Great news, I have moved into the analysis stage for the first survey

Happy New Year all, I trust you had a well earned break and you are now celebrating how amazing 2014 will be.

I thought for my first post in 2014 I would share my own news: very excitingly  I have moved into the analysis stage for the first survey in my research for my Masters in Education.  I will still post all things e-learning but I will also share with you my research journey along the way.

So to start I will explain my research approach (and for your sake without the theoretical aspects of why).

To broaden my understanding and in an effort to prepare a practitioner survey that would ask relevant and reliable questions I scanned current literature and engaged in online conversations about e-learning across several social media networking sites over a period of 2 years.  More than 96 individual online conversations (such as LinkedIn and Facebook group discussions) were documented to capture key words, themes, problems and solutions for the topics discussed. The data collected did not identify the writer in anyway, it simply highlighted the main theme of the discussion and the key arguments presented.

Once I felt I had a clear picture of the trending topics and key arguments the data was analysed to identify what might be appropriate categories for the main issues discussed.  if you are interested in the categories you might like to visit my research blog

I wasn’t surpsised that quality e-design and learner engagement were quite topical during this time. The categories were used to formulate a list of possible survey questions for this research. Once the list of possible questions was formulated each question was carefully considered to ensure it would contribute to the aim of the research, hypothesis and questions asked.  In the end a total of 50 questions were included in the practitioner survey. The survey was distributed to my personal online networks.  This included Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress.

I am now ready to start surveying students of online learning.  Even if you are a teacher who has undertaken learning using technology or totally online please feel free to complete the student survey (much shorter than the practitioner survey)  I would love to hear about your experiences.

Future posts will expand on what practitioners revealed in the survey but for now I can reveal that I received 51 usable responses representing a cross section of the VET sector.

Secondary Education (high school)  2.08% Higher Education  12.50% Public training provider  47.92% Private training provider  22.92% Not for Profit  12.50% Enterprise training provider  6.25% Government  14.58%

Eighty six percent of the respondents claimed to be experienced VET teachers with varying experience with e-learning.

The survey moved into the respondents perceptions of e-learning starting with their own beliefs on how important it was for a teacher/facilitator of e-learning to actually have experience as an e-facilitator. Overwhelmingly 98.04% of respondents said it was important to have experience and only 1.96% said it was not.

Personally, I think this is a good start.  Stay tuned for insights into what the e-learning practitioners had to say about e-learning in future posts.

Back in touch soon.


Just found this great infographic on connected learning


This graphic comes from the Connected Learning Website

I think the connected learning model sets the scene very nicely for 2013 as it proposes a new model for learning as well as emphasing the power and creativity of the technologies available and the users who use them.

The challenge in 2013 continues for some educators to be their ability to embrace the use of technologies in education as well as acquiring the skills to use them. Technology and the Internet offers new ways of learning that can enhance a learning program if they are used in the right way. You only need to explore social learning and mobile learning opportunities to realise that the way we source information (including news, entertainment and how we keep up to date with our friends) has changed.

A simple example of how we might acquire learning outside of a traditional class environment is the way we use and interact with social media sites. Have you heard of the term social TV viewers? Social TV viewers use social media to talk about what they are watching on TV. As a teaching tool this offers some interesting possibilities. Recent media studies suggest that interacting on a second screen makes users more engaged with the program they are watching (visit and read the article by AdAge media news, it is a very interesting read). If you haven’t participated in this type of activity, watch QandA on ABC and during the show tweet about what you are watching using the hash tag #qanda…. in fact if you search on this tag you will find a multitude of posts.

Do you currently participate in online discussions using LinkedIn or similar platforms? If so, think about what you have learnt just by lurking or participating in these conversation? Personally I have learnt a lot about the use of e-learning in educational settings just by drawing on the comments and expertise of other practitioners who are very happy to share their knowledge and expertise. So the challenge here is how do we build these learning opportunities into our training programs? Should we recognise this learning in our training programs? If so how and how much? I would love to have this conversation with you, so please if you have stopped by, take a moment to post and let’s get this conversation going?

Take care and have a wonderful 2013.

Ok back to the TAE group and their experiences with social media

This group has really embraced the blended learning environment.  I am really impressed with their use of Moodle, the discussion forums (even though I am not a real fan for discussion forums unless they have a clear purpose – some of their forum posts are linked to their assessments, so maybe that is why they have worked so well).  They also seem to really enjoy the Adobe connect sessions.  For the life of me, I can’t fathom why anyone would want to listen to me over and over again, but they seem to like the option of recording each session and being able to listen to it again later.

Half the group has embraced facebook but surprisingly twitter remains a mystery to them.  Even with a bit of a tutorial and the use of the # tag #TAEMV there hasn’t been much interaction. The students will read my tweets if they access twitter but if they want to know more will email me with their comment or question.

Twitter is definately not working as I had intended it to.  I am going to find some youtube tutorials and put them up in facebook to see if this helps. 


Maybe the key is to link twitter to actual assessment events or compulsory tasks.  In my previous post I mentioned the importance of your learners seeing the value in the tools you use.  This group have failed to see the value.  I am sure there are many educators out there who have had similar experiences.  If you have tips to help them through this challenging time, why not spend a moment to reply to this post.  I will tweet a link to your reply on twitter.  If you have an educational blog, make sure you include a link in your reply.