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October 2001

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From:
Jordan Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tomorrow's Teaching Today <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 15:28:18 -0400
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On Tue, 5 Sep 2000 08:09:38 -0400, Lynn Cummings <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

>I thought people in this group might find some of the articles in this
>on-line newsletter interesting and useful.   Lynn
>
>
>>From: [log in to unmask]
>>X-PH: [log in to unmask]
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Subject: E-learner tune-out: OLL News
>>Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 01:23:49 -0400
>>X-Mailer: Allaire ColdFusion Application Server
>>
>>
>>ONLINE LEARNING NEWS
>>A news and idea service of VNU Business Media
>>
>>Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2000                 Vol. 3, No. 24
>>_________________________________________________________
>>
>>        Spark knowledge in your employees.
>>        Element K, the knowledge catalyst.
>>             http://www.elementk.com
>>_________________________________________________________
>>
>>THIS WEEK:
>>1. When live e-learners tune out
>>2. A site on accessible Web design
>>3. Are free ISPs worth it?
>>4. Web simulcasts with satellite video
>>5. Finish e-mods? Yes!
>>6. E-learning office hours
>>7. Cries for help: One-size-fits-all evaluation?
>>8. London proposals?
>>_____________
>>
>>1. WHEN LIVE E-LEARNERS TUNE OUT
>>
>>How do you keep live e-learners from tuning out during
>>your synchronous session?
>>
>>If learners' attention is wandering, the problem may be
>>distraction at their desktops, says Jennifer Hofmann
>>( [log in to unmask] ).
>>
>>Hofmann, a virtual-classroom designer with InSync
>>Training Synergy LLC of Essex, CT, is responding to a
>>reader who seeks a collaboration tool that "effectively
>>emulates live training."
>>
>>A special concern of this reader: "I fear our students
>>tune out fairly quickly for lack of interesting
>>interactivity."
>>
>>Hofmann's advice: Keep activities well-structured and
>>short. Make sure the expected outcomes of each exercise
>>are clear prior to its initiation, and that the outcomes
>>are recognized at their completion.
>>
>>Group-breakout activities might be as long as 20 minutes
>>-- but monitor groups to make sure they stay on track.
>>
>>Icebreakers and games work -- as long as they engage
>>everyone.
>>
>>
>>COUNTERACTING DISTRACTIONS
>>
>>If distractions are the problem, what can you do?
>>The ideal learning environment has these components,
>>Hofmann says:
>>
>>o  Private, sound-proof room with a high-speed Internet
>>    connection and a telephone. "If you donít have
>>    this," says Hofmann, "you need the rest."
>>
>>To wit:
>>
>>o  "Do Not Disturb" sign that others take seriously.
>>
>>o  Computer less than two years old.
>>
>>o  High-quality microphone headset with earphones,
>>    or good free-standing speakers and mic.
>>
>>o  Access to live technical support.
>>
>>
>>If your cubicle is in a high-traffic area:
>>
>>o  Tell co-workers you will be in a class.
>>
>>o  Post a sign indicating when class will be over.
>>
>>o  Use a headset.
>>
>>o  Don't respond to people signaling for attention.
>>
>>o  Turn off the telephone ringer.
>>
>>o  Turn off your pager and cell phone.
>>
>>o  Turn off your e-mail alert.
>>
>>o  Remove other tasks from your desk surface.
>>
>>
>>Here's still another tune-out factor: They're just not
>>getting it, so they drift away.
>>
>>How can a remote instructor tell whether they're getting
>>it? Hofmann says:
>>
>>o  Watch feedback from tools built into the virtual
>>    classroom, such as the Yes/No/Handraise feature
>>    and private chat notes to instructors. From time
>>    to time, remind participants of these these tools.
>>
>>o  How long does it take for the group to provide
>>    feedback and answer polls? If it is taking too
>>    long, they are probably not paying close attention.
>>
>>o  "Are people participating? Raising their hands?
>>    Sending chat messages?" asks Hofmann. "If not, they
>>    may have tuned out."
>>
>>o  Take a break. "If the facilitator is tired and
>>    dragging," says Hofmann, "chances are the
>>    participants are in worse shape."
>>
>>A facilitator who talks "without any engagement for more
>>than five minutes," Hofmann concludes, "has been talking
>>too long."
>>
>>
>>TO LEARN MORE
>>
>>Sessions at OnLine Learning 2000 in Denver Sept. 24-27
>>that cover e-learner involvement include:
>>
>>o  "Live Online Learning: Get on the SyncTrain!,"
>>    with Hofmann, Sept. 25.
