Profile of VET organisation

Name of organization: IDEC

Address: 96, Iroon Polytechniou Avenue, 18536, Piraeus

Country: Greece

E-mailinfo@idec.gr

 

Type of VET institute: Further education and training.

No of staff:

No of trainees:

Quality Management Dimension

Evaluation indicators for social-constructivist e-learning.

Baseline / problem

One of the pedagogical approaches used in e-learning is the social-constructivist one. E-learning 2.0 places increased interest in social learning and use of social software such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and virtual worlds. This new e-learning, referred to also as Long Tail Training, replaces the traditional Cartesian view of knowledge and learning. It assumes that knowledge (as meaning and understanding) is socially constructed. The problem was what indicators to use for evaluation of this type of training.

Good practice: (Measures, instruments, criteria, indicators)

According to bibliography, some of the most important advantages of e-learning are:

  • A high degree of individualization of the training course, because the learner can proceed at his/her own pace and can spend more time in items he/she finds more difficult. Another possibility offered by many e-learning courseware is the selection of the training path more adequate to the specific learner.
  • Correction of mistakes and repletion as long as it is necessary facilitates learning and memorization.
  • The use of multimedia and computer animation may explain easier than a teacher a lot of things.
  • e-learning may handle simultaneously many learners (increase in the productivity of learning).
  • Internet is an inexhaustible source of information about virtually any topic.
  • Management of the e-course (e-LMS) or, at a more advanced level, the creation of democratic structures such as social networks may create new approaches to learning.

The good practice was implemented in the Leonardo ICT BONy project and more specifically in the evaluation of piloting of the project results.BONy produced an e-learning platform and course based on social-constructivist e-learning, with the introduction of several innovations such as multilingual semantic technilogies.

Indicators used were the following:

  1. Learning process (extent of contents created (added on) and sheared by learners, experts’ community participating in the social network).
  2. Cohesion and the structural equivalence of the social network. Cohesion measures the degree to which actors are connected directly to each other by cohesive bonds.
  3. Motivation for learning, measured throughout the e-questionnaire to be answered by users/e-learners assessing factors like friend to friend, tutor/student switching role etc.
  4. Learning management/ delivery of learning courseware through assessing accessibility and mobility. To this end the e-questionnaire has been analysed as far as geographical dispersion of actors, sex, educational level and employment.
  5. Learning effectiveness (if learners indeed learn by using the Bony output). For each e-learner interacting with Bony, a database has collected data about the user’s learning activities and acquisition of new knowledge. This data has then been statistically analysed to give a geometric representation of learners’ performance.

Problems and constraints encountered and solutions found:

  1. Evaluation has potentially been biased by the way pilot testers are selected and social network is promoted.
  2. Time limits.