We ground our e-learning development practises in modern education theory.
- learner control is central
- real knowledge and understanding
- interactive courseware
- making the most of technology
- specific learning goals
Optimum learning conditions occur when the learner shapes the learning process.
For us, learner control is central. Some of this – such as the “anywhere”, “just-in-time” aspects of e-learning – is inherent to the medium. However, careful design is also essential to capitalize on these strengths. Flexible learning has to be built into the courseware. Our lessons are carefully structured so that learners can take a small or a big bite, depending on how much time they can set aside or how much knowledge they can assimilate at a sitting. Also, our course maps work! A map is a visual cue to layout of the courseware. Good navigational tools alone can never remedy poorly structured courseware. Because we put great care into the logical structuring of our subject matter, learners can navigate their way intelligently around our e-learning courseware and very quickly get to the sections they’re really looking for.
Assimilating disjointed bits of information does not lead to useful knowledge.
Real knowledge and understanding are internal personal constructions made possible by a learner’s ability to connect various pieces of new information to each other and to extend his or her existing web of knowledge to accommodate them. Our e-learning materials set out to help learners with this process. We help them build on what they already know. We help them explore the connections between new pieces of information. We use questions and exercises to help them to develop links, extrapolate, and apply the new information.
We believe that learning should be fun, but it’s also hard work.
People generally learn very little when they’re in passive mode. Many standard e-learning products are little better than video or illustrated textbooks. Our e-learning courseware is truly interactive. Lessons are liberally scattered with questions and tasks that keep the learners thinking and working: they are challenged to extrapolate, cross-reference, apply, and evaluate throughout.
Every educational medium has strengths and drawbacks; the art is to make the most of your medium’s strengths.
We harness our technology to the fullest. The e-learning medium allows us to simulate certain environments, letting our students learn through experience. It allows us to create scenarios, letting students apply knowledge to real-life situations. It allows us to leapfrog to relevant information anywhere on the PC or anywhere in the world – so we use hot links to local resources such as glossaries as well as to information at the furthest reaches of the Web. This helps the student to cross-reference and become self-sufficient in tracking down further information.
We recognize that learning takes place in the real world. Most of our students have very specific learning goals and limited time in which to achieve them.
Our e-learning courses enable learners to pre-test, so they can determine precisely which segments of the courseware they need to study. Our carefully constructed testing also facilitates post-testing, so competency attainment can be accurately assessed. Furthermore, we believe that a no-nonsense approach is vital. Our training materials are accurate, relevant, and concise at all times. Also, the learner doesn’t labor through our courses: they are easy to install, easy to use, robust, and visually stimulating.