Critical Choices: Distance Learning for an At-Risk Workforce

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Critical Choices: Distance Learning for an At-Risk Workforce. Presenters: Aline Click Susan King. Today’s Presentation. What is the Critical Choices Program? What are some of the issues in designing and developing the program? How does technology help address the issues?.
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Critical Choices: Distance Learning for an At-Risk WorkforcePresenters:Aline ClickSusan KingToday’s Presentation
  • What is the Critical Choices Program?
  • What are some of the issues in designing and developing the program?
  • How does technology help address the issues?
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityWhat’s in it for you?
  • Defining issues associated with online classwork
  • Identifying appropriate tools
  • Understanding the flow of technology related to issues and tools
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityDefining the Critical Choices ProgramLAAP Grant InitiativeLearning Anytime Anyplace Partnership
  • LAAP is a grant program for asynchronous, innovative, scalable, and nationally significant distance education projects
  • Funded by US Department of Education
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityCritical Choices Project Overview
  • “A comprehensive online workplace success skills program to provide low-income and welfare recipients with essential workplace skills”
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Implement
  • Evaluate
  • Disseminate nationwide
  • Support
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityPartners
  • Training Alliance of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Training, Inc.
  • Northern Illinois University
  • E-learning services
  • Department of Adult Education
  • Center for Governmental Studies
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityCourse Focus
  • Self-knowledge
  • Educational and occupational exploration
  • Career planning
  • Life plan assessment
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityDesign and Development IssuesPioneering Program for Population and Delivery SystemIssue 1: Sound Instructional Design
  • Analysis Phase
  • Design Phase
  • Development Phase
  • Evaluation Phase
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityNew Approach
  • Help an at-risk group develop critical work-related skills
  • Develop a technology-based delivery system
  • Bridge the digital divide to learn anytime and anywhere
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityIssue 2: Target Audience and Motivation
  • U.S. welfare system overhaul in 1996
  • Some success
  • For the most part the jobs they find do not pay a livable wage
  • Only 25% of those tracked held the same job after 18 months
  • Why should they take another class?
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityComputer Literacy
  • Digital Divide: Gulf between
  • Those who have access to computer technology and the necessary skills to use it effectively
  • And those who do not
  • Implications in the job market
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityResearch
  • A Study by California State University Institute (1999) Defined needs of welfare to work, low literacy and skills population
  • Sound instructional design
  • Appropriate use of technology
  • Adequate support for sustained involvement
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityMonitoring Progress vs. Privacy
  • Siegel (1996) found that a key component to successful online education for at-risk populations seems to be closely monitoring student progress
  • Also found this population tends to drop out of the program, especially if they did not feel closely watched
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityIssue 3: Type of Content
  • Skills necessary to qualify for higher paying jobs include “Soft Skills” such as:
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Teamwork
  • Reasonable reflective thinking
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityCritical Thinking Defined
  • The skill of reasonable reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to do or believe (Baron & Sternberg, 1987)
  • Critical thinking to be embedded in course activities
  • Critical thinking to be evaluated as an outcome
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityTechnology ConsiderationsAddressing the Issues with Insight and InnovationTest the theory that blended model can overcome traditional limitations:
  • Greatly increase accessibility because of anywhere, anytime aspects
  • Reduce dropout by blending enhanced counseling with increased accessibility
  • Improve learning outcomes by accommodating differing learning styles
  • Empower participants to overcome the digital divide
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityPlatform: Windows 95/98/2000, or Windows NT with Service Pack 4 Processor: Pentium II (233 mhz or better) RAM: 32 MB or greaterModem Speed: 28.8 kbps modem or faster Audio: 16 bit Sound Card and Speakers Video: Display card (minimum 65,000-color) Monitor: Set to 800 x 600 resolution or better Software: Internet Explorer 5.5 SP1, RealPlayer 8 (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Shockwave Player Platform: MacOs 8.1 or Later Processor: 604 Power PC (200 Mhz) or faster RAM: 32 MB or better, Virtual Memory turned on, set to 64MB Modem Speed: 28.8 kbps or greater Monitor: Set to 800 x 600 resolution or better Software: Internet Explorer 5.0, RealPlayer 8 (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Shockwave PlayerSystem RequirementseLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityPublic Sidewww.criticalchoices.orgeLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityCritical Choices Technology FloweLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityLearning Management System
  • Security
  • Personalization
  • Information important to the individual
  • Location Info
  • Class Info
  • Individual Info
  • Communication
  • Feedback
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityWelcome CentereLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityLearning CentereLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityLearning Center as Focus of Project
  • Computer Orientation
  • Resources
  • Communication
  • Back Pack
  • Personal documents
  • Modules
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityTechnology in Learning Modules
  • Presentation via video scenarios, audio/slideshow, or activity (media intensive)
  • Interactive quiz/activity (images used for visual support)
  • Threaded discussion with classmates and/or a case manager or facilitator
  • Assignment/Activity (varied and checked online by facilitator)
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityLearning Interactions
  • Between instructor/facilitator and learner
  • Among learners
  • Between learner and resources
  • Hyperlinks
  • Search tools
  • Media
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityOther Technology
  • Backpack (similar to a grade book)
  • Personal documents
  • Time spent online
  • Profile Information (editing)
  • To do list / calendar
  • Module completion checklist
  • Communication
  • Threaded discussion
  • Email > classmates > facilitator
  • Chats
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityCommunity CentereLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityOngoing Effects of Community
  • Connections to other people
  • Access to information
  • Financial
  • Health
  • Child care
  • Any area of interest
  • Place to keep personal information
  • Resources
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityComparative Benefits of Online Experience
  • Increases writing and reading comprehension skills
  • Allows participants to move through the material at their own pace
  • Facilitates independent working skills
  • Provides a broad range of informational resources
  • Develops an extended community that remains after the class
  • eLearning Services, Northern Illinois UniversityQuestions ?www.criticalchoices.orgAline Clickaclick@niu.eduSusan Kingscking@niu.edu
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