Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Collaborative Learning in the Corporate World

There is a great post by Debi Lord regarding how to use collaborative learning in the corporate world. Although I struggled to figure out how these tools will work in the corporate environment, Debi has discovered numerous ways to integrate these tools. I look forward to keeping tabs on Debi's future posts to see how these integrations have worked in her department.

Suggested Course Improvement

In looking at the posts of other course participants, I came across a very interesting post by Paula Powers. Paula has suggested numerous ideas for course improvement. I joined Paula in being overwhelmed by the first week of the course, and think that her suggestion of making the first two weeks about learning and applying the tools is a great idea. It seems like many people were extremely frustrated by the first week's workload and gave up.

I am glad that I stuck it out and worked through the difficult times. I would definitely recommend this course to others that are looking to research some of the Web 2.0 tools and learn how they can be applied to collaborative learning.

Tony, thank you so much for all of your hard work and for putting up with us for the past 6 weeks. We really appreciate it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

My Course Experience

The first week of this course was really difficult. There were so many tools for us to figure out - and each of them took a considerable amount of time. However, as the weeks went by, the time spent working on the assignments was much smaller. If I were to teach this course, I would separate the work from week 1 into 2 weeks. I liked that it was challenging to figure it all out, but it was also extremely frustrating.

I can see the general value in all of the tools we discovered, yet I am unsure of collaborative learning and how it relates to the tools. I would like to have seen more examples of how this can apply to the corporate environment.

Collaborative learning is a great way for people to share ideas and feed off of each other, yet I can see this type of learning working more effectively in a school environment. Graduate students would benefit greatly from this type of interaction.


Looking back at this experience, and reflecting on what we've learned and how to apply it in the future...

Collaborative Learning
I have an understanding of collaborative learning, and how it is effective as a learning tool, however I am not sure of how to apply this process in the corporate environment. I can see that it will be difficult to get busy professionals to sign up for the different tools, and then get them to actively participate in any type of collaborative experience.

Learning 2.0 Tools
I can see the 2.0 tools we worked with doing well in a personal environment. Blogs, the RSS reader, and Social Bookmarking and Networking are great ways to keep tabs on friends and what they're doing. I will definitely use blogging and the social tools in the future. They are relatively easy to use once you get rolling.

Unfortunately, I am still having difficulties in seeing the value of these tools in the corporate environment.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Week 4

Completing the Team Project

The assignment from team 1 was to complete a few questions on blended learning and how it relates to a scenario of training employees at remote locations. I have never really delved into blended learning and what it really means, so it was great to research this topic a bit more. I discovered that blended learning is highly effective and is most likely the way to teach in the future.

I think that team 1 chose a great topic to have us research and reflect on.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Team 1 Project Exercise

Question 7: Will blended learning replace instructor class room training?

Blended learning is the future of training instruction. However, instructor classroom training is an integral part of a blended learning program.

Blended learning involves combining various resources into a training program. It can include computer based initiatives as well as classroom based ones. Although classroom training is more expensive to deliver than a computer based program, there are times when classroom interaction is a necessity.

We are asked if blended learning will replace classroom training, however I think it is more appropriate to say that blended learning will replace e-learning. Computer based training is an asset to the training world, yet they are more effective if combined with other types of training into a "blended" learning experience.

Team 1 Project Exercise

Question 3: What are some of the biggest benefits of blended learning as it applies to a software rollout to field offices?

The real question is: how do we quickly and proficiently train people at various locations? Blended learning programs are the answer to this challenge.

With blended learning programs we can train large numbers of employees within an extremely short timeframe. The biggest challenge is selecting a combination of media that will drive the biggest impact for the lowest cost.

Computer-based Training
The most effective way to teach a new software package is using computer based training. In this type of training, the participant will be shown the screens that they will be using as well as assistance in navigating the various functions. This will provide the user with hands on experience in the software and how it works. This option will promote low cost compared to the cost of sending a trainer to each of the various locations.

A webinar is effective as a follow-up to the CBT. This will allow the users to share insight to what they've learned while going through the CBT and give them the ability to share their knowledge with others.

Blended learning is definitely a smart choice for providing the biggest impact with the lowest cost for a field rollout in software training.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Week 3

For this week's assignment, we were to include an add-in to our blog. I chose to include both a Blog Roll and a Site Meter.

Overall, this week went well. It was quite simple to chose and include the add-ins for the blog. Our team was able to share the project responsibilities, and get the task done in a short amount of time.

I am, however, struggling to understand the bigger picture of what we're doing and how it can make a difference to the learning environment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Surviving Week 2

This week was a 180 degree turn from my challenging experience last week. Signing up for Yahoo 360 and My Web were very quick and easy. I probably spent about an hour getting these tools up and running.

The project related assignment was a little more difficult for me. I had trouble understanding the deliverable for this project. Thankfully, my team had a better understanding of what the assignment was, and we were able to collaborate on a project plan. Our team also set up a discussion group for communications during this process.

Overall, this week went great!

Social Bookmarking and Wikis

Social Bookmarking and Wikis can both be used to create a list of links. However, they are used in very different scenarios. Social bookmarking is best used when you are researching a topic. You can view the links that the people in your network has deemed valuable. A wiki is best used for a list of links when you want a group to view only specific web pages. Everyone can go to the wiki and look at the links provided - there is no research involved. In a course like ours, if we are instructed to look at specific web pages, the wiki is definitely the best choice. However, if we need to research a topic, social bookmarking is the way to go.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Surviving Week 1

What a week I've had! I was so excited to begin this adventure, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Each one of the tools we used this week was new to me. It took at least an hour to get moving on each application, along with trying to review articles via Technorati and bloglines. I spent at least 10 hours working on this first assignment.

This assignment forced us to immerse ourselves in these tools. We had to figure out how to set up a blog, add posts to the blog, as well as comment on other's blogs. We subscribed to bloglines and added feeds from team members' blogs. We read and reviewed posts from Tony's blog and searched other blogs to review their articles. We also edited the Wiki to add our blog information.

I'm not sure if there is anything that could have been done to make this first week go better. My novice in these applications was definitely a hinderance, but I am glad that I pushed through the frustration. It is exciting to see that we can accomplish these goals with some hard work and patience.

Overall, it was a good yet challenging experience.