E- Learning Roadshow - An introduction to e-learning

The first Introduction to e-learning session was held at Lakes Entrance Neighbourhood House on the 17th of October. The session ran over four hours and there were eleven attendees.
The following ten questions were addressed in this session through presentation of information, discussion and activities.
  1. 1.What technologies are you currently using to support learning?
  2. 2.Who benefits and how?
  3. 3.What is happening out there in Learn Local?
  4. 4.Are we ready? (readiness tool)
  5. 5.What will suit us / our learners at this time?
  6. 6.Where do I start? (Game plan)
  7. 7.How do we build our capability? (e-skills matrix)
  8. 8.What about Moodle and the TELC?
  9. 9.What technology do I need and how much will it cost?
  10. 10.Who can help me?
Participants were asked what technologies they currently use to support learning and an extensive and varied list was recorded. Technologies used include: internet searches, note taking apps, mobile learning using phones, emailing, iPads, forums in Learning Management Systems, MOOCs, video conferencing for meetings and learning(Blackboard Collaborate and Lync), presentation packages, Google Scholar, videos, scanning documents and images, remote access –working at home, blogging and social media – Facebook for marketing organisations.
The next question addressed the benefits of blended learning and, once again, an extensive list of benefits was identified. The benefits were listed to reference learners, organisations and staff.
Participants identified the following benefits for learners: skill development, flexibility in learning, enhancement of learner engagement and increased access to education. They also identified the importance of a face-to-face introduction to e-learning to ensure learners have the required skills and access to equipment necessary to undertake e-learning.
The benefits for organisations include the ability to offer a variety of courses, flexibility in the delivery of courses, opportunity to increase student numbers, opportunity to support students, access to relevant and up-to-date courses, opportunity to share resources and teachers/trainers and less cancelled courses because of access to a broader student cohort.
The benefits to staff include the opportunity to develop new skills and extend existing skills, access to greater work opportunities and flexibility in work, confirmed work and the opportunity to share resources.


The next activity looked at learner characteristics and how e-learning might benefit them.
Some of the characteristics discussed include: basic to intermediate computer skills, an understanding of the online environment, clear expectations of a time frame for the course, relevance to the learner, access to technology including access to the internet and available bandwidth, language and literacy skills, confidence to undertake online learning and the ability to trouble shoot.
The benefits identified in this activity are clear, identifiable outcomes, increased productivity, increased confidence, continuous improvement, empathy for the learner experience; skills developed online can be transferred to the workplace (employability skills) and the crossover between e-learning and e-business was acknowledged.
Participants were given time to reflect on the priority of the different methods of e-learning to their organisation and how they can get started with e-learning.
Gippsland Connect Moodle was demonstrated to the group and examples of courses were shown with an explanation of how they might be delivered as self-paced modules or delivered via a conventional teacher-led, face-to-face model.
The concept of an e-skills matrix was also discussed and valuable feedback was received from the participants around the development of the matrix.
A list of e-skills was recorded using the collaborative, online tool, Padlet.

We would like to thank Gayle and her wonderful volunteers for the fabulous lunch they provided and for the use of the room and smart television which provided another dimension to the presentation.