• Measuring Success and ROI in CorporateTraining

      Barnett, Kent; Mattox, John R. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-10-30)
      When measuring outcomes in corporate training, the authors recommend that it is essential to introduce a comprehensive plan, especially when resources are limited and the company needs are vast. The authors hone in on five critical components for shaping a measurement plan to determine the success and ROI of training. The plan’s components should provide a roadmap to address complex corporate training environments in which large numbers of courses are delivered to thousands of learners. Recommendations offered apply equally in smaller, less complex organizations. Following a brief historical perspective covering the development of evaluation methods, the authors examine each of their five critical components—strategy, measurement models, resources, measures and cultural readiness. They claim that while their approach applies to all learning methods, it is especially useful in technology-mediated programs, such as self-paced, web-based, online-facilitated, and simulation courses.
    • The Road Not Taken: The Divergence of Corporate and Academic Web Instruction

      Ubell, Robert N (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-10-30)
      Although corporate elearning and academic online education have evolved along different paths, each reaches approximately 25% of its respective market. Because they have different philosophies and methods, the two fields will never completely merge, yet each may learn from the other.
    • What Corporate Training Professionals Think About eLearning: Practitioners' Views on the Potential of eLearning in the Workplace

      Rossett, Allison; Marshall, James (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-10-30)
      An exploratory study of 954 mostly veteran workplace learning professionals sought to determine why respondents adopt e-learning. The results indicated that they see e-learning was most valuable for delivering instruction governing familiar company tasks, such as providing information about products, fulfilling compliance requirements, and securing standardization. While the results were largely predicted by the investigators, respondents offered one surprising conclusion. Respondents believe that e-learning is useful in capturing and sharing best practices. They concluded that technology-mediated learning is less capable of providing instruction in tackling murky challenges, such as teaming, cultural understanding and passion for the work.
    • The Sloan-C Pillars: Towards a Balanced Approach to Measuring Organizational Learning

      Yeo, Kee Meng; Mayadas, A. Frank (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-10-30)
      The Sloan Pillars have set the standard for university-wide online learning program assessment for more than a dozen years. In this paper, the authors propose the extension of the Pillars to corporate e-learning, offering an alternative to traditional enterprise learning assessments. Claiming that conventional methods stress individual courses or programs, rather than encompassing a company’s learning ecology, a new corporate version of Sloan Pillars is proposed. The authors claim that their holistic approach—assessing employee access, learning and cost effectiveness, and learner and management satisfaction—provides companies with the tools they need to assess the effectiveness of company learning efforts overall.
    • Skepticism to Success: Meeting Critical Workforce Needs Through Innovation and Collaboration

      Anderson, Margaret; Maier, Linda; Shepard, Michael (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      Health science degrees are in increasing demand at community and technical colleges and have traditionally been challenging to integrate into an asynchronous model. In an effort to meet workforce demand and the needs of working or place-bound students, Whatcom Community College developed an online version of their existing face-to-face Physical Therapist Assistant program in 2006. This program has been successful in meeting a diverse range of needs and interests through innovation, partnerships and use of technology. The program has been recognized nationally by the National Council of Instructional Administrators for Community College Exemplary Initiatives in 2009 and was also recognized statewide with the Washington State 2008 Governor’s Award for Workforce Best Practices. The online Physical Therapist Assistant program has served as a model for the development of other lab-based health science degrees at Whatcom Community College (WCC). Faculty provide leadership to both the WCC campus and community colleges statewide. This article will describe research studies that support the program’s practices and will include the story of how the program successfully developed despite faculty and professional community skepticism.
    • Incorporating the e-HIM Virtual Lab into the Health Information Administration Professional Practice Experience

      Barefield, Amanda C (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      This article will highlight the experiences of two baccalaureate Health Information Administration (HIA) programs in the adoption of the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) e-HIM Virtual Laboratory (Virtual Lab) into the Professional Practice Experience (PPE). Information describing the implementation of the Virtual Lab, issues encountered, and subsequent feedback from students and faculty regarding this new technology is provided.
    • The CUNY Young Adult Program - Utilizing Social Networking to Foster Interdisciplinary and Cross-Cohort Student Communication during Workforce Training

      Levine, Alissa; Winkler, Christoph; Petersen, Saul (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      The Center for Economic and Workforce Development (CEWD) at Kingsborough Community College is currently working on a workforce development project that contains innovative teaching tools that proved successful in overcoming issues of academic isolation
    • Introduction to the Section on Workforce Development

      Sachs, David (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      When unemployment is high and education budgets are shrinking, people flock to community colleges and other providers to learn new job skills. Asynchronous and blended education provide solutions for meeting large scale demand, thus this issue features four cases about innovative workforce development programs. Each one of them advances the possibilities and provides replicable practices for expanding access.
    • Designing Corporate Training in Developing Economies Using Open Educational Resources

