You are on page 1of 5


7 Application Andrew Beane Walden University Dr. Dawson EDUC-6135-1 Distance Learning 6/17/2012

When converting a face-to-face training session into a distance learning format such as a blended program it is important to not just merely upload all of the data in electronic format but to analyze the content and retool it to fit the needs of the online learner. By utilizing either ADDIE or Robert Gagnes Nine Steps of Instruction the process of converting a traditional face-to-face course over to a blended course should move as smoothly as possible. Robert Gagnes Nine Steps of Instruction Gain Attention Inform the Learner of Objectives Stimulate Recall of Prior Knowledge Present the material Provide Guidance for Learning Elicit Performance Provide Feedback Assess Performance Enhance Retention and Transfer I would suggest that since the course has already been predesigned for a face-to- face type class that Gagnes Nine Steps would allow for the smoothest transition to a distance learning format. Each one of the steps allow for the content that ahs already been gathered by the company to be applied in a manner that is conducive to a blended course. Communication: To ensure the success of the course the must be an open mans of communication between the instructors and the learners. Communication can occur through either a synchronous or asynchronous environment (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, 2011). When converting a course it is very important to have as many forms of communication as possible to maximize the contact that the learner has with the instructor.

Tips & Tools for Communication Learner Instructor Examples Course Students can post In the CMS an instructor Management questions within the CMS can provide a FAQ Software and get responses from section that students can; other students and the search for questions instructor. Learners can (Simonson, Smaldino, also collaborate on projects Albright & Zvacek, 2011). creating a sense of community (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, 2011). Asynchronous Learners can access The instructor has the information through ability provide discussion boards, email, meaningful feedback and blogs, and access to respond with streaming multimedia purposeful questions content. This allows (Durrington, Berryhill, & communication to occur at Swafford). This can help anytime and gives the the further research into learner the freedom to ideas or clarify ideas that work on their own may be confusing to the schedule (Simonson, learners. Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, 2011). Synchronous Learners can get instant The instructor has the feedback and have live ability to clarify ideas debates with synchronous and try to explain them communication. in a different manner if a student is struggling. The drawback to this is /Platforms/Collaborate/Ove something may be said rview.aspx that could benefit the whole class and only a few students got to hear it (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, 2011). Pre-planning Strategies: When converting to a blended model there are some key elements that may be considered before starting the conversion process. By preplanning the course the process of conversion will be more efficient and will most likely have less issues through the conversion and less problems for the learners. Some key elements to keep in mind include:

Organization Have all of the materials needed for the course organized in manner that will flow with the course. This organization should continue into the design phase and trickle down to the students. Course Outcomes/Objectives What is the course trying to portray? Think of what works best in a face-to-face scenario and what can be presented in an online format. Course activities need to be structured off of the outcomes (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, pg 134-135). Communication Methods In what ways will communication occur between the instructor and the learner? By examining the content the before the course is designed choosing the appropriate method of communication will allow for the learner to feel like they are part of the course and allow them to stay in touch with the instructor. Technology Resources By examining all of the Web 2.0 tools that are available before the course is designed there will be a better chance of choosing the best solution to the course. Finding a good CMS that allows for the utilization of multiple tools would solve many problems with communication, content delivery, user access, and cost. A good site to consider would be as it contains all of the needed tools in one easy to use site. Training Who is going to need training for this course and what type of training will they need? By examining the who is going to be the instructor to the course one can decide the forms of training that are necessary. By utilizing a survey questions can be asked about technology, content knowledge, and their role as online facilitator. After the data is collected a workshop can be given to train all of the instructors and make them more comfortable with system and content (Piskurich, n.d.).

Enhancements to Content: To enhance the content that was prepared for face-to-face instruction one thing that can be done is to provide simulations and application type projects/assessments. Simulations will allow the learners the opportunity to apply what they have learned. Simulations work well with Gagnes Nine Steps of Instruction by eliciting performance and transferring their knowledge. Also, by using application based assessment a true picture of the learners ability to meet the course outcomes become clear (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, pg 135). Another idea to help enhance the content is the integrating it with the power of the web. The web provides many resources for communication, collaboration, and resource utilization (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, 2011). By creating digital content in the form of multimedia and simulations the learner has a multitude of ways to learn the content versus just reading about it. Role Change in a Distance Learning Environment: The role of the trainer in the workshop will change drastically versus what they may be familiar with. The training will not dispense information be facilitate

information. One on the most important roles of the trainer is to interact with the learners and the content (ONeil, 2006). This interaction can come in the form of providing meaningful feedback to the students work, posting questions that inspire and make students think, and being there for contact with students when questions or concerns arise. Also, the trainer will need to understand that most of the learning will occur from self-paced study that the students initiate and the role is to guide and facilitate and not to instruct in a traditional manner. The conversion process from a face-to-face course to a blended course can be tedious and involve a lot planning but it has become a necessary step as companies diversify and become global. Training needs to be available too all employees and must be of quality. Merely putting all of the content online does not constitute a distance learning course but merely converting everything into a digital format. To create a meaningful online learning experience learners must be involved in their own learning and have the ability to show what they learned through simulations and applications in the work field. Durrington, V., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190193. Retrieved from dent_interactivity_in_an_online_environment/ Piskurich, G. (n.d.). "Facilitating Online Learning". (Video Program). Laureate Education, Inc. ONeil, T. (2006). How distance education has changed teaching and the role of the instructor. Paper presented at the E-Leader Conference. Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2011). Teaching and learning at a distance, foundations of distance education. Pearson