>>
>>o  "Tell Me Where it Hurts: Implementing Voice
>>    Interactive Learning Over the Internet," with
>>    Robert Jackson, director of continuing education,
>>    University of Tennessee, Sept. 25.
>>
>>o  "Designing and Implementing the e-Learning
>>    Architectures," with consultant John Moxley,
>>    Sept. 26.
>>
>>o  "The Whys and Hows of Building an Online
>>    Community," with Randy Robinson and Jill
>>    Podolsky of Pensare Inc., Sept. 26.
>>
>>o  "Pedagogical Tools of the Trade: Developing
>>    Online Courses with a Focus on Learning," with
>>    Curt Bonk of Indiana University and Vanessa Dennen
>>    of the University at Buffalo (NY), Sept. 27.
>>
>>Go to http://www.onlinelearning2000.com for more about
>>the show.
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>2. A SITE ON ACCESSIBLE WEB DESIGN
>>
>>Design your Web pages to be generic, so all browsers can
>>read them -- including browsers of visually impaired
>>users.
>>
>>That was the suggestion last week ("Screen resolution:
>>Yes," Aug. 29).
>>
>>But how do you design generic pages?
>>
>>http://www.cast.org/bobby/
>>This site helps you create accessible Web pages, says
>>George Lessard ( [log in to unmask] ), a media specialist with
>>the Government of Nunavut's Department of Education in
>>Arviat, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic.
>>
>>Administrator of the site is the Center for Applied
>>Special Technology, a not-for-profit organization that
>>tries to "expand opportunities for people with
>>disabilities through innovative uses of computer
>>technology."
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>3. ARE FREE I.S.P.s WORTH IT?
>>
>>Are there free Internet service-providers?
>>
>>Yes, and you like them -- but you also express some
>>cautions about using free ISPs for e-learning.
>>
>>The sites you suggest in response to the reader question
>>about free ISPs include:
>>
>>http://www.bluelight.com
>>http://www.freeinternet.com
>>
>>Clayton DeKorne ( [log in to unmask] ) has used
>>BlueLight.com. "You have to have an ISP connection to
>>download it onto your machine," says DeKorne, a
>>Web-learning developer in Brooklyn, NY.
>>
>>"I use it mostly when traveling because my regular
>>paying ISP doesn't extend beyond the Northeast," DeKorne
>>explains.
>>
>>"BlueLight has always worked well in a range
>>of cities across the U.S. The catch is you have to
>>look at small banner ads. But then, who doesn't when
>>you're on the Web?"
>>
>>Would BlueLight.com work for cheap, full-time access?
>>
>>"If you just want e-mail and Web access, it's probably
>>fine," says DeKorne.
>>
>>But don't depend on free ISP service for e-learning, he
>>cautions. "Plan and budget for Web-hosting services so
>>you can FTP to your own site," DeKorne urges.
>>
>>
>>VIDEO ADS
>>
>>Michael Thomas ( [log in to unmask] ) has also used
>>BlueLight.com.
>>
>>"Each time you log on to the free ISP service, you
>>briefly watch a video ad while the computer is dialing,"
>>says Thomas, an information-technology architect with IBM
>>Corp.'s Mindspan unit in Atlanta.
>>
>>That's not a problem for him. "I actually enjoyed the
>>short commercials," says Thomas.
>>
>>One more bit of perspective: An International Data Corp.
>>study issued last month was critical of free ISPs.
>>
>>IDC, a Framingham, MA, research firm, said that "with
>>few exceptions, free ISPs have a long way to go to meet
>>even the low expectations of U.S. ISP consumers."
>>
>>A CNET.com news report of the study cited "high costs
>>for acquiring subscribers, massive turnover and ongoing
>>questions about consumer tolerance for advertising, which
>>typically pays the bills on such services."
>>
>>Nevertheless, lower-income Web users could more than
>>triple the market for free Internet-access services by
>>2005, said another August study from Strategis Group.
>>
>>The second report predicts that free-ISP customers will
>>comprise 23% of all residential Internet users by 2005
>>-- 37 million users compared with 12 million now.
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>4. WEB SIMULCASTS: STREAMING AND SATELLITE?
>>
>>Can you offer streaming-video Web simulcasts of
>>satellite videoconferences?
>>
>>Yes -- just make sure that Web participants can see the
>>board as the instructor scrawls notes, says Melissa Marsh
>>( [log in to unmask] )
>>
>>She responds to a question from a government-agency
>>reader who has "a rather successful interactive-TV
>>training program" including a satellite network.
