Monthly Archives: June 2012

Education and the mLearning generation by Diane Shawe

Education from the Cutting Edge

Article by Diane Shawe

Things are happening very quickly out there. It is changing. Harvard, MIT, Cambridge and Oxford are doing it. Companies, both big and small, are doing it. Solopreneurs are doing it. And some teachers have been doing it … they just haven’t been making any money at it. It’s a trend that many in education saw coming 10 years ago. The “It” is on-line education — and it’s gone from being an interesting sideline to a major social and economic trend.

This trend’s going to be around a little longer than some online trends. Because there are some very solid factors underlying the shift to online education … and they’re only getting stronger. Online education is at a tipping point. And that’s brilliant news if you’re into education and have a mobile device and go to www.shortcourses.expert . Let’s talk about why.

Online education is now a massive juggernaut; more than 8.1 million current college students took a Web-based course beginning September 2011. According to recent research in the US (published in the Boston Globe), nearly a third of students have taken one during their college careers.

You see the traditional model of get a degree and land a great job just isn’t working any more, at least in most professions. I’m still a huge fan of universities, but we have to face the fact that they’re quickly becoming a pricy luxury in the UK and other developing nations. Indeed even with a good degree many students are taking ‘McJobs’ to earn money and are frustrated by the lack of real opportunities. I know many that are angry with unpaid internships.

Students are looking for other ways to learn what they need to learn — without the six-figure price tag. You see normal people live online now! Is your father on Facebook? Mine is. And the weirdest thing about it is … it’s nice. It lets me keep up with what he’s doing, and share the exploits of my charming hooligan daughter.

I first got online in 1991. I remember how long it took me to ‘get online’….those strange handshake noises….and the joy of slow connections.  But the internet doesn’t belong to early adopters like me anymore. The internet, assisted by the smart phone and tablet is woven into our lives like it never has been. My father’s iPad is the new Silver Surfer must have accessory.

That means that normal people, not just web junkies, are willing to consider online activities that never would have occurred to them before. It means they look at online education and think, “Wow, I could do that.”

The world is changing faster than traditional education can evolve. As a former Headteacher, I know that the revolution is here. The (dial m for mobile) mLearning generation are about to inherit the earth.

Almost every aspect of our lives is changing. Making money, learning, socialising, family life and education. Certainly for education, we want it quicker (try just 4 weeks at The Academy of Vocational & Professional Training), we want it better and we want it to have some global ‘value’. All that change is coming faster than most people can handle. In the global economy with huge aspirations, we all need help with some aspect of the change that’s swirling around us.

Which means if you can master some element of the changing world, and stay on top of it, you can help customers do the same. Great businesses are built by solving tough problems. And mastering change is one of the toughest problems we all face … every day, and in every aspect of our lives.

Traditional education has a tough time with this. If you want to study ancient Greek, you should be set. (And more power to you, because I think that is cool.) But if you want to study technology, nutrition and fitness, marketing, communications, or any of the other myriad ways people make a living, you need the latest information. And the only way to do this is with the new Blended mLearning methodology.

You see, Online learners are … well, learning. None of this would matter if online education didn’t work as well as face-to-face learning. But it appears to actually work better. In a 2009 report based on 50 independent studies, the Department of Education found that students who studied in online learning environments performed modestly better than peers who were receiving face-to-face instruction.

Online learning allows students to go at the pace that’s right for them. When online education is well designed (and it really needs the thought process, the design and brilliant content), it gives plenty of opportunity to not only absorb the theories in the material, but to discuss it meaningfully and put it into practice. Put that with the best of interactive learning (Virtual Tutor Facilitators) and you have a winner!

Students can replay lectures if they need to. They can interact with other students online in ways that far surpass traditional classroom discussion. Even something as simple as being able to attend class when you’re at your most refreshed can make a huge difference. (I am pretty convinced that I learned exactly nothing from the early morning University lectures I attended). You don’t have to shuffle into a physical room with an instructor physically present to learn.

That we can take the very best education and make it widely available, instead of limiting it to a few hundred people at a time. That we can learn at our own pace, on our own time, when and where it’s convenient for us.

Top Universities will continue to do a brilliant job teaching law and microbiology. But you may very well be able to do an even more brilliant job teaching small business tax planning or sports nutrition. Or advanced NLP, Business start up, Hair extensions. Or how to get a novel published. Or take my courses in Stand up Comedy! All in 4 weeks. And all globally accredited.

Diane Shawe the CEO is very passionate about how we can extend and touch the lives of anyone wanting to learn through online training!  she says that the way online games have captured the attention of the young,  is what she would like Academy of vocational and professional training to do with online mlearning  sustainable education.

For me the mLearning revolution is here. Online and now.

Catch you there

Preserving Quality in on-line education

Article by Diane Shawe M.Ed.

