Asynchronous Training Solutions
“The key to success in an online classroom is not which technologies are used, but how they are used and what information is communicated using the technologies” (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, 2012). In choosing appropriate technologies for a given instructional situation it is important to “1. Assess appropriate technology for online instruction 2.Determine the learning outcomes 3. Identify learning experiences and match each to the most appropriate available technology, and 4. Prepare the learning experience for online delivery.” (Simonson et al, 2012).
In order to improve a poor safety record for a biodiesel manufacturing plant which needs stand-alone training on best practices for safely operating heavy machinery, a training module using a robust CMS that offers a visual, interactive presentation of information, videos, practice activities, self-assessment and a final assessment, as well as ongoing challenges would be beneficial. After presenting a video scenario of a common workplace hazard with an unfinished ending, participants would use the discussion board offered in the CMS, or use a wiki or blog to discuss their suggestions for resolving the unfinished scenario in the video. Participants would be expected to support their suggested solutions with their experiences and outside resources and examples. Because these are adult learners, tapping into their experiences is important, as is providing a platform for sharing of ideas, experiences, and learning because “interaction is essential” (Simonson, 2012).
Participants would also benefit from participating in a branched activity using Articulate or a similar tool, in which participants could choose their own resolutions for various scenarios and see the outcomes of those solutions. Being able to branch forward or backward allows differentiated learning to better meet the needs of the participants. If the outcomes are unsatisfactory, participants can redo the situations until satisfactory outcomes are achieved. Participants can practice matching appropriate safe work place habits with each scenario. Participants can redo the activity as many times as they would like until they reach standard, and/or feel confident.
The use of asynchronous discussions via a discussion board in the CMS, video presentations and branched multi-media presentations that allow participants to practice in a safe environment, helps participants gain confidence in safe practices for the biodiesel manufacturing plant. Articulate will be a useful tool in designing interactive, learner controlled, training. Here is a link to a branched scenario using Articulate to demonstrate its effectiveness in engagement, participant control, and immediate feedback. http://demos.articulate.com/showcase/sales_orientation/story.html. I am including a second example because of the different nature of the training, and the tools and visuals used instead of animation in this second example. http://demos.articulate.com/showcase/pandemic_flu/story.html The use of branched activities is important in order to “apply knowledge and practice skills relevant to the situation…analyze, identify issues, solve problems and formulate strategies, learn by completing structured learning activities which resemble the challenges they are likely to face in the real world” (Scivally, 2013).
Camstudio is another helpful tool for creating videos and screencasts for educational purposes. By blending Camtasia and Captivate, Anderson (2007), states you get the best of both worlds. “Camtasia for your narrated ‘show me’ demonstrations; and, Captivate for your ‘you try’ simulations” (Anderson, 2007). Here is a link to an example using Adobe Captivate http://www.iconlogic.com/media/elearning-samples/C4_Animation_v6.swf. This activity is controlled by the learner, is visual and matches the medium to the content (Simonson, 2012).
Anderson, D. (2007). Captivate vs. Camtasia: blend for best of both worlds. [blog post]. Retrieved from http://multimedialearning.com/captivate-vs-camtasia-blend-for-best-of-both-worlds/
Hanover Research Council (2009). Best practices in online teaching. Retrieved from http://www.uwec.edu/AcadAff/resources/edtech/upload/Best-Practices-in-Online-Teaching-Strategies-Membership.pdf%5D.
Iconlogic.com, (n.d) Elearning samples. Retrieved from http://www.iconlogic.com/consulting-development-design/elearning-samples.html
Kuhlmann, T. (2008, March 25) Motivate your learners with these 5 simple tips.[blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/motivate-your-learners-with-these-5-simple-tips/
Kuhlmann, T. (2009, July 14). Build branched e-learning scenarios in three simple steps. [blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/build-branched-e-learning-scenarios-in-three-simple-steps/
Scivally, A., (2013,October 16). 8 effective scenario ideas for instructional designers.[blog post]. Retrieved from http://elearningbrothers.com/8-effective-scenario-ideas-for-instructional-designers/
Chyung, S. (2007, August 27) Learning object-based e-learning: Content design, methods, and tools [blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/162/learning-object-based-e-learning-content-design-methods-and-tools/page3
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.