>>
>>The government-agency reader wondered about "adding
>>streaming video on the Web for those who can't receive
>>our TV signal."
>>
>>Marsh is a trainer and multimedia developer with
>>Datastream Systems Inc., a Greenville, SC,
>>software-applications manager.
>>
>>She uses a RealMedia server and RealProducer from
>>RealNetworks Inc. of Seattle. RealProducer is software
>>that puts audio and video on the Web.
>>
>>Marsh's results: Participants can hear the instructor,
>>but "a lot of times they cannot see what he is writing on
>>the board, or displaying on the Proxima," says Marsh. (A
>>Proxima is a projector from Proxima Corp. of San Diego.)
>>
>>Marsh's advice: "I would suggest using a collaborative
>>tool like WebEx to demonstrate an application and write
>>things on a board where people can see it."
>>
>>WebEx Communications Inc. ( http://www.webex.com )
>>of San Jose, CA, is a Web-conferencing service.
>>
>>Finally, from vendors:
>>
>>o  24/7 University Inc. of Irving, TX,
>>    ( http://www.247university.com ) has Internet
>>    courses in streaming video.
>>
>>o  InfoSource Inc. of Winter Park, FL, offers
>>    "Presentation Skills Using PowerPoint, on CD
>>    or from http://www.howtomaster.com .
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>5. FINISH THOSE E-MODS
>>
>>Does it matter if your trainees don't complete
>>their e-modules?
>>
>>You bet it matters, say two readers. A third points
>>out that learning-management systems can help with
>>e-module metrics. A fourth tells how to lure learners
>>to completion.
>>
>>Tim Ritter ( [log in to unmask] ) "respectfully
>>but completely" disagrees with letting learners go only
>>as far as they want in an e-course before dropping out
>>("E-course completion rates -- meaningless?," Aug. 15).
>>
>>"These seem to be convenient arguments for justifying
>>online, encyclopedic catalogs of lessons as substitutes
>>for good training," charges Ritter, lead trainer and
>>instructor manager with computer trainer CompUSA
>>Management Co. in St. Louis, MO.
>>
>>Letting learners browse from e-mod to e-mod also makes
>>training sound better to "bare budgets," he thinks.
>>
>>Students already trained in a piece of software may know
>>how to look up mail merge, Ritter concedes. But such
>>features "tend to go unknown and ignored" until trainees
>>find out about them.
>>
>>
>>NOT A JOB WELL DONE
>>
>>"Most people can go to Help files and scrape by with
>>learning what they have to know to get the job done on
>>their own," says Ritter. "This doesn't usually reflect a
>>job well done, however.
>>
>>"Simply getting a single lesson or two, just in time,
>>may be altogether a waste of time."
>>
>>Another reader notes that some training funded by the
>>federal government leading to certification requires that
>>students complete all of the components of a training
>>program.
>>
>>"Without a record of completion, which can be verified
>>through tracking, certification cannot be awarded,"
>>warns Jean Dearden ( [log in to unmask] ) of the
>>Educational Design Unit at the National Labor College
>>in Silver Spring, MD.
>>
>>Steve Ernst ( [log in to unmask] ) calls for focus on the
>>"root cause of this issue" -- "a need for quantifiable
>>metrics" to track the effectiveness of training and its
>>bearing on productivity back at work.
>>
>>Ernst, learning-content manager with Saba Software Inc.
>>in Denver, offers this solution: Let e-learning tools
>>themselves capture data on what learners complete. (Saba
>>makes learning-management systems.)
>>
>>E-learning can closely customize content for learners,
>>based on automated pre-assessments, says Ernst. Learners
>>can then take a post-module assessment to determine if
>>they mastered a particular skill.
>>
>>A learning-management system can track the particular
>>skills and/or knowledge acquired in each module.
>>
>>A small step, Ernst acknowledges -- "but one that is
>>readily available to all of us if the content is designed
>>properly."
>>
>>Finally, Judith Blair ( [log in to unmask] ) thinks
>>students drop out before finishing because "they believe
>>they know the material."
>>
>>Blair, vice president with a training firm called Maresh
>>Brainworks in Boulder, CO, suggests requiring learners to
>>test out of subjects they think they know.
