Selecting Distance Learning Technologies

Posted: January 27, 2015 in Instructional Design

This week, I chose to identify possible solutions to the following distance learning challenge:

Example 1: Collaborative Training Environment

A new automated staff information system was recently purchased by a major corporation and needs to be implemented in six regional offices. Unfortunately, the staff is located throughout all the different offices and cannot meet at the same time or in the same location. As an instructional designer for the corporation, you have been charged with implementing a training workshop for these offices. As part of the training, you were advised how imperative it is that the staff members share information, in the form of screen captures and documents, and participate in ongoing collaboration.

In today’s business environment, collaboration in the workplace is important.  For this scenario, a collaborative training solution is needed.  According to Wiesen (2015), “collaborative training is a form of training in which a number of people learn together as a group, usually through a system such as computers connected through an Internet connection.”  As an instructional designer for the corporation charged with implementing the training workshop for these offices, I  would consider utilizing distance learning technologies that allow employees, who are located in different locations, to communicate, contribute, and share information.  I would establish a flexible training schedule that will give employees multiple options to complete the training.

One of the technologies I would consider utilizing in this training scenario is a wiki.   From classrooms to corporate intranets, wikis are being utilized by people to help them to collaborate, share and build information (Rai, 2008).  A wiki is usually thought to be a space designed to be created and edited by groups of persons using a web browser (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012, p. 129). Users can create, edit, remove or contribute to pages using a web browser.  In addition users can share resources such as documents, videos, spreadsheets, important links, FAQ’s, key terms, discussion questions, and project documentation. Wiki’s are very resourceful tools that can be utilized by team members.  These resources can be accessed by staff members at any time and location.  To promote the wiki, email notifications and social media can be used to get the word out.  Wikis are great to use for ongoing collaboration.

For this training scenario, I would also consider producing webinars utilizing web-conferencing software.  “A webinar is a presentation or workshop that is transmitted over the web using video conferencing software” (Beal, 2015). A webinar is interactive allowing participants to give, receive and discuss information (Beal, 2015).  Web conferencing software, such as AT&T Connect and Webex, is needed to produce webinars.  Hundreds of participants, located in the same or different location, can be reached during a webinar.  Videos, graphics, document sharing, guest speakers, and Q&A can be incorporated into a Webinar.  A webinar session can be recorded for future use as a training module.  This is beneficial for employees who are unable to attend the scheduled webinar session.

Reference

Beal, V. (2015). Webinar – Web-based seminar. Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/Webinar.html

Rai, P. (2008). Learners Together – Home – Wikis in Business and Education. Retrieved from http://www.learnerstogether.net/home/2008/6/6/wikis-in-business-and-education.html

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Wiesen, G. (2015, January 1). What Is Collaborative Training? Retrieved January 26, 2015, from http://www.wisegeek.net/what-is-collaborative-training.htm

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Comments
  1. Dear Farida,
    I always appreciate your ideas, this time is no exception. I worked on the same scenario this week and also chose wikis as the most appropriate solution. However, I have my doubts about using Webinars, although they could be quite appropriate if the time-zone difference were not prohibitive (the scenario does not provide information on that). I only know that, as a Walden student, I subscribed to quite a few Writing Center webinars and then had to skip them just because I could not bring myself to open my eyes at 3 in the morning.
    Thank you for the new valuable resources.
    Marina

  2. Farida, I am subscribed to your blog and looking forward to your posts. Steve

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