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How to get the best out of Webucate

General advice for on-line programmes

Structuring a programme

Converting materials for on-line delivery

 

General advice for on-line programmes

We have been running executive style postgraduate management programmes for nearly 12 years.  The majority of these are what we call on-location teaching - where we take the lecturer to the students.  We still think that this periodic face-to-face contact is important ..... BUT since we developed Webucate to complement the on-location teaching, results have improved dramatically

....... So the first tip is to try and arrange at least two face-to-face sessions for your students.  Use Webucate to ensure that they hit the ground running, and build their own mutual support systems for the times they cannot be physically together.

And the second general tip is 'MAKE them use group email'.  Many students will tell you that they already get too much e-mail every day, and would prefer to simply visit the bulletin board to see what's going on.  Don't allow this .... too many students will fail to visit frequently enough, then when they do, they will not realise where the discussion has moved to, and they'll come back even less frequently.

Most people today are driven by their 'inbox'.  Webucate lets you drive their training through their inboxes.

Structuring a programme

Unless your training programme is exceptionally short, you should feed it to your students in bite-sized chunks.  This will seem frustrating to some students who just want to get on with it.  Those people would probably do OK on their own with traditional distance learning.  Most of the group however, need mutual support and competition to get the most out of the learning experience.  That's why you would do better to structure the programme as discrete groups.  In other words don't let people start anytime.  Publish the start dates and try and get sensible numbers enrolled to commence their studies on those pre-set dates.  Let them introduce themselves on-line to the others who will be starting with them.  Get the tutor and moderator involved at this stage too.

Once the programme kicks off, ensure your material is broken up into logical elements ...... and feed these elements into the group (make them available in the files area) at a pace that you think challenges most people in this particular group.

Converting materials for on-line delivery

We will include comprehensive tips here, but in the meantime, it is worth obtaining a copy of Dr Gilly Salmon's book 'etivities' published by Kogan Page.  Dr Salmon has been a tutor with the Open University for several years and her specialist area of research is how on-line learning takes place and can be improved.

If you want help in reworking traditional training materials for on-line delivery, our associate company Durham Associates Ltd, would be very happy to help.  The design team has worked with Durham University, the College of Law in London and a national institute of Engineers in the USA as well as producing multimedia training materials for NHS doctors.  Contact tom@da-group.co.uk

 

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Last modified: November 25, 2002