E-learning teams

Don’t really have a proper category for this old tidbit which I found reviewing some old papers. The following are a couple excerpts from a conference paper I participated in way back in 1998. That paper was the final deliverable for a position I held at UPEI starting I believe in 1997. Though at the time I remember being completely exasperated it was a great job that helped close the door once and for all on my music career. Despite the technical teams’ inexperience and only budding skill I still think that the team make-up was one of the best I have seen in e-learning product development since.
“The development process began from several philosophical and practical principles:

  • interaction was the key to learning – journals, bulletin boards, within-group email, discussion groups
  • courses had to be visually attractive, easy to use, interesting and challenging
  • the resources of the group, the Internet and the Library would be incorporated into the learning process
  • the teaching strengths of the individual faculty members had to be reflected in the design of each course
  • the bandwidth demands of the final version had to be small enough to accommodate typical computer equipment and browsers
  • materials had to be cross-platform stable
  • the course design would be modular and allow for open access and exit as much as possible,
  • no pay-to-use operating software would be used and unique programming solutions would be developed as needed
  • the project would be a team effort – faculty controlled content, open learning manager directed educational design, project administrator found resources as needed and the technical members developed visual and technical solutions to solve educational and content needs
  • as much as possible, solutions found for one course would be adapted for use in the other course”

Bill Robertson

“… to undertake the transformation process I follow in moving a face-to-face course into a flexible delivery mode. The transformer "is the skilled professional who mediates between the expert and the reader. Their job is to put the expert’s message in a form that reader can understand and to look after the reader’s interest in general. For example, any reasonable query the reader might have should be thought about and catered for in a proper manner." (M. MacDonald-Ross and R. Walker, ‘The Transformer’ The Penrose Annual , 1976). Tranformation was developed as a concept for the presentation of information in the 1930’s by Otto Neurath and has been an interest of educational research since that time.
Transformation draws on the practices of educational technology, instructional design, graphic art, editing and flexible education, and makes a contribution, which is distinctive and individual. Theorists place less emphasis on behaviorist strategies than do some educational designers and may place less emphasis on aesthetic criteria than do artists and graphic designers. Their view is to facilitate the transformation of information and ensure that communication is improved and learning enhanced. This all takes time – the one thing we did not have.
The transformation process I follow involves auditing the face-to-face lessons, transforming the face-to-face reality into a distance education mode. I then discuss this transformation with the professor and, where possible, students. The trick here is to capture the ‘magic’ of the individual facilitator and transform it into the electronic mode. The next stage is to work closely with the team to undertake the final transformation to an on-line course. This entails coding the interactive components of the face-to-face lesson into self- assessment exercises and information sharing for the on-line learner.”
Dale Mattock
From "The Making of Practical Logic 111"
Neb Kujundzic, Clark MacLeod, Dale Mattock, Mike O’Brien, Bill Robertson