Thursday, November 3, 2011

Session 403 - A Better Understanding of Learners Leads to Better eLearning Design (S Yacovelli)

Gives a back story on a cruise line he used to work for, and how he was asked to implement ASP via CBT. Proceeds to tell how his assistant printed out a ream of paper printing out the 'stupid e-learning'. Then, weeks later, on a cruise ship with many, MANY internationals, he realized some people didn't even know what a mouse was...

(Boy, have I been there...shared my story of a certain ex-student...)

Overall - How can you measure and benchmark your students' attitudes towards eLearning, technology, etc.?

Three Major Issues That Makes This All Important

1.) Success of learners - Low Competence = Low Attitude

2.) Organizational Savings - Technology enabled learning saves money.

3.) Cultural Readiness - If your people aren't ready for it, as a culture, it's going to flop.

The Regan CCABS & Some Studies
In 2009, 27.7% of all formal learning hours made available were online - an increase from 23.1% in 2008. New forms of instruction are not replacing classroom learning, but rather supplement and shape such learning.

This test had 131 items, 6 pages, and several scales in one easy analysis. Has several foci:

1.) Self-Reported Computer Competence (What do you know about computers?) - People have no reason to lie on this question. There are no ramifications for lack of technological knowledge. It also helpe to uncover some attitudes...
2.) Attitudes Toward Computers (How does the learner feel about Computers?)
3.) Attitudes Toward e-Learning (How does the learner feel about eLearning?)

Version 2.0 of the model was boiled down to just 30 items, 2 pages, and 1 scale. Consolidation FTW.

Three Studies Looking at Attitudes and Competence
1.) Initial Pilot Study (2005) - 66% of participants have taken "e" course (N=144, 27 organizations, 50/50 male/female split, but 95% were between 30-44). Self-reported PC skills, attitudes about eLearning and technology were all high, with higher scores for Self-Reported PC Skills coming from the male demo. But this also displays that age is irrelevant.

2.) Technology Company Study (2009) - 78% had taken an e course (N=127, 1 org, 60/40 M/F split, 76% b/t 25-44). 61% of audience considered themselves computer experts (duh). 96% had high attitudes about technology, BUT 94% had an "eh" attitude towards eLearning. Interesting...

3.) K-12 Teacher Study (2011) - (N=273, 36/64 M/F, 62% b/t 30-54) Science teachers had the highest self-reported PC skills, seconded by Math, and finally Lit/English. 50% considered themselves PC Experts, BUT again...74% were 'eh' eLearning Users.

Q: From these studies, what would you take away?

Q: What are some ways you can find out what your learners' attitudes and computer competence are? Tons of options, obviously...

How Can I Find Out What My Learners Think?

And, what's more, how can we increase their 'station' on the scale (from Foe to Friend). Our small group brainstormed the following:

PC Competence
- One on one training sessions
- Extrinsic motivators (cash, credit, etc.)
- Performance affector (directly affects their performance review)
- Fun/gamification
- Multiple venues/channels/etc.
- Support System/Help Desk in place AND appropriate (no ID10T errors)
- Resources/Knowledge Bank
- Focus groups based on ability/acuity/attitude

Attitude towards Computers
- Mentor system (buddy up with a champion)
- Historical perspective (show them where it's come from and why it's important)
- Illustration of benefit to the user (WWIFM)
- Illustrate how user use computers beyond the job
- Case studies of people at the same level (and how interacting with tech changed things)
- Show them they can do it/Foster the people
- Chunking of tasks based on acuity

Attitude towards eLearning
- Historical education
- Identify eLearning as the "New Wave" - Onsite course enrollments are on the decline...
- It's no longer a fad
- Portable, async, etc. - The benefits
- Analysis of impact - show the numbers, and management support follows

Some awesome ideas came out as to how to move foes to friends. "If you can't explain it simplay, you don't understand it well enough." - Einstein. We should always be able to explain it simply, to assist the foes in becoming friends. Great stuff, great session...

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