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 In the online delivery of course materials three systems are known; CMS, LMS, LCMS- Content Management Systems, Learner Management Systems and Learner Content Management Systems respectively.

Each system mention above has its pros and cons that have equal measure, however in the choice for a course system one has to choose the most appropriate system to convey your learning material. Content management systems are quite useful in supporting academic courses, its major advantage being, that documents can be created, presented and downloaded without having to convert them into a web format.  Learner Content Management systems, are mainly centered on tracking or analyzing learners academic progress and the dissemination of training and education.  When it comes to LCMS or, learning  through Content Management Systems it combines the attributes of LMS and CMS in a way that is reliable.

 In favor of an informed choice, LCMS focuses on the creation, management and maintaining of materials or content making it is quite easy to use, thus, it is user friendly. This is quite important, in that, due to its simple usability anyone can access and retrieve information; its design is placed with the learners’ basic ability in mind who might be probably intimidated by complex systems, they are also inexpensive as compared to learning management systems. A varied assortment of information is available in audio, video, written formats and graphic presentation making the course fully customizable. Unlike LMS and CMS course contents are easily adjustable; moreover, one can add course tests, assignments and written essays. The system allows the Organizer, through a special customizing tool, to personalize the way he or she wants to convey the course, making it the preferred system to convey academic information

 In the online…

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

M LEARNING ,MOOCS, PODCAST

A podcast is a piece of electric information normally a radio broadcast available in compressed audio formats such as mp3 or video formats available in the internet  for downloading into a personal player. This technology is more common with entertainment purposes such as music and sports podcasts, but this technology has come of age and is now being used by online students who may prefer to undertake higher education without being physically present in the lecture rooms.

For example; a podcast from The University of Manchester, faculty of life sciences made available in the link; ( www.Is.manchester.ac.uk/schoolsandcommunity/newsandevents/podcast/ ), reviews how Britain leads the fight against dementia and how ancient plants have been discovered through ancient DNA mapping and by comparison to existing species. Moreover,  Online programmes (MOOC) are quite helpful, signing up is quite easy and with only an email address and a full name you are signed in ; Following a link from the university of Edinburgh;  (https://www.coursera.org/course/drugsandbrain) I managed to apply for a course in medicine-Drugs and the Brain, which is approximately five weeks, the course work is either group work or individual assignments which are graded and marked by an online computer, that will subsequently appear on the certificate.

In addition, the idea of using podcast has been simplified by computers, iPods and iPads, this also means when on the move one can still access this feature of technology in our mobile phones, and with the introduction of Smart phones, and this feature has been personified.  For example I am currently using a Samsung S3 which has the same capabilities of a desktop computer; this means I can download a variety of document formats and view them on the move. Statistics point out that 2012 will see more than 5 billion mobile users and, moreover, it is the predominant internet provider for most people around the world. As much as these online courses are attractive, the overall costs of internet access will be large, moreover because everything has been made simple for you, be it unlimited internet access to all websites and podcasts, more often than not, people tend to lift sections from other websites and paste them on their assignments. Yet again, most people will prefer to undertake a programme in the university than online simply because online courses kill innovation, creativity and are of low quality (citi.duke.edu)

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Instructional Design Models Kelly Moss

