E-Learning or online learning has been around since the mid nineties.It is a method that can prove very effective when you need to provide learning at flexible hours, eliminate distances and lower cost. Thus, someone could feel that once everything needed to be transferred online during the COVID 19 pandemic restrictions, everyone would be ready and it wouldn’t be such a problem to transfer classes online. However, in 2019 only 8% of all European have attended an online course, according to CEDEFOP (2020), thus one can only imagine, with such a low percentage of online classroom attendance. Thus, how ready would the majority be when it they needed to transfer all learning activities online, and as expected it wasn’t ready. Hence, the students started getting sick of the online courses, their motivation dropped, they missed socialization with their classmates, ending up in courses that the lecturer felt that no one was attending the class as there was no interaction.
Thus, there is an urgent need for supporting those involved in education through online training modules on digital skills and e-learning pedagogies’ and a need to develop further the digital competences of educators promoting their continuous professional development (CPD), involving them in future policy design and fostering their wellbeing (CEDEFOP, 2020). However, after conducting a desk research no outcomes came up concerning the perspective of HE academics and lecturers, as well as students, showering what their point of view on how to boost effectiveness of online learning for all parties involved. So this is what this output is going to produce: A comparative study on boosting the effectiveness of online HE learning.
The guide is aiming to become a very useful tool in the hands of academics that they wish to transfer their courses online or even transform their face to face courses to a bit more enhanced in the technology side. It will cover various sides of online teaching and blended learning and will prepare the academics in order to be ready to transform their face to face to online ones that will be motivating and effective for both the academics and the students.
Both the theory as well as the practical methodology of online courses is considerable different than the face-to face one, and 2020 online learning has reached an all time high, due to the restrictions for avoiding spreading of COVID19 that made it impossible to have huge amphitheaters full of students, however all academics weren’t prepare to transform their face to face courses to online ones. However, we are now, more than ever in need of not just great HE lecturers, but great HE lecturers who can operate online as successful as in class. That is what this guide will do, help academics and lecturers create successful online courses and have great presence at their courses.
In this guide traditional pedagogy could serve as the foundation for tips and practices customized for online learning. The tips could cover course management, community building, integration of new technologies.. Different Instruction Required for Different Learning Outcomes… how to invite Responses, questioning techniques, Discussions and Reflections, assessment, etc ..
Hence, it is envisaged that the he guide will be divided in chapters that will:
Present and help the academics get into all the different technology that is used for online teaching. When someone see a very fancy online course with various interactive activities and games, might get overwhelmed by the outcome making them think that this is the work of very experienced professional and experts and that the cost should be quite high. However once the technology and applications used are explained, everyone can see that they have the chance to “fancy up” their courses with interactive applications and appealing presenttions with very low cost and effort.
This output will provide lecturers and academics with the “hand on” tools that they need in order to create the interactive and gamified content that they need.
Someone may find endless tools, plugins, and software, activities online that can help them facilitate a very interesting and gamified content for their online course. However, most of the academics either do not have enough time to search, choose and learn all of those tools that will make their content interactive and motivating, or they just find some tools that seem fun and useful and use those no matter if those are the correct ones for their target group, disciplines, duration of class etc.
Someone need to have the chance to mix and match the tools and the same time know that those are effective so that they don’t lose time with tools that are not applicable for them. Thus, what this output is going to do is to create an inventory with appropriate Technology tools for interactive content Creation and SCORM ( Sharable Content Object Reference Model) by using the open online resources. “Sharable Content Object” indicates that SCORM is all about creating units of online training material that can be shared across systems and is a really powerful tool for anyone involved in online, computer based training, distance learning or eLearning. Content can be created one time and used in many different systems and situations without modification. This plug-and-play functionality can be powerful within an organization but even more so across organizations.
In order for the HE lecturers and academics to be able to successfully use the tools for interactive and gamified content creation that the roadmap will end up with for their courses, they need to receive training on those. Following the overall principals of the project, the training activities will be developed as an online course in the form of MOOC. According to MOOC organisation “Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available for anyone to enroll. MOOCs provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, advance your career and deliver quality educational experiences at scale. Millions of people around the world use MOOCs to learn for a variety of reasons, including: career development, changing careers, college preparations, supplemental learning, lifelong learning, corporate eLearning & training, and more.”
The MOOC Course will include interesting and interactive tutorials for all the tools that are included in the created databank. Each trainee will have the chance to go through all them or just select those needed for the application of the tools that are presented in their individualized roadmap that will be provided by the iCompass application as all the tools will be provided as individual modules. The iCompass application will be also included in the MOODLE platform and the Guide of Key Pedagogical Principles for effective Online Teaching and Learning will be provided
At the beginning and at the end of the training the trainees will go through a self assessment in order for them to be able to track their progress.
The output will be finalised with the development of a publication based on the results, partner experience’s and good practices of the project. It will give the chance to other interesting parties learn more about the iSurvive project, see how its outputs have been used in all the partner countries, what interesting suggestions are being made and kindle ideas on it it ca be adapted to benefit other educational levels and target groups.