Teaching For Online Learning

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Teaching Online Contents

Online Learning

The main aim and function of school is to transmit our cultural heritage and also to find out the ways and means as to how we can add and use it. Since seventies, educationists were quite careful in analyzing and emphasizing the role of educational institutions. Obviously the objectives of education could not be restricted to the very abstract description of the subject matter or the mere transmission of the factual information and the bodies of knowledge. There is a need to think about the conception, characteristics and role of schools in our society and that we need to examine carefully the extent to which they have been designed (Bruner, 1970). Gradual ly the education became childcentred instead of teacher-centered. It is accepted that each individual develops his conception of himself and h is world and it can also be accepted that a learner has a very active role in the educational process. Hence it can be concluded that major changes will come within the educational institutions through improvement in curriculum and general educational needs.

How Learning Happens?

Motivation is the key to learning. Unless the learner knows the reason why he learns and he is not deriving any satisfaction from the learning, he will not involve himself and use the knowledge that may be instilled in him even by the most sincere direct teaching. That is why; the objectives of education should be explicitly stated.

Work is the driving force. Leaning happens more on the job than through mere instruction. Leaning is more effective where the outcome involves the ability to do rather than the ability to talk about something. It is proved by the experiments that through direct (participation) learning, the learner learns and retains more knowledge than through the vicarious (non­ participation, passive listener) learning (Traverse, 1970). Sine learning is functional, the concepts and tools are acquired in view to be able to solve the problems. Further, for effective learning, it is essential to embed performance standards in the work environment.

Cognitive scientists had made researches to create different kinds of learning environment and the findings of these cognitive science researches have been able to present a solid foundation in designing the effective environment for learning.

Constituents of Learning Environment

The main constituents of learning environment are :

(i) The Content

The topic in hand fosters most effectively a favorable disposition towards learning and is the prime constituent of learning ng environment. The contents contain need under that topic, focus exclusion very on the concepts, facts and procedures of a subject. However, to operate the content effectively in any setting, learners, also require the following:

Tricks of Trade: Problem solving strategies which experts pick­ up with experience;

Cognitive Management Strategies: Comprises-goal setting, strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and revision;

Learning Strategies : Knowing how to learn-explaining new fields, acquiring more knowledge i n a family air subject and reconfiguring knowledge already possessed are i its main features. In brief, the new knowledge (context) should be structured in such a manner that the learner can incorporate it within the knowledge already existing in him and can generate new propositions and increase the manipulability of the body of knowledge.

(ii)  Teaching Methods

Another component of learning environment is the teaching methods which should provide the learner an opportunity to observe, interact, involved in and to explore expert strategies in the context to the subject to be learnt. The teaching methods should encourage and enhance the exploration capability and independence in learner. The environment should guide offering hints, feedback and recalls. It should also provide ‘Scaffolding’ for learner to carry out the tasks and to ‘fade’ gradually the control of leaning process on the learner.
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(iii)  The Optimal Sequence

The third ingredient of the learning environment lays emphasis on the structuring of the content. The relevant factors of influence e.g. difficulty level, degree of abstractness, learning  effects, implementation of the new knowledge etc. should be identified first and then learning should be so structured that it would be able to develop among learners the required skills at expert performance Ieve and discover the conditions under which the skills can be applied. This requires a sequence of increasing complex tasks, increasingly diverse problem-solving situations and the staging of learning. The content to be learnt should be organized in some optimal form so that it can be managed and grasped by the learner, whatever be his development stage or ability level.

(iv)   Form And Pacing of Reinforcement

Learning depends upon knowledge of results at a time and at a place where the knowledge can be used for correction. The feedback must be I n a representational mode and at a degree of economy which must translate readily to the problem solving activities of the learner. Similarly, instruction should be designed using the i intrinsic reinforcement i n such a manner that the learner would most quickly be able to evaluate his own progress and gain reinforcement from learning perse.

In fact, the learning environment and its constituents can be judged in terms of the extent to which they make the learner self-sufficient. Learning is a social activity, therefore, the learning environment should have the technological, social and motivational characteristics of real world situations. It is only through encountering the subject knowledge in context that most students will learn when, where and how the knowledge applies in other. Situations. Therefore, special emphasis has to be laid down on the way instruction is delivered i.e. instructional design. Keeping in view the changing societal trend, fast growing changes in education and growing need for flexible, tailor-made educational programmers, the following aspects of learning environment must also be considered.