We must first begin by stating the meaning of instructional design. Many definitions have been put in place hence instructional design is the practice where instructional tools and content are created to aid facilitate most effective learning. The process consists of identifying the learners’ current needs and state. The process is culminated by pedagogically tested learning theories which may take place in community based settings, student only or teacher led. Several instructional design models exist some of which will be briefly discussed bellow. According to the University of Michigan (1996), instructional model is a systematic development such as instructional specifications with the aid of learning and instructional theory, which ensures the quality of instructions. This is the complete process of completing analysis of learning needs and goals and achievement of delivery system to meet the needs.
According to Raleighway(2009), it may also mean strategic planning of a course for example it’s a blueprint that one designs and follows and aid us connect all the dots forming a clear picture of teaching and learning events. We shall have a look at the ADDIE model, which is a foundation of all other instructional design models. The spelling ADDIE represent the five phases of the model thus; analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. The ADDIE model serves as a flexible and dynamic guiding principle for planning instructions and training. Specific learning objectives, assessment, instrument, content and exercise are documented in the design phase with the learning materials are created in the development phase which include: Analysis phase; instructional problems is clarified, goals and objectives established and learning environment identified and some of the questions asked may include: what types of learning constraints exist? And what are the delivery options? Design phase: This summarizes the learning objectives, assessment instruments, and subject matter analysis. This phase should be systematic which means logical, orderly in identifying, developing, and evaluating set of strategies aimed at attaining the project’s goals. Development phase: Here instructional designers and developers create and assemble the content assets blueprinted in design phase. Storey boards are created, content written down and graphics designed.
Evaluation phase: The phase consists of two parts thus; Formative and Summative. Formative evaluation is in every phase of ADDIE process wile summative evaluation consist of testing of design and providing opportunities for feedback from users. Some criticisms have been put in place in ADDIE mode as being too systematic that is being too linear, too inflexible and too time consuming when it comes to its implementation rather than developing instructions in phases, the entire team works together from the start in rapidly building modules which are tested with the student audience and then finally revised based on the feedback (Kruse 2001).The accepted improvement to the model is the use of prototyping that is the idea of using receiving continual of formative feedback while at the same time institutional materials are being created. The model saves time and money by catching problems.
Dick and Carey: The System is also called systems approach model. The models components are executed iteratively and in parallel rather than linear .The models are aimed at focusing on interrelationship between context, content, learning, and instructions. Dick and Carey argued that components like instructor, learners, materials instructional activities, delivery system learning and performance environments interact with each other to bring out the desired student-learning outcome. Kemp design model: Takes holistic approach in relation to instructional design. All factors of learning environment are virtually taken into consideration.
Comparison of Dick and Carey and Kemp models: Dick and Carey model have a more behaviorist approach, linking stimulus and response but both the models follow the basic instructional design pattern of analysis. Kemp model is more useful for large-scale instructional design process, which involves numerous team members and multiple of resources. Though both the models have nine components, the Kemp model claims that not all the nine listed elements are necessary in completing the design process while Dick and Carey states that all the nine steps are equally important and should not be skipped.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Using Blended Learning Approaches to Enhance Teaching and Learning Outcomes in Higher Education & Teacher Education and Technology: Strengths and Weaknesses of Two Communication Tools

Education systems all over the world are under intense pressure to adopt information and communication technologies (ICTs) in order to empower students with knowledge and skills sufficient to cope with changing trends in the 21st century. Teaching is therefore changing from the traditional teacher-centred and lecture-based institution mode of learning. The teaching profession is therefore changing to encompass a student-centred and interactive learning environment.
Blended learning is an approach that utilizes ICT support but still retains the role of the teacher in the learning process; it endeavours to provide a strong support to instructors who wish to create a strong learner-centred mode of learning. The important aspect of a blended learning environment is to provide different channels to support the students. The use of technology-mediated communication is unlimited but it has limitations in the use of face-to-face communication such as video conferencing.
The main strength of this approach is that the form of interactions mimics close interactions of participants, the real distance not withstanding. The blended model of learning is able to provide adequate content and the stipulated course materials in order to achieve the required learning outcomes. The weakness with this approach is that it is costly and requires a lot of resources to be successful.
The development of teacher educators is a very important aspect in achieving effective use of technology in learning. Teachers use both the synchronous and asynchronous methods during electronic communication. They should be well versed with current trends in ICTs, however knowing this will not help the students but rather how the application of ICTs can be used to improve education. The strength of this approach is that it facilitates learning and can in a great way reverse the teaching-learning process, the student is moulded into experts in the learning process. The major weakness of this process is that it is a resource-intensive such that many schools cannot afford it (Schon, 1983).
If I were to take an online course I would prefer a blended mode of teaching. This is because the blended approach provides a lot of resources that are useful to achieve the stipulated result. These resources can be obtained directly from the e-library and online communication with instructors. The level of engagement with other students and instructors is very sophisticated, this provides an environment that is able to engage and improve the learning process. It encompasses the instructor’s participation together with technology in the right proportions to provide appropriate learning conditions (Cuban, 2003).

