WA10EL156 - E-mbedding E-learning @ SWRC Executive Summary


Background

SWRC is the South West Regional College of TAFE our main campus is Located in Bunbury about 2 hrs south of Perth, with regional campuses located throughout the South West Region of WA. The area has a diverse range of industries including,:
  • Mining and Manufacturing,
  • Horticulture,
  • Viticulture,
  • Community Services,
  • Hospitality and
  • Building and Construction.

Our Project brings e-learning to as many of our industry areas as possible and make it a standard part of our delivery method. We are embedding e-learning into the culture of our organisation. To achieve this we created a team of people from several study areas within the College. This peer support group has worked as a collective supporting each other in the development of “Learning Objects” (small self contained packets of digital resources such as Web pages videos, photo stories etc.) .

These learning objects are then loaded on to a Learning Management System (LMS) or CD/DVD and made available for students to access at their convenience either for full external study or to be used as revision tools for face-to-face students.

The Team consisted of :
  • Guy Truss: Project Manager/Mentor
  • Margaret Leatherbarrow: Leisure and Health
  • Caroline Gledhill: Education Support
  • Maria Baxter: Family Day Care
  • Linda Smith: Childrens Services
  • Raymond Gordon: Building Design

Below is a copy of a photo story produced by a participant that is included in a learning object. The photo story was designed to give the students information in a more interesting, visual way rather than through just text. The photo story adds interest into the content.



What was done

23/08/2010 (Guy Truss) All of the participants are busily writing learning objects to load onto their Moodle sites. We are using eXe to develop the resources as well as Ohotostory and Moviemaker. Caroline and Tika are still attending online sessions from Manjimup and Margaret River as well as coming to a few of our weekly sessions in Bunbury. I am hoping to have a few Learning Objects finished in the next couple of weeks so we can start trialling them with the learners.
20/05/2010 (Guy Truss) The first Elluminate session between myself Tika and Caroline. It was very successful. We met in the Elluminate room and discussed the design process we are going through and then Tikka and Caroline carried on with their own plans using the Learning Design Tool. We touched base at the end of the day and decided on our next actions. Below is a brief excerpt from the Session where we are discussing the Learning Design Tool.


19/05/2010 (Guy Truss) A student feedback survey was developed and placed onto the Moodle site today. A discussion forum was started asking the project participants to evaluate the survey. When completed the survey will be attached to every course allowing students to provide feedback to ensure we are meeting our clients needs.

18/05/2010 (Guy Truss) Project Team Day 2 - Margaret an Linda came in and continued building their Plans using the Learning Design Tool (LDT). Everybody is very happy gong through this design process even though we were all ready to dive into our projects head first. The opportunity to step back and focus on what we are trying to achieve and matching the learning experiences with the required outcomes has been valuable. Ray was unable to join the team today but he is also working through the LDT. We brainstormed what we felt our Moodle course template should look like and Guy has put it together based on the teams' input. A copy of the template has been loaded onto the Project's SWRC Moodle space and copied into each course that is being developed.

13/05/2010(Guy Truss) First full day of design work:-) The Team all came together at the Bunbury Campus and we went through the use of the Learning Design Tool for VET all participants worked through tool and are building their design plans.

04/05/2010 (Guy Truss) Had a brief meeting today and the team all got to meet each other. Set an Induction Day for the Project for next Thursday the 13th of May. We also worked out a strategy for meeting with the participants at remote campuses.

29/04/2010 (Guy Truss) Day two and already the first hurdle. As our Project is bringing together five participants from different study areas and has a geographical spread over 300kms it is proving difficult to set up a suitable meeting day and regular development days.
Managed to find a window for the fist meeting, Tuesday 5th May.

28/04/2010 (Guy Truss) Day one - The managers of all of the projects attended an Induction day at WestOne where we got a bit more detail on the requirements of the project and were introduced to the tools and sites such as this Wiki. I am going to attempt to use this section as a blog to give you a feel for what I had to do as the Project Manager/Facilitator and Mentor. Hope it all makes sense and doesn't get too big.

Benefits experienced by South West Regional College of TAFE

embedding_elearning_1.jpg
The main benefit of the project is the spreading of the e-learning culture throughout the Institute. As the participants come from 5 different study areas over 3 campuses there is a growing awareness of what can be achieved through e-learning. We now have a team of e-learning practitioners that are starting to take on champion roles in their portfolio areas.
embedding_elearning_2.jpg

Lessons learned


We learned a great deal during this process. Much more than the mechanics of using the various development tools for creating e-learning objects. One of the biggest lessons learned was the importance of a thorough and well thought out planning process. We used the LDT to aid with our planning. This enabled us to actually spend the time ensuring that what we were going to develop was relevant to the industry training needs and met the requirements of the training package. By having a solid plan we were able to keep going back to ensure that we hadn’t strayed to far from it. Below is a copy of a plan as generated by the LDT for the Leisure and Health part of the Project



20100525Leisure and Health ML.doc



Project Outputs

Our project produced four learning objects but we believe the key results from the project were the skills and knowledge developed by the participants. Since completing the project they have all developed their e-learning presence and added content to their courses. They have also become go-to people in the individual areas able to offer advice and training to their peers. This has been of great use to the Institute as part of our embedding strategy is to have e-learning champions spread throughout the organisation spreading the knowledge as far as we can. Unfortunately time did not allow for a full evaluation of the objects we created as they were completed towards the end of the academic year and there were few students available.

Reflections and suggestions

This project has been invaluable in getting staff that had little or no experience with e-learning into developing online resources. We all now have a much better idea of what it takes to design and develop e-learning resources. It became apparent during the project that time and resources were inadequate to build the types of resources we had imagined and that even small things like gaining copyright clearances could become difficult and could prove to be a “time sucker”.

The project showed us that it is possible to make some quality resources on a low budget and that time put into developing e-learning resources can save you time further down the track.

We also discovered the benefit of finding good third party resources and that when available these can be a great way to build on line courses quickly and effectively.

It is also important to block time for the project work as in our profession there are often conflicting demands on our time and we need to ensure that the project doesn’t suffer. A strategy we employed to combat this was to have “Team days” where we would isolate ourselves from our usual workplaces and work together on our projects. This gave us the opportunity to see what the others were doing and swap ideas as well as seek solutions for our own problems.

We would recommend any organisation in taking on a project through the Framework as the skills that we have developed and are now passing on through our organisation are invaluable and required for the survival of any training organisation in the future.

Framework connection

The National Training System’s e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework funds and supports E-learning Innovations projects which aim to embed e-learning into the national training system by supporting and enabling innovation in training design and delivery, at the state and territory level.


Acknowledgement

This is a Western Australian E-learning Innovations project output, developed by South West Regional College, with seed funding from the Framework.



For more information

GuyTrussTP.jpg
Guy Truss
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Ray Gordon
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Margaret Leatherbarrow
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Linda Smith

Guy Truss
E-learning Co-ordinator / Project Manager
E-mbedding E-learning @ SWRC
Phone: (08) 97807000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (08) 97807000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Email:guy.truss@swrc.wa.edu.au

For more information on the Australian Flexible Learning Framework:
Phone: (07) 3307 4700 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (07) 3307 4700 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Email: enquiries@flexiblelearning.net.au

Website:

flexiblelearning.net.au