Mentioning about the coming of the New Year in less than 3 months definitely puts me in a "wordy-R" mood. The end bespoke the process, but beckons a new beginning. My favourite time of year to regroup, re-evaluate and try to set resolutions for the new exciting year!
We hope this past year's issues have helped you or enlightened you (in an entertaining way) in regards to some ID, Design or Tech areas. Thanks for all your support and feedback (Especially to Linda C. whom advised us on the subject heading to avoid the junk email pile), we will continue to work and play hard to bring you more next year!
Last but not least, taking the opportunity here, eLCians wish you all a Super Early Festive Seasons ahead and we will connect back in January next year. Have a good time!
How’s it going mates?! Refreshed, rejuvenated, and rejoiced at having my break down under and company retreat, I welcome the arms of the 4th Quarter beckoning me into the good times to come. How can you not like the last quarter of the year with so many joyous occasions to celebrate. Hari Raya Puasa would have just started; Deepavali and Christmas are just around the corner to mention a few. Generally, some of us would have been in festive mood long before the holidays reached us…ho ho ho…not to mention the money/gifts that would be festooned all round (no offence to those not sharing the same sentiments). Anyway, even if you are not of the holiday celebratory-inclined crowd, there is always the New Year to look forward to.
And, if you need something to put you in the right mood, this issue promised to be a mixture of fun and learning! What with the little game tip to add an amateur game developer badge to your name, we are also looking at teaching styles and the logic behind creativity (hope it does not sound oxy-moronic?!). So just crook that index finger over the left mouse button and connect!
eLC Co-CEO/CLO Benson Soong to take sabbatical at Cambridge University
eLC co-founder and Co-CEO/CLO Benson Soong will be taking sabbatical leave to read for a PhD in Education at Cambridge University from October 2007 to July 2010. This study is partially funded by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust.
But despite his physical non-presence, in this technological era, it does not pose a problem to eLCians that wish to continue to bug him . We have webcams, MSN accounts and are very adept at wording our emails. And, not to mention, with new working partnerships internationally that has eLCians globe-trotting, Cambridge is just a short flight away. Thus, continue to watch this space for upcoming news of our CLO’s escapades. We might have some interesting insight courtesy of his website news on the latest in the forefront of Learning and Technology.
Retreat @HCMC, Vietnam
And, just in case I seemed to be the only one enjoying, I must tell you about our Retreat. Our whole company “Retreat-ed” in HCMC, Vietnam this year, and gosh, it is definitely not your expected run-of-the-mill kind of holiday. What with tunnel- crawling, snake tonics’ guzzling, “chicken & duck” talking, directional-challenged drivers, police interventions and topping it all off with tales of two airports (We encountered that in BKK and now in HCMC?!), we definitely had the most memorable trip thus far. What will we do next? Find out same time next year.
Title: eLearning in the right direction?
Recently, from my gathering with an old bunch of classmates, a topic in our discussion was about our old days in school. We joked about how our teachers would educate us with an iron hand and even recalled having one nicknamed “Death” because he was known to prowl the corridors of our all-boys school with a thick long cane in his tight right hand grip.
In those days, education was driven sometimes by fear (like in my case) or direct instructions as in “I tell you and you do what I say...” Asking “why” was a relatively lesser question poised as compared to today.
After much thought and deliberation on the evolution of teaching over the years and having being a professional trainer for the last 5 years. I’ve analysed that in those days, an instructor plays a major role in what I term as the Giver Model as compared to today’s more relevant and applicable Coach Model. Let me take some time to explain the difference…
Personally, I define the Giver Model as spending much more time on teaching work with an appropriate ratio of time spent on marking, therefore leaving less time for other roles.
A Giver Model is characterised as having
High lesson demands
Proportionate marking demands
Low Mentoring resources
Low Lesson Planning resources
Figure 1: Giver Model
With a Giver Model, an instructor is constantly required to train students but changes overtime also adds an increased load of other teaching commitments (e.g. Meetings, projects, events, admin duties etc).
As a result, a lot of stressed up instructors out there often find themselves with their hands tied and out of time when it comes to doing a thorough lesson plan or taking time to mentor students since a substantial amount of time is already spent in teaching and marking.
Let’s take a shift to the Coach Model
A Coach Model enables the following:
Lesser Lesson demands
Relatively lower marking demands
More Mentoring time
More Lesson Planning time and resources
Greater reach and access to learning
Figure 2: Coach Model
With the shift to the Coach model, instructors would find a more balanced division of labour and would most likely face less tight situations when it comes to other teaching commitments.
So how do we get there?
Looking at trends in today’s learning “industry” we have a generation of IT savvy kids and young adults who are exposed to “World Wide Information” In fact, Bill Gates gave us an A minus or B plus for IT competency
Figure 3: News article
The ground shift to high IT usage is here and now!
Judging from the high IT competency level, we can ride on this IT wave, and shift our teaching model from the Giver Model to the Coach Model and that bridge to enable this crossing would be through eLearning.
Figure 4: Bridge of eLearning
With widespread internet access, eLearning provides a teaching aid or resource to learning. Often if deployed appropriately, it provides greater access and guide for learning activities anywhere and anytime for students with access to a computer and the World Wide Web.
Personally, I’ve seen how eLearning enabled this crossing of models and benefited a particular institution conducting part-time certified professional courses.
From the Giver Model, the situation was that the trainers had to spend a sizable portion of their time in providing weekly classroom-based lessons. This course would span across 6 months and attendance was at times irregular.
9 months later, the institute implemented an online course portal that allows new students to access and learn via this learning portal. The course is also supplemented by several monthly lecture and workshop sessions.
Today, this implementation (Giver Model) provided a few forms of tangible benefits to the institute.
Firstly, it reduced the amount of instructor-led sessions and eliminated the concern of irregular attendance. Also, the Institution further determined that the course could be completed within a span of 4 months as compared to the previous 6. This results in substantial time saving.
Secondly, with the freed-up lesson commitments, the trainers are able to put more of their resources into crafting a more detailed and well facilitated workshop.
Overall, this implementation resulted in substantial resource savings when compared to the older model consisting purely of face-to-face classroom sessions.
With eLearning in practice, instructors and teachers would find that this additional teaching aid provides that much needed boost to their already increased range of duties in their profession.