportunities
Select the best of these opportunities and write up critical incident notes for staff to learn from. Maybe a client complaint was handled effectively. Write a brief summary of the incident and identify the employee’s actions that led to a successful resolution
Share the notes with the employee involved and with others as appropriate. If the situation was not handled well, again write a brief description of the situation identifying areas for improvement
Discuss the critical incident notes with the employee and identify the areas for the employee to improve upon and how you will assist the employee in doing this

Field trips
If your organization has staff at more than one site, provide employees with an opportunity to visit the other sites

This helps your employees gain a better understanding of the full range of programs and clients that your organization serves

Field trips to other organizations serving a similar clientele or with similar positions can also provide a valuable learning experience

Give staff going on field trips a list of questions to answer or a list of things to look for

Follow up the field trip by having staff explain what they have learned and how they can apply that learning to your organization. (Fieldtrips can also be an off-the-job activity)

Job aids
Tools can be given to employees to help them perform their jobs better. These tools include: manuals, checklists, phone lists, procedural guidelines, decision guidelines and so forth
Job aids are very useful for new employees, employees taking on new responsibilities and for activities that happen infrequently

Job expanding
Once an employee has mastered the requirements of his or her job and is performing satisfactorily, s/he may want greater challenges. Consider assigning new additional duties to the employee
Which duties to assign should be decided by the employee and her or his manager
Organizations with flat organizational structure are starting to give some managerial tasks to experienced staff as a way of keeping those staff challenged

Job rotation
On a temporary basis, employees can be given the opportunity to work in a different area of the organization
The employee keeps his or her existing job but fills in for or exchanges responsibilities with another employee

Job shadowing
If an employee wants to learn what someone else in your organization does, your employee can follow that person and observe him or her at work
Usually the person doing the shadowing does not help with the work that is being done

Learning alerts
Newspaper articles, government announcements and reports can be used as learning alerts
Prepare a brief covering page which could include a short summary and one or two key questions for your employees to consider. Then circulate the item
Include the item on the agenda of your next staff meeting for a brief discussion

Peer-assisted learning
Two employees agree to help each other learn different tasks. Both employees should have an area of expertise that the co-worker can benefit from
The employees take turns helping their co-worker master the knowledge or skill that they have to share

‘Stretch’ assignments
These assignments give the employee an opportunity to stretch past his or her current abilities. For example, a stretch assignment could require an employee to chair a meeting if the person has never done this before
To ensure that chairing the meeting is a good learning experience, the manager should take time after the meeting to discuss with the employee what went well and what could have been improved

Special projects
Give an employee an opportunity to work on a project that is normally outside his or her job duties. For example, someone who has expressed an interest in events planning could be given the opportunity to work as part of a special events team

Decide on Learning Methods

The next task for the planning group is to consider what learning methods might be most appropriate for the workshop that they are planning. One way in which the planning group can facilitate this process is to consider the training methods that they themselves are familiar with along a continuum line where the methods can be placed according to the degree to which the participants are actively involved in the process of learning.

This continuum would have “Experiential Approach” at one end and “Lecture

Approach” at the other end.

“Lecture Approach” ————————————– “Experiential Approach”

The lecture approach is characterised by being trainer-centred, one-way, passive, and risks creating participant dependency. The experiential approach can be viewed as participatory, two-way, empowering, learner-centred, and active.

One of the important points about the training continuum is that there is no simple relationship between participatory methods being good and lecture approaches being bad. Methods should be selected on the basis of which are most suitable for the circumstances combined with the facilitator’s own confidence, ability, and opportunity to use a variety of methods. Most facilitators feel more comfortable with some training methods than with others: this may be because of their own learning preferences or because they are conservative in the methods they use.