Today we took another step forward in our elearning journey by gathering in Elluminate. This environment enabled us to explore how we may blend the use of a virtual classroom with our courseware delivery. The demand for more flexibility in learning in regional communities is really growing now as our client base becomes even more ‘time poor’ and far more conscious of travel costs, not the least of which is the high cost of petrol. Such costs are putting pressure on learner ability to attend traditional f2f classes in the Community Centres and Neighbourhood Houses and coordinators are now preparing to meet that demand.
Centres are now considering how the benefits of blending some ‘Virtual classes’ will add value for their community courses. Blended approaches are a definite ‘site seeing destinatio’ in their journeys. Today we travelled to the Tasmanian Community Access Centres blended approach – cleverly showcased in the Designing E-learning website at: http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/learning_design/sequences/TAS/index.htm During this stopover we were able to ‘unpack’ this valuable ‘blended learning model’ presented as a diagram. (see below)
What I am really looking for now is a range of ‘models’ that we can look at that would be relevant and suitable for the centres in the NE of Victoria.
Here are some of the ingredients for their blending:
- blogs such as WordPress
- wikis such as Wetpaint
- learning management systems such as Moodle or TAFE VC Vista
- traditional classroom lessons and supplementary materials uploaded to LMS
- online virtual classroom tutorials/webinars such as Live Classroom or Elluminate Live
- eportfolios and reflective practice using online journalling
- voice communication tools such as Skype
My next item on the wish list is an easy to use tool that will enable practitioners to display their chosen blends in engaging ways. For instance here’s a couple that I have been experimenting with:
- SmartShapes using PowerPoint 2007
- Learning objects using ARED v2
- Learning sequences using Raptivity
Now I just need to put my ‘quest’ for blending tools out there to gather the ‘wisdom of the crowd’! I am going to try diigo for that. I hope you’re in the diigo loop!