-> The need for competence-based-learning programmers;

-> the growing interest in distance education;

-> The advent of new information and communication technologies.

The internet is fatly emerging as one of the most important tools which is speedy and most economic device to deliver bulk of information’s throughout the world. The World Wide Web (WWW), is the easiest and most popular way to access the internet. The web has also emerged as a recent mode of instruction. The web designers, educationists, cognitive psychologists and computer scientists are looking forward at how the instruction can be organized and presented effectively through web pages.

The web is a delivery medium, content provider and subject matter all in one. Using the web; teachers and designers can create instructional delivery mechanisms to guide their learners. These instructional delivery mechanisms or web based trainings (WBT) are a collection of instructionally sound and well-designed web pages. WBT is a very recent instructional technique/ method since web itself emerged in the early 90’s. Web can be used as the strongest and most effective medium for distance education.

Concept and Feature of (Online Learning)

Web pages use multi-media (MM) elements to communicate the information’s as compared to heavily loaded abstract lectures. With the use of MM, the communication becomes more attention oriented, clear, lively and interesting. The enquiry-discovery model used in internet instruction succeeds in creating interest and enthusiasm among learners to gain the knowledge through self-paced learning to the extent they want. The following are the main features of online learning-

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  • Students can access course materials through internet/CD (Web instruction emulated on CD).
  • Tutor support to students through internet.
  • Contact programmers may be organized at few identified study centers to give support for complicated content/subject.
  • Web access through dial up connections, internets, cable modems etc. can be used.
  • Learners can send their queries to the tutor through internet.
  • Mode of evaluation can be both summative and formative and can be carried out through study centers and web respectively.

In inline learning, the teacher’s role is of a guide or tutor and has the following responsibilities –

  • Respond to the queries of students/learners;
  • Send assignments;
  • Receive complete assignments on the date from the students;
  • Correct the  assignments;
  • Send corrected assignment  back to the students;
  • Organize and lead  chat room  discussions,  participate  in  new  & group discussion, organize contact sessions, etc;
  • Response bled to course co-coordinator;
  • Provide feedback on curriculum/instructional material, fast access queries (FAQ), etc.

What is Online Learning and When to Use It?

The Online learning uses text, graphics and interactively to video and audio. According to Raiser and Games (1983)’ media selection diagram, and strategy and media selection technique of Merrill and Goodman ( 1972), these characteristics make the web most useful when used to explore intellectual and verbal knowledge and to a lesser extent when exploring effective learning with its versatility and interconnections. The web offers one of the most effective ways to work with learners.

It is easy to collate and put information on the web but it has very little to do with creating instruction. When designing web based instruction (WBI), it is vital to keep the instructional aspects first in the design. There are two major schools of theory in instructional design:-

(i) The objectivists, known as Instructional System Design Model (ISO Model) and

(ii)  The constructivists, called the Hypermedia Design Model (HMO Model) based on Spiro’s cognitive flexibility theory.

WBI can be designed under either paradigm.

(i) The Instructional System Design (ISO) Model

This model primarily requires that learners meet a list of entry behaviors. They take l title account of individual differences in learning and the differences in their prior knowledge and motivation. They define the final goals of learning in terms of behavioral changes that means for them, it is more important to consider what the learners will be able to do or exhibit the required behavior but not in terms what the learners have understood or learnt. This model is appropriate when the knowledge is procedural and can be exhibited. However, if the instruction deals with higher levels of thinking and learning, this model may fail to give required output.

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In this model the process of creating instruction is paraphrased into seven basic steps given below:-

  • Learning Objectives : Identify what learner will be able to do when they have completed the instruction ;
  • Analysis of Objectives: The goal is divided into hierarchy of subordinate skills. Decide which skills; the learner has to perform to meet the sub-ordinate skills to achieve the final goal.
  • Content: Specify the performance objectives which comprise the behaviors that the learner will demonstrate at the end of each subsection to show that they have mastered the subordinate skills.
  • Development of materials: To attain all the objectives of instruction.
  • Develop tilted actual instruction: This includes media selection, strategy development and production.
  • Create test items: based on the performance objectives.
  • Evaluation: The assessment of the effectiveness of instruction is done as to what extent learners are actually able to do what was expected from them to do.

