Wattenbarger Community College’s Distance Learning System

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Problem: You have just assumed the role of vice president of instruction of a community college with your president expecting that the institution will become a leader in providing distance learning. Create an action plan for curriculum revision, development, and evaluation for the next 5 year period.

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Creating a Distance Learning Model

When building a distance-based instructional delivery system at Wattenbarger CC, first of all, it is necessary to formulate some general principles of the organization of distance learning:

  • activity-oriented nature of training;
  • creation of a friendly educational environment;
  • a combination of “soft” and “hard” pedagogical methods of managing the educational activities of students (taking into account life situations and individual characteristics of the student on the one hand and general orientation towards the need to fulfill the training program and mandatory control of learning outcomes on the other) (Amhag et al., 2019);
  • interaction of all individuals in the educational process;
  • education in an open communicative environment;
  • training in the space of multilevel programs.

In the structure of the distance learning system, the following technologies should be distinguished and implemented:

  • pedagogical (procedures for organizing educational activities of students to master the content of training);
  • organizational (procedures for managing all types of activities in the educational system);
  • communicative (procedures providing various types and forms of interaction of all participants in the educational process);
  • informational (procedures for presenting educational content in a virtual environment, as well as collecting, storing, transferring, and transforming any information about the educational process) (Horváth et al., 2018).

The Choice of Learning Management System for Wattenberger CC

Moodle is a free and highly customizable platform that will perfectly suit the distance learning process at Wattenbarger CC. It has many plugins to expand its functionality and requires web development skills for administration. Over the years of development, a strong community has formed around Moodle, which creates new modules for the platform. Today, Moodle has been translated into over 100 languages and supports over 1,500 plugins (Shurygin & Sabirova, 2017). It is ideal for organizing training in colleges, universities, and training centers.

Moodle features include the following:

  • Setting the platform through plugins. The functionality and design of Moodle are changed with the help of plugins, which can be downloaded for free from the Internet or created by oneself.
  • Open source system. As a rule, plugins are developed by users themselves, who put them on the Internet for general access.
  • Integration with other services. Moodle is easy to integrate with other platforms like WordPress or Zoom webinars (Shurygin & Sabirova, 2017).
  • Moodle supports the most popular standards in e-learning: IMS, AICC, and SCORM. XAPI (Tin-Can) support is enabled via the Logstore API plugin. That is why a user can upload presentations, images, video, audio, and text files to Moodle.
  • A user can create text lectures and polls. If one connects the Interactive Content H5P plugin, it is possible to add learning content from the H5P: web service for creating interactive learning materials. To create better lessons, a teacher can use separate programs such as the iSpring Suite (Shurygin & Sabirova, 2017).

In Moodle, it is possible to customize the reporting system, that is, select only the data that is needed to analyze student progress. For example, one can see how much time they spend studying the course, how often they visit the platform, what mistakes they make in tests, etc. The set of reports on the system depends on the plugin that is installed, and there are thirty-eight of them in total. For example, one can set up statistics on user progress and their activity, the popularity of courses, as well as the work of the platform (collection of errors, the number of visits, etc.).

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Development of an e-Learning Platform and Coordination of Work with Stakeholders

A modern e-learning learning platform must meet a range of needs of students, teachers, and school organizers. Depending on the field of study, the platform requires different functions since the portraits and requirements of system users are also different. Coordination of work with stakeholders includes the development of an interaction system, in which requirements from students, teachers, and college are met.

Requirements from the students include:

  • access to the system from any device;
  • mobile applications for learning;
  • multimedia formats;
  • interface of communication with the teacher, the ability to quickly contact and discuss the issue of interest;
  • convenient interfaces of courses, lessons, and tests;
  • understandable assessment system, the ability to see the progress;
  • quickly find which lesson to complete.

Requirements from the teacher include:

  • convenient interfaces for creating courses and tests;
  • interfaces for communication with individual students and groups of students;
  • access to the list of subjects;
  • the ability to check materials sent from students and give marks (Amhag et al., 2019).

College requirements are as follows:

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  • the ability to create accounts for teachers and other employees;
  • the ability to create student accounts;
  • access to data about employees and students;
  • access to grades and statistics for each grade;
  • access to statistics on payments.

The Structure of Distance Learning Teacher Competences

The competence of a distance learning teacher is the readiness to organize and carry out training in a distance learning format, that is, with indirect interaction with students. So, competence as a professional quality is determined by the presence of three groups of features: technical, subject, and methodological competencies (Table 1). Teacher competences should be evaluated using this table and based on these three skills.

