Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Week 3 Guidelines and Issues

Post the two eLearning guidelines you have chosen (you may prefer to write your own) on your weblog with an explanation of your reasons for choosing them. Include a description of how the guidelines might address the issues you have identified.


I am a facilitator at Howick classroom in Community Learning Department of MIT. My main job is helping students with their computing courses. There are no criteria for students enrolling into National Certificate in Computer (NCC) Lever 2 course. Students enrolled learn in their own paces. They can complete their course exercises either inside or outside the classroom. Facilitators are always available in the classroom for helping clarify any learning difficulties.

The paper I am going to evaluate is Unit 2791 – Integrating Data. Generally before students start this unit standard, they finished their courses on Word, Excel and Access. So this unit is about integrating data from Excel and Access into Word document. Learning material of Unit 2791 is totally delivered online.


Content of 2791 is divided into different topics and listed online. At the end of each topic exercises info is presented with detailed instruction on how to complete the exercises.

Issue 1: There are no clear learning objectives provided at the beginning of the course, therefore students lost the chance to assess themselves whether they achieved their learning goals. When students were doing their courses online I observed some of them were too focus on following instructions of practical activities. Most of them believe they achieved the learning outcomes just because they were able to complete the activities by successfully following the step by step instructions.

Issue 2: Students read the topic information first, and then they do their consolidation exercises of each topic. Most of the exercises are displayed as PDF file links. In the PDF files step by step instructions are given so students can follow them finish their exercises. But I found students are following the instructions without any understanding, further thinking or analysis on the topic, they just focus on what they are told to do step by step, but lost the whole picture, e.g. why they have to do so. Quite a lot of our students can complete the practical activities but fail to understand basic concepts. Once there’s no guidance from any given instructions, students really struggled finding their way to complete required tasks.


For above issues, I choose guidelines TD2 and ST4.

TD2 Do students get clearly defined learning objectives that assist them in focusing on their learning activities?

Clear learning goals are very important in online learning. It gives students a guideline assess themselves with their learning. If there are no clear learning objectives students won’t be able to know whether they achieved the planned goals and be able to move further. I believe learning without clear goals will diminish the effectiveness of learning.

Applying this guideline on issue 1, I would like to know what an important role that clear study objectives play in online learning, and how it affects students’ learning outcomes. Evaluate how helpful the designed learning activities helping students achieve learning outcomes.

ST4 Does the course require students to engage in analysis, synthesis and evaluation as part of their course and program requirements?

Regarding issue 2, I will use this guideline to check whether the course material is well organised for students to understand the whole idea of integrating data thoroughly. I am also interested to know how effective the existing course activities enable students analyse on what they have learned, and combine the knowledge they gained so they can apply their skills with fully comprehension.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joy
    You have chosen some very important issues for your evaluation - establishing the learning outcomes and putting procedures in place to ensure that the students are in fact learning, not just following instructions. The Guidelines that you have chosen to evaluate these issues are appropriate, and should make a significant improvement to the effectiveness of the course.