>>
>>
>>TO LEARN MORE
>>
>>Sessions at OnLine Learning on this subject include:
>>
>>o  "Extreme Course Design for Accelerated
>>    e-Learning" is a pre-conference session
>>    (additional cost) Sept. 24 with Blair and
>>    colleague Nancy Maresh. Participants will
>>    get what Blair calls a "take-away design
>>    template for optimum online learning."
>>
>>o  "Breathing Life into Online Technical Training"
>>    is a breakout session in the conference proper
>>    with Blair and Maresh Sept. 26.
>>
>>o  Blair and Maresh will also host a "Really Live
>>    Chatroom" Sept. 26 on "What if Learners Won't
>>    Finish the Course?"
>>
>>o  "Why Online Learners Drop Out -- And What to do
>>    About It" is a breakout session with consultant
>>    Eric Parks Sept. 27.
>>
>>Go to http://www.onlinelearning2000.com for more about
>>the show.
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>6. ONLINE OFFICE HOURS
>>
>>How do you set office hours for online instructors?
>>
>>That question came from a reader at an academic
>>institution where the rule for traditional courses
>>is one hour of on-site office time for each hour in
>>the classroom.
>>
>>Are teachers supposed to spend additional time for their
>>online courses? the reader asked.
>>
>>Two responses:
>>
>>Steven F. Jackson ( [log in to unmask] ) says "most
>>of our faculty who teach pure distance-ed courses have
>>their required office hours in a chat room with hours
>>posted in the syllabus."
>>
>>This approach hasn't, however, "risen to the official
>>line of policy," adds Jackson, chair of the department
>>of political science at Indiana (PA) University of
>>Pennsylvania.
>>
>>His school's traditional office-hour requirements are
>>contractual -- five hours across three different days
>>-- but school policy doesn't yet specify how to set
>>online office hours.
>>
>>Another take: Christine Sevilla ( [log in to unmask] )
>>says the standard for office hours in distance learning
>>must be different from traditional office hours.
>>
>>"The teaching hours, from my experience, are far longer
>>than those in the classroom setting," says Sevilla.
>>
>>She is an independent instructional designer in
>>Pittsford, NY, and teaches as an adjunct in the
>>human-resource development program at the Rochester (NY)
>>Institute of Technology.
>>
>>"I suppose you could require phone conferences or chat,
>>but synchronous mode doesn't work for a global class,"
>>adds Sevilla, who has students in Africa and on the U.S.
>>West Coast.
>>
>>She suggests simply stating guidelines, such as: All
>>student e-mail will get a response within 48 hours.
>>
>>The good news, sort of: Students are less likely to be
>>ignored online.
>>
>>"Frankly," Sevilla claims, "I've been ignored as a
>>student far more in a classroom setting than in any
>>distance class I've taken."
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>7. CRIES FOR HELP: E.R.P. TRANSACTIONS-ONLY TRAINING?
>>
>>Readers? Can you help with the following questions from
>>your peers?
>>
>>
>>E.R.P. TRANSACTION TRAINING ONLY? "I am the team
>>lead with a rather large enterprise-resource planning
>>project, charged with developing and deploying training
>>to a wide and diverse user group.
>>
>>"My company employs 350,000 -- but thankfully not
>>all are users. The deployment of the new ERP system
>>is to be implemented in stages, and the first of those
>>stages has come and gone before I took this position.
>>
>>"This first stage of training focused on teaching
>>individual transactions with just enough ideas and new
>>concepts to fill out any foreseen questions.
>>
>>"However, the first stage of training was deemed
>>adequate, but not great. What was missing, the students
>>said, was a sense of the larger business picture, of just
>>where the transactions fit into the larger business
>>processes.
>>
>>"My question is: What are your thoughts on teaching the
>>business processes to an end-user group over just
>>transactions?
>>
>>"Is one preferable over the other? Can you teach one and
>>not teach the other? Is there some magic balance?"
>>
>>
>>ONLINE POLICY MANUAL? "I have a regulatory manual
>>that I was asked to put online. The minimum expectations
>>would be to publish this manual as a reference on our
>>intranet. I have access to Lotus Notes and an
>>Internet-based server.
>>
>>"I want to make sure that there are performance supports
>>built into the design that will help users. My question
>>is: How can I create the online policy manual and
>>organize it in such a way to:
>>
>>o  Make the information easily accessible?
>>
>>o  Show a return user what has changed since
>>    the person last accessed the policy manual?"
>>
>>
>>ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL EVALUATION? "We can effectively
>>and objectively perform classroom and standup instructor
>>course evaluations, but we need to also develop an
>>objective way to evaluate e-learning offerings.
