Anita Houghton - Using the Internet to Learn Internet Communication Techniques. (H800 March 2016)

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Anita Houghton
29 March 2016

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Narrator

 I was given a cohort of learners working towards their IT user level 2 qualification who were already part way through.  I had no up to date learning materials or resources prepared.  My primary function was to assess their NVQ and plug their gaps in knowledge.  

Situation

All learners were work-based and didn’t attend college, although within the same company I was unable to see them face to face at the same time.   The outcome of the unit they were all struggling with was internet communication as all had relatively little experience of using forums and sharing information online.  

All learners use an assessment e-portfolio and I explored the use of forums within this but didn’t have the necessary access rights to proceed.  Nobody else within my team had used these before.

I enquired about creating college moodle pages and was told that the e-portfolio was used instead of moodle as this suited work-based learners better.

I was aware of the moodle cloud which would allow me as an individual to set up my own moodle teaching resources and activities (independently of the organisation).  I decided to create some activities on this so I could experiment.  

Task

To enable learners to gain experience of internet communication tools in order to provide evidence for outcome 4 using the internet unit – as below. 

Learning criteria (externally set)

-          Identify opportunities to create, post or publish material to websites

-          Submit information online

-          Select and use appropriate tools and techniques to communicate information online

-          User browser tools to share information sources with others. 

One of the tasks I created was to complete a feedback form about the previous activities.   They were communicating information online and providing feedback on how they had found the tasks which in turn would help me amend the tasks for future use. 

Actions

Enquired re the organisations VLE – was informed to use the e-portfolio.

Nobody within the team was family with forums (which was essential for the task) and after some testing decided that the e-portfolio wasn’t fit for this purpose (didn’t have a RSS facility and I struggled with access rights) 

Decided to use moodlecloud as I could work on this independently. 

I was able to free up half a day to allocate to this task.    I hadn’t used Moodle for several years so had to take some time to familiarise myself with this and then created five tasks.   I also had to work out how to create user accounts and enrol people to these activities.

Tested the tasks with a small group, fed back to the team what I had done and suggested that this may be a way forward to pool resources and develop materials/activities for our distance learners who don’t attend workshops.  Team not interested in developing.   

Results

The feedback indicated on the whole that learners liked learning in this way and I was able to capture the responses and I was able to assess that they were able to communicate over the internet to meet the desired outcomes. 

See attached document for screen shots of some of the tasks and the feedback from candidates.  Most candidates found the tasks OK, just a comment re the limited instructions, which I totally agree with. 

Reflections

It’s difficult working individually.  I took my experiences back to the team and suggested that some development time should be allocated to moodle as all learners undertaking a IT user course should be able to learn using computer resources.   This wasn’t considered a good option. 

The individuals were set off with the tasks at different times and so the discussions didn’t really take off, however, they were exposed to posting in a forum and reading messages from others so the principles were there.   Perhaps additional tasks could be for them to find forums which they would find useful to subscribe to for personal or professional interest.  

This activity should be a training task and the assessment task should ideally be related to their professional life. 

The activity could be made better by making fully instructions available for those who need it by means of providing ‘how to’ links.  

Anita Houghton
09:41 on 29 March 2016 (Edited 09:42 on 29 March 2016)

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