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Learning Style Questionnaires

Learning Styles
My learning style is multimodal, which happens to be the learning style for about 60% of the population. Multimodal means that one has multiple preferences that one uses for learning. Multimodal has two approaches, that is, the context specific approach where one uses a particular preference for learning something specific, and will switch to another preference when learning something else. The other type is the whole sense approach, where one will use all his learning styles to learn a particular thing or skill, so that the different learning skills complement each other. Being multimodal, I fall on the context specific approach. My two strong preferences are visual and kinesthetic. Visual is very important to me because having a visual representation in my mind helps me think clearly. Moreover, once it is plotted on paper, I can quickly understand or explain to people as it appears easier. Visuals also make learning easier because it is childlike, more or less how we learnt the alphabet, with an apple representing the letter ‘a’. As it is said, a picture speaks a thousand words.
Kinesthetic is also important because. It involves carrying out an activity rather than reading or listening to a lecture. It is easier for me to remember because I easily remember an activity I did or a demonstration I showed people.
Being a context specific learner has some disadvantages. One of them being that the teaching mode has to in sync with our particular preference

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants By Marc Prensky

There is a cohort that has been brought up surrounded by new technology. They spent their lives guided by gadgets such as digital music players, video games, cell phones and computers. They have spent less time reading and more times on their gadgets. This generation is known as the digital natives because they speak the native digital language. Their dependence on gadgets and the internet has rendered their process of thinking entirely different from that of the predecessors. On the other hand, Digital immigrants are those who have not grown up with technology, but have adopted most of the aspects that new technology has to offer.Yes, I agree with the author on the terms that he used in defining the different groups of youth (Prensky, M. 2001).
Different kinds of experiences have led to different structures of the brain. It is dependent on the manner in which they were raised. It is necessary to differentiate between the users who are conversant with technology and those who have recently been introduced to it. The metaphors he uses describe the different types of youth based on their technology usage. I am a digital immigrant. This is because I have been introduced to the world of technology just recently. Growing up, I did not have the opportunity the frequently and regularly access the internet. Cell phones were rare phenomena, being owned by the affluent in the society (Prensky, M. 2001).
In keeping up with the rapid changes in technology and staying relevant, teaching requires current technological gadgetry as a supplement. There are changes in the technical field that are making teaching easier and more efficient. Programs such as e-learning have helped the teachers reach a larger base of students hence increasing the literacy levels of the students. However, in kindergarten, the teachers need to keep the levels of gadgetry at a bare minimum because the students are at a tender age. In spite of this, the young scholars need to be familiarized with the gadgets because the future they face is full of them.
ELearning is relevant to both the digital natives and immigrants because it is an easier method of passing information. The natives may be conversant with the method, but the immigrants require a light system training to be brought up to speed as pertains to the world of technology to which they have been introduced. Whether natives or immigrants, every individual should embrace technology because it is the basis of the future teaching programs.
Digital history of my colleagues is assorted. There are digital immigrants, as well as natives, but the former significantly outweigh the latter. Most of them did not have the opportunity to access these gadgets growing up, hence have recently come into the world of technology. In keeping up with the spirit of change, we agreed to communicate using modern technical gadgets. The world is a dynamic place in terms of technology. It is inevitable that we keep up with the changes. We also use the gadgets as a form of compensation for all the time that we missed out growing up and also because they are fast, efficient and accurate. Training is also going digital, and we try as much as possible to employ all the styles that have been introduced in the respective departments based on the amount of information we want to pass across. Since the introduction of gadgets in the teaching environment, work has been made easier (Prensky, M. 2001).

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Wiki as a Teaching Tool

A wiki is a form of a web tool that the learning instructor uses to engage students in the learning process. Wikis aim at supporting the form of learning style that the instructor has chosen for the particular class. They are used as a method of collaborative or cooperative paradigm where the instructor supplements their instructions with computer supported learning. This will increase sharing, group work and peer interaction between the students and aid in the distribution and sharing of knowledge. However, since I am in the kindergarten department, I would seek to keep the interaction with computer programs at a minimum since the young students are not acquainted with the machines (Parker, K., Chao, J. 2007).
The use of wikis revolves around discussion review with the students and distribution of information. Since the kindergarten level is the basic level of education, it is one sided in the sense that majority of information will be passed from the learning instructor to the student. Wikis will enhance interaction between teachers and students, creating a firm base for which they can start their education system (Parker, K., Chao, J. 2007).
Yes, wikis improve the current situation in the learning environments, as well as improve knowledge management. They help the instructor organize their thoughts before they can deliver them to the students. They do so by combining online talk and class text to deliver a holistic learning experience. This experience is interactive, involves affect and is cognitive. Teachers and students are allowed to work closely together, and this increases the attention of the students. The learning instructor uses the wiki as a learning object that will enhance the purpose of the education they seek to deliver to the students (Parker, K., Chao, J. 2007).

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in Uncategorized