This blog has been an interesting experience for me. I have never really got into blogging or sharing my thoughts on public forums in this way before. It has allowed me to think more deeply about a number of topics and think about learner support in an open and honest way.
For me learner support starts with good course design. I feel that I have shown that subject matter, presented in an interesting way can actually motivate learners to continue. The use of Michael Allen’s CCAF system, the change of reliance from Bloom’s Taxonomy and the setting of work-related objectives are key within learning and development for business. Indeed, my experience at Learning Technologies 2017 showed that people are focussing less on experiences that rely on traditional learning outcomes. Work focussed outcomes are fast becoming the new norm within the L and D industry.
In supporting learners we need to take Geoff Petty and Stella Collins’ advice on teaching our learners how to learn (post dated 5th March 2017). I discussed that if our learners know about study skills and how to apply them then they are more likely to engage in the subject matter and subsequently learn from it. It is important to understand that learners studying online need to be fairly autonomous in order to succeed. This is especially true with work-placed learning where training isn’t always compulsory but can add value to the member of staff studying.
I also feels there needs to be some sort of Electronic Performance Support Systems in place for our learners. They need to know how to find help when and where they need it. Learners often have 24/7 access to the courses that they are studying on. It’s important that they feel they are supported 24/7 in order to maintain engagement. This can be done through providing Intrinsic support mechanisms that respond to learner need.
I feel I may have wandered off the track a little with some blog posts, especially in my focus on objectives and motivation. I can, upon reflection, see that it may not seem relevant to learner support in some contexts. That said I believe that all elements of course design need to support the learner through the learning experience. It’s not easy to learn at distance, I am finding that every day! So by setting clear ground rules, clear objectives, be those using Bloom (for educational institutions) or another framework we can engage learners and retain them throughout their course duration.
So, where next for this blog? I am going to keep going, possibly in a less academic sense. I still want to share my experiences and offer some of the insights that I have gained from my relatively short time working in the world of eLearning.