Asynchronous Training senario
In an effort to improve its poor safety record, a bio-diesel manufacturing plant needs a series of safety training modules. These stand-alone modules must illustrate best practices on how to safely operate the many pieces of heavy machinery on the plant floor. The modules should involve step-by-step processes and the method of delivery needs to be available to all shifts at the plant. As well, the shift supervisors want to be sure the employees are engaged and can demonstrate their learning from the modules.
An asynchronous learning environment is ideal for this scenario, since the employees are in different locations and are unable to meet at the same time and place. Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvack indicated that “online activities for students should have specific pedagogical or course management purposes” (p. 248). The training should focus on specific tasks and provide authentic learning experiences within the course. Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvack. further stated that, “learning experiences should be provided to each learner whether local or distant, and the expectation should be that the equivalent outcomes, rather than identical, should be expected of each learner” (2012, p. 52). The abundant availability of Web 2.0 tools provide the instructional designer the cutting edge technology needed to create instruction that is equivalent in learning outcomes.
Asynchronous learning is a student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people Simonson, et. al., 2012). Asynchronous learning is based on constructivist theory, a student-centered approach that emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer interactions (Simonson, et. al., 2012). This approach combines self-study with asynchronous interactions to promote learning in this scenario where stand alone modules are required. This combined network of learners and the electronic network in which they will communicate is clearly an asynchronous learning network.
There are many online learning resources available to support asynchronous learning. One of the two distant learning technologies that would provide the best solution for a series of safety training modules is a Learning Management System called Latitude Learning. This tool has been developed to support online interaction, allowing users to organize discussions between the participants and their supervisors, post and reply to messages, and most importantly upload and access multimedia (Streaming audio and/or video and narrated slide shows) that could demonstrate step by step processes. The LMS allows the designer to the opportunity to develop training programs which consist of certifications and curricula with start and end date or even open-ended. Additional the program allows multiple training that can be activated at one time. Within this learning platform the designer a can define technical skills profile for safety competency levels and learners must exceed a specified performance level to prove mastery. Managers can manually assign training goals to learners using the curriculum functionality available. For example, the manager can review the competences of their workers and assign safety master curriculum to select employees (Latitude website). Integrated software learning systems can be uploaded to deliver instructional content. The effective delivery of that content can be measured, monitored, and maintained with an array of assessment and management tools that may also be part of these systems.
Another distance learning technology tool that would deepen and create a more meaningful learning experience for the workers is an integrated blog called “EduBlog”. EduBlog was created for educational purposes. It supports student and teacher learning by facilitating reflection, questioning among each other, collaboration, and by providing contexts for engaging in higher-order thinking. As opposed to a boring online modules or even video tutorials, this integrated leaning tool is highly interactive and engaging. It would allow the supervisors the opportunity to provide feedback as to progress and grasp of the subject matter. Students like to have all the course materials available at all times so they can print and read or re-read the material at any time. These tools will deliver the content in this course in a variety of ways to help students retain the material, through bulletin board discussions,, integrate video and/or audio clips along with the printed notes to emphasize important content.
Primrose school is one of the nation’s leader in providing child care experiences in more than 260 schools across 17 states. Clearly any successful learning solution would be primarily require distance learning because of the geographical challenges. The company needed ongoing professional development for teachers, staff and affiliates. Achieving these goals required a scalable an adaptive approach in order to improve the company’s training capacity. Primrose Schools chose Latitude Learning for its specific ability to deliver online learning strategies and their exceptional client reputation and robust product features. The company elected a technology based approach and partnered with Latitude Learning to launch a customized LMS portal with the capacity for e-Learning, instructor- lead and CD-ROM training. The LMS includes virtual classroom support for up to 100 users at the same time. The customized Primrose Schools LMS contains learning content delivered through multiple channels including instructor-lead webinars, virtual classrooms, and on-demand training material (Primrose case study). They also currently use the Latitude LMS to schedule various training courses. This method has simplified enrollment and allowed administrators to automatically generate rosters to verify attendance. Those taking training are able to receive credit for course attendance (Primrose School case study).
By developing a customized LMS implementation which addressed their specific training needs, Primrose Schools has been equipped with the tools for ongoing training success. They are now capable of providing high quality learning experiences. Some of the benefits enjoyed by Primrose Schools, its staff and Franchise Owners included the ability to track student progress and course completion, higher rates of user adoption, and high user satisfaction scores for training content and delivery (Primrose School case study)
Edublog is popular among teachers, specifically high school. Paul an English teacher uses Edublog as an English class website. Paul feels that EduBlog is importance as a learning tool because his students grew in leaps and bounds each month since he started its use. Each of Paul’s students have their own blog so that they may publish work and receive valuable feedback from peers and others that belong to the blog community. He believes that Edublogs allowed his students to be more careful and deliberate when writing essays and smaller assignment. They tend to take better care of their work because they are more considerate of unknown audience and it is not the same old routine between themselves and a single reader, the teacher (Paul Turtola blog post).
Latitude Learning Management System. Retrieved from: http://www.latitudelearning.com/LearningManagementSystemFreeLMS.aspx
Primrose Schools LMS Case Study. Retrieved from http://www.latitudelearning.com/Blog/tabid/1761/Article/1358793/primrose-schools-lms-case-study.aspx
Paul Turtola – Joseph A. Foran HSPRetrieved from: http://edublogs.org/testimonials/
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvack, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.