Table 1. The Structure of Distance Learning Teacher Competences

Components Distance learning teacher competences
Technical competences Subject competences Methodological competences
Material, technical, and organizational components Provision of the necessary equipment. Availability of access to high-speed internet The use of electronic teaching aids Availability of a working program, lesson plans, and educational complex
Theoretic component Informed about the possibilities of modern digital learning and communication tools Skills the subject at a high level Familiar with the methodological principles of distance learning and information security
Practical component Knows how to use digital technologies, create, edit, and post educational and methodological materials for remote access Uses electronic materials on the discipline, such as videos, tests, databases, statistical data, digital platforms, etc. Knows the methodological foundations for the creation and use of electronic educational resources
Personal component Masters technical teaching aids, monitors the emergence of new opportunities Sees the prospects for the introduction of digital technologies in professional activity and strives for their implementation Participates in webinars, online courses, or e- conferences to improve methodological qualifications

To support teachers in transition to learning using distance technologies, a special project must be created, in which IT specialists may provide teachers, parents, and students round-the-clock remote technical support. Besides, teachers are called upon to ensure a continuous and high-quality educational process through distance learning based on the use of electronic educational resources. The degree of readiness of teaching and management personnel for this challenge is a criterion for assessing the status of an educational institution, the qualifications of its employees, and a sign of professionalism. The prerequisite for having proper skills and qualifications is the completion of core courses, such as ADE 6600 (Foundations of Adult Education), ADE 6640 – (Social Context of Adult Education), and ADE 6670 (Adult Learning and Development). These courses will help educators to learn the theories of adult education and implement them in the practice of distant learning. They will help to competently build courses at all stages, from concept creation to implementation, so that learning is as effective as possible.

The Evaluation of Distance Learning Program

The quality of distance learning system may be evaluated through such indicators as the quality of educational content, the quality of learning technologies, and the quality of outcomes. Each of these groups corresponds to a number of quality indicators for certain aspects and properties of the provision, organization, and conduct of the learning process. The general concept of the content of education is based on curricula and programs, which are basic indicators of the quality of educational services offered and must comply with the existing standards, as well as the current state of the subject area and didactic requirements.

The methods and technologies for conducting training sessions in the distance learning system include quality elements that characterize the technologies of interaction between the teacher and the student, as well as the students themselves. This also includes the conduct of control activities that reveal such important quality indicators as the degree of accessibility of teachers, the convenience of the communication form in the structures “teacher – student” and “student – student”. They also make it possible to reveal the objectivity and completeness of checking and assessing the knowledge of students during control activities. Besides, this group of quality indicators of distant learning includes technologies under the guidance of intelligent learning systems. Here, the quality indicators of online textbooks, the ability to conduct video conferencing and webinars become decisive.

An important indicator in assessing the quality of distant learning is a parameter showing the degree of teacher accessibility. Its score is determined by the frequency and duration of communication sessions for the purpose of consulting students. Daily sessions at least six days a week, available to the student throughout the entire working day, may be rated positively. For each specific discipline, the number of communication sessions must correspond to the number of times a week established by the controller.

Conclusion

Taking into account that educational standards at Wattenberger CC imply a personal approach to each student, the online learning program should be created to meet the requirements of students, teachers, and the college. Thus, an opportunity arises in supporting individual curricula and adaptive training systems. The main feature of the suggested system is the ability to adapt the educational material to the individual characteristics of the student. The task of the adaptive learning system is to optimize the educational process by providing the user with educational material in the most preferred form. The effect of this approach is to improve the quality of the results of the educational process. That is why it is important to build an effective distance learning process that will meet the educational standards of Wattenberger CC.

References

Amhag, L., Hellström, L., & Stigmar, M. (2019). Teacher educators’ use of digital tools and needs for digital competence in higher education. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 35(4), 203-220.

Horváth, C. M., Thomessen, T., & Sziebig, G. (2018). Overview of modern teaching equipment that supports distant learning. Recent Innovations in Mechatronics, 5(1), 1-22.

Shurygin, V. Y., & Sabirova, F. M. (2017). Particularities of blended learning implementation in teaching physics by means of LMS Moodle. Revista Espacios, 38(40).

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, August 30). Wattenbarger Community College's Distance Learning System. Retrieved from https://chalkypapers.com/wattenbarger-community-colleges-distance-learning-system/

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, August 30). Wattenbarger Community College's Distance Learning System. https://chalkypapers.com/wattenbarger-community-colleges-distance-learning-system/

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"Wattenbarger Community College's Distance Learning System." ChalkyPapers, 30 Aug. 2022, chalkypapers.com/wattenbarger-community-colleges-distance-learning-system/.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Wattenbarger Community College's Distance Learning System'. 30 August.

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ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Wattenbarger Community College's Distance Learning System." August 30, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/wattenbarger-community-colleges-distance-learning-system/.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Wattenbarger Community College's Distance Learning System." August 30, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/wattenbarger-community-colleges-distance-learning-system/.


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ChalkyPapers. "Wattenbarger Community College's Distance Learning System." August 30, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/wattenbarger-community-colleges-distance-learning-system/.