>>
>>"We need to develop a 'one-size-fits-all' online
>>evaluation form which will cover CBTs and Web-based
>>training from vendors as well as in-house developed
>>materials.
>>
>>"Our intent is to create a series of questions and
>>potential responses that will give us useful and
>>objective data concerning course content, ease of use and
>>training effectiveness."
>>
>>
>>USER INTERFACE? "I am working on a new graphical user
>>interface for our software applications. We have created
>>our new look and I am now working with four others to
>>implement it.
>>
>>"Are there any resources that you can point to
>>that discuss learning as it relates to usability of
>>a graphical interface and presentation of information
>>as it relates to graphical interfaces?"
>>
>>
>>CASE-STUDY MODELS? "How are organizations using a
>>case-study approach to learning online? Has anyone
>>devised a model that they have been able to apply to
>>different topics?
>>
>>"Most of the samples I have seen follow a tutorial
>>approach, with small scenarios built in as exercises.
>>I have not yet seen one that follows a case study from
>>beginning to end, with mini-tutorials along the way, as
>>learning resources."
>>
>>
>>Readers? If you can help, mailto:[log in to unmask]
>>with your ideas under the appropriate subject line, e.g.
>>One-Size-Fits-All Evaluation.
>>
>>Please include:
>>
>>o  Your name and title.
>>o  Your organization's name.
>>o  Your location -- what city, suburb or town?
>>o  Briefly, what your organization does.
>>o  A phone number at which we can reach you.
>>
>>
>>BAFFLED?
>>
>>Your colleagues may have some ideas for you. Please
>>mailto:[log in to unmask] and describe your dilemma.
>>Include a distinctive subject line.
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>8. LONDON SHOW STILL NEEDS PRESENTERS
>>
>>http://www.vnulearning.com/europe/presenter_gdlines.htm
>>
>>VNU Learning still seeks formal proposals for breakout
>>sessions at OnLine Learning 2001 Europe, set for
>>Feb. 13-14 in London.
>>
>>Presentations should cover European-specific e-learning
>>projects. VNU needs case studies, panels, learning
>>differences and strategic approaches.
>>
>>Deadline for applications is Sept. 22. More information
>>is at the site listed above.
>>
>>_____________
>>
>>
>>.. AND FINALLY
>>
>>_________________________________________________________
>>
>>Go in-depth on e-learning.
>>Register for pre- and post-conference
>>workshops at OnLine Learning 2000. Go to
>>http://www.onlinelearning2000.com and
>>click Schedule-Program, then click Workshops.
>>_________________________________________________________
>>
>>IT'S WEEKLY. IT'S FREE!
>>To receive OnLine Learning News, go to
>>http://www.vnulearning.com and
>>click Free Online Newsletters.
>>_________________________________________________________
>>
>>The OnLine Learning News team: Becky Wilkinson,
>>Steve Dahlberg, Terrie Maley, Leah Nelson, Andrew
>>Cleveland, Julie Groshens, Gloria Gery, Brian Ruhl,
>>Susan Rogers, Rich Alden, Ernie Leidiger,
>>Phil Jones, Marc Hequet.
>>
>>Please mailto:[log in to unmask] with questions or
>>comments.
>>
>>To advertise, mailto:[log in to unmask] .
>>
>>____________
>>
>>Copyright 2000
>>VNU Business Media
>>
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>edu
>>
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>>
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>>For more information, send email to [log in to unmask]
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>>
>>
>>
>>
>>RESPONSE BY JORDAN ANDERSON:

In response to this article regarding people tuning out during computer
lesson.  I think that there can be a good comparison made here for
elementary students as well.  I have had a similar
experience during my student teaching.  The idea of having a lesson on
computers is novel, but the kids tune out and are lost after only a few
minutes.  Often, I will find kids looking at things on the computer other
than what they are supposed to, and also chatting with a neighbor.

What I have found to be extremely effective is to give a guide with the
lesson.  My students recently did an activity on spiders online.  I had an
informative sheet made up for them as with information such as the type of
spider, where the spider lives and other important information.  With a
goal at hand-to complete the sheet-the students became much more engaged in
the project and willing to continue.

The type of computer used in a lesson is in my opinion quite important as
well.  We are using Apple iMac computers, and they seem to hold the
students attention more than a regular PC.  The bright colors that the
systems come in really seem to aide in the lesson.

I would be interested to hear about any other experiences using computers
in the classroom.
Thank you.
Jordan Anderson

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