Various transformations taking place throughout the world had impacted  changes in teaching and learning– one of the activities with the oldest traditions in human history. Globalisation is changing established relationship, practice and culture and destroying territorial boundaries.  An important role in reorganising education systems and the implementation of lifelong learning principles is an obligation of higher education institutions, especially K2 educational institutions.

It is important for higher education institutions to respond to changing social needs for new learning styles and ways.  These include training teacher within the lifelong learning sector and administrators to focus on quality improvement in on-line education.

To continue discussion about on-line study quality and areas of effective use of these studies it is necessary to conceptualise what is quality in on-line studies.  Exploring by what means it can be achieved and what is the impact of technology on these studies. However, analysis of scientific literature shows that still little attention is given to on-line learning quality, more research studies are devoted to analysis of quality of traditional education, although much from the latter is adapted in on-line learning.

The term ‘quality’ can rarely be heard in public discussion about learning. What I mean by ‘quality’ is in the delivery and assessment processes when delivering  blended learning contents via various media’   Opinion about the quality of learning depends on numerous aspects, for example, on a person’s experience, status (teacher, student or other), circumstances and so on.  Even if learning is determined to be ‘quality’ at a certain period, it will not remain forever static, because the assessment of ‘quality’ is forever developing, on-going innovative learning technologies and methods are being discovered, approach to learning is changing and so on.

I believe that we should endeavour  to agree that ‘quality’ in on-line learning is an objective which is improving, continuously being searched for but it is not possible to claim that it is achieved.

Seeking to use modern technological opportunities for the delivery and improvement of on-line learning  several  necessary external conditions need to be satisfied in order to move towards ‘quality’:

  • Both students and teachers must possess satisfactory computer literacy;
  • Learning Management Systems must be synchronous and asynchronous;
  • Both students and teachers have to have access to e-learning technologies;
  • Quality digital contents (courses and learning material) must be designed;
  • Computer networks and the Internet reaching all communities of the country must be established;

E-administration tools that delivery Course Management Systems (CMS) is often confused with Learning Management Systems (LMS);  for  instance Moodle which is predominantly  a Course Management System has probably hampered the real introduction of asynchronous LMS from which real on-line interaction between student and teacher can be directed.  Whilst there is a place for CMS to support self-service,  it is to be viewed as a segment that would contribute to the whole online LMS blended learning  principles.

Every new learning technology (books, computers, the Internet) has caused revolutionary changes in learning. The quality of on-line study is a goal. It can be improved, sought, but the process is never-ending due to changes of conditions, learning technologies and at last– the concept of the quality itself.

Diane Shawe CEO of Academy of Vocational and Professional Training

Can on-line courses be accredited successfully?

Academy of Vocational and Professional Training awarded Global Accreditation by IAO

iao accreditation sealThe International Accreditation Organisation (IAO)  granted full accreditation to Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd., UK, after meeting their rigorous Points Profile© System.

Article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

In February 2012 AVPT Ltd gained Candidacy Status after complying with the first stages of the  assessment criteria.  Full accreditation was granted to the institution, after the IAO’s evaluation commission evaluated the school’s on-line Learning Management System, (LMS) on-line academic courses, supporting Virtual Facilitators and organisational and management structure.

The CEO Diane Shawe is very pleased with this enormous progress. In February she posted a blog about Accrediting organisations recognising the rise of e-learning

The Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd. delivers over 240 courses accessible on-line or as express classroom style learning. To serve as a complete blended solution to deliver high quality learning to students, with supportive personal facilitators that helps get them qualified to the highest standard quickly.

IAO acknowledges that AVPT can deliver on its mission statement.

“The mission of AVPT is to establish, preserve and promote the finest interactive educational standards worldwide that can be accessible to all globally. To use their expertise and resources to support individual study, lifelong learning by bringing education directly into the hands of individuals, communities, businesses and organisations in General. To enhance the quality and impact of teaching and the learning experience.”

IAO’s international accreditation also recognises that Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd complied with the standards and criteria that meet its quality of education responsibility to its students and to the education profession along with all the services and privileges of regional, national and international professional recognition.

Diane Shawe  states

“We have a passion for education and using cutting edge mobile technologies that allow us to get people qualified in days not years.

We have an exciting and special way of doing this including the use of fully trained virtual tutors incorporating psychological shortcuts, brain training, super-learning and the latest e-learning strategies…that encourages a higher order of thinking and doing skills.”

Tim Dingle the newly appointed Non Executive Director states that

“Academy of Vocational and Professional Training offer more than 240 outstanding interactive on-line courses, covering a wide variety of subjects. The courses can also be delivered in classroom style fast track blended learning.  They are flexible, scalable and  student centred. We are committed to supporting the global lifelong learning experience a globally accredited organisation who’s courses and certificates are recognised around the world.”

Visit http://www.expresstrainingcourses.com for more information. We are happy to discuss personal training, scalable training for employers around the world, bespoke online courses for organisations, enterprises and networking groups.