      Geith, Chris; Vignare, Karen; Bourquin, Leslie D.; Thiagarajan, Deepa (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      The Food Safety Knowledge Network (FSKN) is a collaboration between Consumer Goods Forum (CGF—formerly known as Global Food Safety Initiative) and Michigan State University. FSKN’s goal is to help strengthen the food industry’s response to the complex food safety knowledge and training challenges that affect emerging markets by providing access to free learning resources. The resources were built to be available on demand and as a structured learning experience which can support face to face training and fully online training. The pilots thus far have shown a clear increase in participant’s knowledge. The paper will share the processes used to set up an efficient open educational resources including understanding licensing, using open software, establishing competencies and working with corporate and other international partners.
    • A Synthesis of Sloan-C Effective Practices, November 2010

      The Sloan Consortium; Moore, Janet C. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      Encouraging continuous improvement in the quality, scale and breadth of online education, the Sloan Consortium invites practitioners to share effective practices. This report synthesizes effective practices submitted by Sloan-C members to the online collection at http://www.sloanconsortium.org/effective as of November 2010. The synthesis includes links to the provider institutions and to detailed postings about practices.
    • Promoting Hybrid Learning through an Open Source EBook Approach

      CUNY; Bai, Xin; Smith, Michael B. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      Educational technology is developing rapidly, making education more accessible, affordable, adaptable, and equitable. Students now have the option to choose a campus that can provide excellent blended learning curriculum with minimal geographical restraints. We proactively explore ways to maximize the power of educational technologies to increase enrollment, reduce failure rates, improve teaching efficiency, and cut costs without sacrificing high quality or placing extra burden on faculty. This mission is accomplished through open source learning content design and development. We developed scalable, shareable, and sustainable e-learning modules as book chapters that can be distributed through both computers and mobile devices. The resulting e-learning building blocks can automate the assessment processes, provide just-in-time feedback, and adjust the teaching material dynamically based upon each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Once built, these self-contained learning modules can be easily maintained, shared, and re-purposed, thus cutting costs in the long run. This will encourage faculty from different disciplines to share their best teaching practices online. The end result of the project is a sustainable knowledge base that can grow over time, benefit all the discipline, and promote learning.
    • Leaner Support Requirements for Online Workplace Training in the South African Furniture Industry

      Canadian International Development Agency; Macdonald, Iain S.; Bullen, Mark; Kozak, Robert A. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-11-20)
      In 2005, a qualitative research project was conducted to evaluate the suitability of e-learning as a means of delivering training to workplace learners in the South African furniture manufacturing sector. Twenty learners participated in a three-month pilot e-learning course and were monitored throughout. While the study was designed primarily to investigate the effectiveness of various pedagogical techniques in a South African context, the importance of providing adequate support to learners emerged as a critical theme during the research project, and this is the subject of this article. Issues included: poor awareness among learners’ superiors, IT staff, and financial managers about the e-learning activities that their employees were involved in; sensitivity about costs incurred by employees in connecting to the Internet; a ‘hands-off’ attitude to online training by human resources staff; and a failure in many cases to set aside adequate study hours for employees. Recommendations for companies undertaking training via e-learning include: performing a cost-benefit analysis of face-to-face versus online training; facilitating clear and timely communication within the organisation regarding e-learning activities; and establishing a study plan for each learner with the active involvement of learners’ supervisors, IT support specialists, human resources staff, and financial managers.
    • Educational Transformation through Online Learning: To Be or Not to Be

      Picciano, Anthony G; Seaman, Jeff; Allen, I. Elaine (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-12-13)
      The purpose of this article is to examine online learning at the macro level in terms of its impact on American K-12 and higher education. The authors draw on six years of data that they have collected through national studies of online learning in American education as well as related research to do a critical and balanced analysis of the evolution of online learning in the United States and to speculate where it is going. Their collection of data represents some of the most extensive research examining online learning in the totality of K-20 education. Issues related to the growth of online learning, institutional mission, student access, faculty acceptance, instructional quality, and student satisfaction are explored. Of particular importance is an attempt to determine if online learning is in fact transforming American education in its essence and to speculate on the future.
    • Mentoring for Innovation: Key Factors Affecting Participant Satisfaction in the Process of Collaborative Knowledge Construction in Teacher Training

