How the Learning Line can help teachers and mentors with assessing/monitoring progress and writing reviews.
The Learning Line presents many opportunities to everyone involved in learning. It's not just for the student and it's not just a way to read static content. To understand what the Learning Line is about it’s important we move away from these old ideas about e-learning.
A NEW WAY TO THINK ABOUT E-LEARNING
A misconception about e-learning is the exclusion of a teacher or mentor. E-learning today does not suggest that there should or shouldn't be a teacher, it provides a learning aid that a course moderator or individual can use to their advantage.
The Learning Line is an e-learning platform that provides a place to learn but can also be thought of as a tool. This is the modern way to approach e-learning: "think not what the Learning Line can do for you, but what you can achieve with the Learning Line".
To make these ideas more clear let’s look at four different scenarios where a teacher or mentor can benefit from the Learning Line.
In our first scenario let’s consider college students taking a French language course. The course takes place at college and the students have a teacher and a curriculum to follow leading up to an exam. To help students practice what they’ve learnt in class, the teacher has put together a set of material to read, exercises to complete and quizzes. This is all made available to the students through the Learning Line.
With the Learning Line the teacher can monitor the students’ progress on those tasks. This can be very useful as an analytical tool for the teacher to highlight problem areas, and help prepare lessons appropriately – this may be a simple notification from the Learning Line to the teacher saying '80% of students scored less than x% on the verb test'.
Effort and interest is something that is not always easy to gauge in a student, but in the case of this example the teacher has again used the learning line to provide some help with this. By tagging the separate tasks with 'compulsory' and 'extra' a report can be generated at the end of the college term clearly showing how much material each students has covered and how much of it was compulsory. When the teacher has to write a report on a student’s progress, the Learning Line will provide an easy reference, reminding the teacher of the student’s strengths, weaknesses and progress. For example the progress of a regular vocabulary test may be presented as a graph with the points mean-shifted to the rest of the class.
HIERARCHICAL MULTI-COURSE TRAINING
Many large companies have their own training programmes that are tailored to the different employees. What's more, the company may have different departments and different teams including team leaders and managers. In this next scenario let’s imagine one such company that makes chocolates. The first thing to note here is that more than one person needs to monitor the training, but that's OK because the Learning Line can accommodate this hierarchical structure using groups.
This is helpful because it means a team leader in the packaging department can easily see reports for their team’s progress without having to work through a cluttered interface. The team leader would be the administrator of a small group on the Learning Line. As the administrator, the team leader will have some control over what information can be seen among the group members.
This is important because the head of department will be the administrator of a group of team leaders. The head of department may want the different team leaders to see the progress of the other teams. The head of department will also be able to generate reports for all the teams as well as for all the team leaders. Each of the employees in this scenario will be following a training programme which would likely consist of a number of separate courses. Some of these courses will be the same for everyone, such as a 'health and safety' course, but others may be specific to their department such as a course on 'company style guide for marketing'. An employee’s training programme could be defined on the Learning Line as a set of courses and targets.
This third example scenario concerns a class of ten students following a creative writing course, once a week for 12 weeks. The course has an optional assignment every week and two large assignments.
In this situation the Learning Line is being used as a way to submit assignments to the teacher. The teacher can then add comments about the assignments on the Learning Line for the student to read and can also give a mark for the assignment.
Adding these small pieces of information to the Learning Line as the course progresses is invaluable to teachers because this way they can create reports comparing and graphing results, showing the frequency of submission of assignments, overall word count with time, problems that have arisen more than once and how results compare to previous years. It will also be possible for the teacher to make searches within the comments made on the assignments, and in this way see the frequency of similar comments or more easily find past assignments where there was a particular issue.
ROLLING STRUCTURE AND PROGRESS – TUTORING
Finally let’s consider a university tutor group. Again this is somewhat unstructured and and changeable week by week. Normally a tutor group consists of a few students and a professor or Ph.D. student. One of the roles of the session is to discuss problems the students have had during the week, but also for the professor to help the students with new material. The Learning Line can be used as a type of tutor group pin board, which can help both professor and student prepare for the session. Comments can also be made on the sessions by the professor and reports can be made showing student involvement and particular issues raised throughout the year.
As we have seen the Learning Line, can be of benefit not just to students but also teachers: Coracle Transforms Learning.