In this paradigm, the designers set all the instructional objectives with the assumption that all the learners are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to learn the behaviors set in the instructional goals. In this model, individual differences are often generalized.

(ii) The Hyper media Design (HMD) Model

The HMO model defines how the learning environment and methods are organized and design the knowledge that the designer hopes will be attained by the learner. The learner methods are what learner hopes to learn and how the knowledge is accessed by him, whereas ‘design-goals’ are that knowledge which the designers hope that the learners will extract from. The environment. Hyper media model is designed, giving paramount emphasis to learner’s objectives and providing guidance to help the learner for achieving these objectives. This model deals mostly with the pursuit of intermediate and expert knowledge in complex and I ll-structured learning domains. In case the learning domain is simple or well l structured, then the use of ISO model is more considerable as compared to this HMO model.

Steps Used in HMD Model

In the HMO instructional model the first step is to define the learning domain. It is essential to set the boundaries what the designer wishes to present to the learner. Domains are rarely complete and unique. Therefore, in any instruction, it is needed “to define where the domain that teacher/designer wants to cover, begins and ends and what is included.”

Once boundaries of the learning domain are decided then in the next step there is a need to determine the various learning elements or cases to be studied as well as the instructional elements to be included e.g. the text, graphics, videos and sounds, with the help of which domain can be represented. It is very important to make sure that the cases selected to represent the domain are authentic and represent  multiple perspectives of the domain. After this step, the path of learning comes into existence. The HMO model splits the learning mode into the two paths of equal importance.

I Guide Path

1 .Specify what the design goals are.

  1. Online Leaning
  2. Identify the themes or perspectives to be highlighted.
  3. Select the learning elements with which anyone is familiar with the domain should have.
  4. The instructional elements, which represent the cases that have been selected by the designer/teacher for the suggested path (s). These paths should crises-cross the land scope in such a manner that the return to the same element many times from many directions should be possible. Thus, building multiple perspectives or contents for the same elements helps in the building of a pattern which facilitates transfer of knowledge.
  5. Evaluation is not based on the design objectives but the designer can provide questions and guidance to help to foster this sort of self- evaluation.

 

What Helps  to Design  Good  Online Learning (WBT)?

The following may be some simple steps that can be used to ensure the maximum utility of the online learning for learners

  • Establish formal development process primarily to meet the user needs. Using the steps-listen, plan, design, test, build, deliver, observe and refine for quality outcomes.
  • The rational choices of media types and technologies provide ample opportunities for intellectual interaction with the information not merely include many click areas.
  • Interaction should always test information skills and understanding or they should activate more infom1ation for advanced learning; Interaction should be easy, necessary and engaging.
  • Design products should include user’s abilities and intelligently respond to the user’s input. It should also provide meaningful feedback to user input that reinforces the concepts and lay the stronger foundation for further learning.
  • Keep in mind the individual differences in learning. Visual learners need many graphic illustrations to understand the concepts and relationships whereas, verbal learners use text and narration to accomplish the same end.
  • Linear thinking and design should be avoided. The user decides the direction best suited to him/her for achieving their set learning goals. Good WBT or WBT design allows the user wherever he/ she choose to begin/start and the end wherever the user wants to stop.
  • Testing of design on real users should be done essentially before finalization. This applies to both the instructional design and user interface, with all its icons, buttons, and navigational features.
  • Readability of material on the screen is an important area of concern for users. Too much scrolling should be avoided.
  • Unnecessary animations or overtly detailed explanations should be avoided. Complex graphics, sound, video and animation can take a very long time to download over the web, therefore, either web server with adequate bandwidth and memory (user end and host end) be available or be used in the design only as per need to make the learning material effective.
  • In WBT design, avoid useless information and design the course material with the view in mind that user wants to learn something of value and get the satisfaction for the money and time the user spends.

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