Thursday, 16 May 2013

Understanding Learners’ Needs


Activity 2.1 - Survey experience.

  1. Using the ‘readiness for online learning’ themes that you identified in the previous activity, discuss the extent to which they feel ready to engage with TEL.
  2. What expectations and concerns do they have about using TEL?
  3. Do these expectations resonate with your experience of this course?
What is the purpose of the survey?
Who is it for?
Does the university retain the data from the survey? What do they do with it?

I can see the value for the student in helping them to prepare/decide to undertake online learning. The survey would only be valuable if the student could access further support to become 'ready' where they are motivated to study at a distance and on-line.

The four surveys are rather simplistic but I can see their relevance.
I have fielded a few calls recently where students just haven't appreciated the demands of a blended course where the majority of their time is out in practice (Nurses) undertaking study online from work and home (and anywhere in between) and appear to have little confidence with the technology and skills they needed to keep going. The main challenge was their motivation, the course is a mandatory aspect of their professional development. Geography required their undertaking the course in blended delivery.

In this situation I am unsure how these survey tools would assist the learner is answering the question 'is online learning for me?'  

For the student who is deciding on whether to undertake online learning and has not done so before a survey may help them decide.



I completed http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/selfEval.asp

I scored 11.  Their response for the survey was "You are a great candidate for online learning."

I selected yes against, When it comes to schoolwork and deadlines, are you a procrastinator? Because I am. It is amazing how interesting the Ironing can become if the topic I am studying isn't engaging.

The important aspect of this type of survey is it sets out the technology expectations and requirements for the course and the attributes of the learner in a simple easy to follow survey. It may be a little too simplistic regarding Internet availability and service. Here in NZ you may have a computer and phone line but may limited Internet capability.

and
http://distance.uh.edu/online_learning.html

A more comprehensive survey. I scored 206. The feedback only went up to 201 so I am 'more than ready to go'!

As before my skill and mastery in procrastination when I am not feeling engaged mean't a few questions were lower rated.  This survey may provide potential students a greater feel of their readiness for online learning.


Responses to questions:

Having read through the posts in this weeks discussion forum, I observe a variety of participant views and experiences. There are many who are highly digitally literate, innovators, early adopters , digital natives (more Jargon I hear you cry!)  and there are those who are novices, potentially new users on distance/online learning as students, (perhaps some who are bravely trying out the MOOC to see how it feels to be a student in this environment).

Concerns focussed on their own student readiness. However the stronger voice questioned the value and validity on the survey, questions about who is the survey for?

Reflecting on the withdrawal of individuals from the ocTEL email list at the start of the course, would a survey question which asked about 'familiarity or usage or email lists have prepared these users for the volume and frequency of emails received?