      European Commission, Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme; Dorner, Helga; Kárpáti, Andrea (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-12-13)
      This paper presents data about the successful use of the Mentored Innovation Model for professional development for a group of Hungarian teachers (n=23, n=20 in two iterations), which was employed in the CALIBRATE project in order to enhance their ICT skills and pedagogical competences needed for participation in a multicultural, multilingual educational innovation process. This model relied on the three basic constituents of an online community of inquiry: cognitive, social and teaching presence. Satisfaction regarding the model was explored through the observation of perceived (subjective) values provided by the participating respondents in order to identify the role of the virtual learning environments employed, activities of the facilitator and the participants’ self-perceived social presence in the success of the training process. Mentoring was identified as a key factor of success in the in-service training process.
    • Faculty Actions that Result in Student Satisfaction in Online Courses

      none; Jackson, Lana C; Jones, Stephanie J; Rodriguez, Roy C (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-12-13)
      This study identified faculty actions which positively influenced student satisfaction in the online classroom at the community college level. The escalating demand for Internet-based, distance education courses has been met by an increased inventory of them. However, while online education has been in existence for over a decade, standardized practices in the online classroom have not been fully identified, developed, and implemented. Data was collected from student evaluations of web-based courses at two Texas community colleges. Descriptive statistics, bivariate correlations and multiple regressions were used to identify faculty behaviors which affected the satisfaction of students enrolled in these courses. The results of the study indicated that faculty actions within online courses appeared to impact student satisfaction. The identification of faculty actions which impact student satisfaction in online courses will greatly assist colleges and universities in strengthening their abilities to provide quality online experiences for their students.
    • Why Online Education Will Attain Full Scale

      Sener, John E (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-12-13)
      Online higher education has attained scale and is poised to take the next step in its growth. Although significant obstacles to a full scale adoption of online education remain, we will see full scale adoption of online higher education within the next five to ten years. Practically all higher education students will experience online education in some form during their collegiate career, and college students will be able to take an online or blended degree programs and certificates in almost any subject. Full scale online education will occur as the result of compounded growth, increased familiarity and acceptance, various models of scalability, and possible ‘wildcards’ which may accelerate growth. Online education will also attain full scale by becoming fully integrated into mainstream education. This transformation is necessary for online learning to reach its potential to improve the quality of education.
    • A Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Education Programs

      Shelton, Kaye (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-12-13)
      As the demands for public accountability increase for the higher education, institutions are seeking methods for continuous improvement in order to demonstrate quality within programs and processes, including those provided through online education. A six round Delphi study was undertaken with 43 seasoned administrators of online education programs who agreed upon 70 quality indicators that administrators should examine within their programs to evaluate quality. A method for scoring was also developed. The original set of quality indicators from the Institute for Higher Education Policy study, Quality on the Line: Benchmarks for Success in Internet-Based Distance Education (2000) were used as a starting point and determined still valid in 2010, with modifications. The study resulted in a quality scorecard for the administration of online education programs.
    • Automating Expertise in Collaborative Learning Environments

      Army Research Institute; LaVoie, Nadezhda Noelle; Streeter, Lynn; Lochbaum, Karen; Boyce, Lisa; Krupnick, Charles; Psotka, Joseph; Wroblewski, David (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-12-13)
      We have developed a set of tools for improving online collaborative learning including an automated expert that monitors and moderates discussions, and additional tools to evaluate contributions, semantically search all posted comments, access a library of hundreds of digital books and provide reports to instructors. The technology behind these tools is Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), a machine learning technology that understands the meaning of words and text in ways that agree highly with human judgments. These tools were evaluated in a series of studies with the U.S. Army War College and U.S. Air Force Academy. At the Army War College, we found that the automated monitor was as accurate at identifying discussion groups in trouble as trained human instructors, and has the potential to effectively reduce the amount of time instructors spend monitoring distance learning courses. At the Air Force Academy, the expert moderator significantly improved the quality of cadets’ discussion comments in a collaborative learning environment.
    • Blending at Small Colleges: Challenges and Solutions

      Liu, Ying-Hsiu; Tourtellott, Mark (The Online Learning Consortium, 2011-02-18)
      The implementation of blended accelerated learning programs or courses requires a systematic approach, not just the addition of new technologies. Small colleges face challenges when they move toward blended learning because of already-constrained resources. In this article, we will survey issues faced by small colleges in moving to blended learning, document a case on how a small private college (student enrollment less than 3,000) implemented a blended accelerated learning program, and recommendations for small colleges looking to move toward a similar direction.
    • Designed Learner Interactions in Blended Course Delivery

      Lee, Reba-Anna; Dashew, Brian (The Online Learning Consortium, 2011-02-18)
      In transitioning to a hybrid delivery model, faculty are presented with an opportunity to engage in a systematic instructional design process which can bring coursework in line with pedagogical best practices that may not exist in traditional face-to-face classes. This paper presents a model whereby Marist College Academic Technology & eLearning staff focuses faculty attention on designing effective student interactions with content, the instructor, and other students. These interactions promote deeper levels of engagement in student learning.