Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Documents for e-learning

Previously I mentioned the Australian Flexible Learning Framework provided an online introduction to Designing e-Learning. The first of their five steps ids "Get started in e-learning". This has three items, with links to five Microsoft Word format word processing documents, a total of 438 Kbytes (other modules have Powerpoint slides or an external e-Learning web site).

The Word documents are:
  1. Types of e-learning (Word doc 69KB)
  2. Which types are you? (Word doc 109KB)
  3. Gallery webquest quiz (Word doc 60KB)
  4. Building an online community (Word doc 112KB)
  5. Learning design webquest (Word doc 151KB)

Types of e-learning

Types of e-learning is a one page landscape format table listing six types of E-learning: E-training, Blended learning, Virtual classroom, Digital campus, Distance education and Web in class. For each E-learning type there is listed eight items: Description, Learning mode, Content, Delivery, Collaboration, Sector, Drivers and Main learning model. This is a complex table with 48 cells giving an overview of e-learning for corporate, VET and higher education sectors. As an electronic document the table is poorly formatted, not easily fitting on screen. There are footnotes on the document, which may not be good for such documents, but these are hypertext linked so the footnote appears when the cursor is placed over it in the text context.

The Types of e-learning and many of the other documents might be better done as web pages. This would make them easier to read on screen. It appears that these documents are designed to be printed out. While this is a useful option, it breaks the e-learning paradigm. One reason for using WP format might be that this was the simplest self contained format available to the designers. While web pages (HTML) would be more suited to the student, the LMS package used would have required the content to then be fixed in page, rather than as a simple add on module which could be shared between different courses. t is difficult to make a web page a standalone module, due to the need to have images, styles and other ancillary files.

Which types are you? is a one page portrait format word processing document. It is a worksheet with a table of seven tick box questions, with space to write explanations. There may be some form of macro on the document to make it interactive, but on my version of Open Office, the document was static, with no way to actually fill in the tick boxes (text could be written into the comments space).

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