KeithFeiring
EDUI 6772  
Valerie Taylor
January 23, 2003

Short Content Project

 Introduction:

Before I became a fulltime school teacher, I had a Microsoft Office training business called OfficeInstructor.com. I contracted with businesses and government agencies to train their employees. The following course is a hypothetical online training course. It is based on Learning Model A – the Training Model.

Part 1

Subject / Title of course

Course # 1, PowerPoint – Outline View
This course teaches how to create a PowerPoint presentation utilizing PowerPoint’s Outline View.

 

Description of Likely Learners

Learners for this course are a group of employees from a company or government agency. They all need to learn skills to help them successfully and quickly create PowerPoint presentations. They hold positions at various levels within their organizations. All of them have been screened and assessed to meet minimum requirements necessary to participate in the course. They possess adequate online skills, typing skills and have created PowerPoint presentations. In addition they have demonstrated that they can read and understand written materials on a computer screen in a training setting.

Their employer is paying for the training. The learners are aware of the requirements for participating in the course (explained on the course site.) At the conclusion of the course, the learners are required to be tested on their ability to produce a PowerPoint presentation utilizing the information in the course. The test results are forwarded to the employer.

The course can be taken in small modules, focusing on particular skill-sets.  Modules can also be packaged together to create an in depth course teaching a variety of skills. In this instance, the course focuses only on creating a PowerPoint presentation in Outline View.  The duration of the course is five days in sequence. This is a hypothetical structuring of the course, created for convenience of presenting our Short Content Project.

Learning goals and objectives for the course are:

·        Students are able to create a PowerPoint presentation in Outline View.

·        Students learn how to understand software programs using the teaching approach of this course as their model.

·        Identify to the employer, capable learners who may be offered to the opportunity to continue taking training courses.

Part 2

Course Content

PowerPoint – Outline View Course

 

Please take a look at the course interface and activities.  Your comments and suggestions are most welcome.
(I am aware of numerous unresolved issues within the course.)

 

Part 3

Analysis
The course is designed to be an inexpensive means for the employer to train employees. Little to no interaction with the instructor is anticipated. The less interaction, the more profitable the course is to the training company. Students are expected to work by themselves. There are no online discussions. In theory, the course is perfectly designed to permit a student to accomplish the lessons without problems and need for interaction.

  1. The interface of the course is designed for ease of use. Its only purpose is to present course material. Using it requires relatively no learning by the students. Everything needed to take the course in on this one page.
     
  1. Directions for proceeding through the course are simple and clearly stated.  Directions are organized in a table layout. Students can see each step they take, and always know where they are.
     
  1. The simplicity of the interface along with the directions, allows the students to become comfortable, and allows them to begin to trust the learning medium.
     
  1. When the instructor (me) introduces himself, it is done in a friendly, welcoming demeanor. Stating the instructor’s experience helps to instill additional confidence into the students that they will be successful.

There are many more details built into the course, but for the sake of space I will try to summarize the main ones.

  1. Students are motivated to take the course and be successful because:
    1. Using the program is a fun thing to do on their job.
    2. They know they will be taking a test (assessment) at the end of the course which will go to their employer
    3. Student’s activities and attendance are monitored through registration and confirmation forms.
  2. Learning Styles

The course incorporates all the VARK learning styles: Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic.

  • They observe a PowerPoint presentation to see the final product.

  • They observe a Viewlet presentation that incorporates visuals and sounds.

  • They are instructed to practice what have observed.

  • They are instructed to experiment by creating.

  • They are requested to write instructions to their employer on how to make a presentation, giving them the chance to teach the information and further internalize it.

  1. The teaching approach is to
  • First demonstrate.

  • Next give step by step directions.

  • Then provide practice.

  • Last create a real presentation without directions.

  1. Teaching and learning occur over a period of days. This allows for repetition and time to grasp the concepts.
  2. Students can take the course via the Internet, at home or at work. It does not matter. Students are required to work in a quiet area with no distractions.

My course reflects much of what the pure Training Model specifies.

  • Clear step by step self-contained learning modules which guide the learner to acquire a specific skill
  • It is independent and self administered. No peer interaction. Little instructor feedback.
  • It contains means for the students to assess their learning.
  • Assignments  clearly reflect the learning goals and objectives
  • There are no reading assignments, only exercises to follow.