The Devereux organization is a geographically, culturally and operationally diverse organization that consequently has significant and diverse learning needs. While not replacing direct, face-to-face student-teacher interaction, research studies have shown that e-learning can be highly effective, allowing a learner to actively engage in the creation of knowledge . With the emergence of Web 2.0, and with the help of Jersey Cow, Devereux now has capabilities to facilitate individualized, inquiry based learning with methods such as web searches, simulations, asynchronous on-line instruction and social networking. Pedagogical best practice suggests that these inquiry based learning methods can lead to better understanding and retention of information, and hence, better outcomes for the Devereux staff and it’s customers.
Moreover, unlike traditional classroom learning experiences taught by an instructor, Web 2.0 learning can provide
- “Just in time” information when and where employees need it
- Consistent, “current” and validated content (if properly managed)
- Electronic performance support, post-training, at the point of service (e.g., observation tools and prompts)
- Community-wide (across Devereux) collaboration and sharing
- Cost savings relative to in-class learning (no T&E, less staff time)
The e-learning design at Devereux is a cycle intended to achieve mastery of a skill consisting of the following :
- Passive Awareness: Exposure to the subject domain, acquisition of the basic facts, the “rules of the game”
- Critical Rehearsal: Critical thinking, analysis and decision-making simulated in the context of real-world problem-solving
- Active Professionalism: The application of knowledge in the real world and the creation of new knowledge
- Mentorship: Providing new knowledge and guidance to less knowledgeable learners
Embracing E-Learning at Devereux has other benefits. Using technologies such as Twitter, Wikis and Mobile Devices will attract younger candidates to Devereux, who have “grown up” with technology. In addition, a by-product of development of digital storytelling and wikis is an opportunity to introduce potential candidates and newly hired employees to the world of Devereux to explore at their leisure.
Technology integration will make the most significant contributions to the learning model by supporting classroom learning in the following ways:
Enhance the process of passive knowledge acquisition:
- Self-directed, on-line courses for subject matter that can be effectively delivered without instruction. These courses will be internally developed and available through our LMS for access prior to live classroom trainings or as refreshers for direct care staff and supervisors.
- Devereux Learning Center Wiki with relevant pedagogical content. Wiki will provide direct care staff with just in time information to support their on-line classroom training as well to refresh knowledge at any time.
- Digital storytelling. Digital stories will be accessible through Wiki. These digital stories will provides direct care staff with an opportunity to think about others’ experiences with the competency they are learning.
Offer learners opportunities for “Critical Rehearsal:”
- Real-time assessment tools. Program will be developed that allows learners to show what they know and ask about what they don’t know through formative assessment tools, aka “classroom clickers.” Clickers provide instructor opportunity to assess and adjust curriculum as needed based on learners’ understanding of material. Allows learners opportunities to reflect and query instructor anonymously.
- Digital storytelling. Promotes reflection among learners by sharing experiences in a classroom environment.
- Post training simulations/gaming. Presents opportunity for learners to try out their skills in a simulated environment Jeopardy games and tic tac toe. Look for module eight team competition.
Provide job aids/performance support for ensuring “Active Professionalism”
- Observation tools. Supervisors will have handheld devices on which they can assess direct care staff on desired competencies.
- Electronic slide shows. Slide shows (aka the dentist office model) for philosophy of care and related messaging
Promote the concept of collaboration and mentorship
- Social Networking. Products such as Voice Threads allow both digital storytelling as well as social networking capability. This concept would promote experts sharing their experiences in an asynchronous environment.