Distributed Learning is an instructional model that allows instructor, students, and content to be located in different, non-centralized locations so that instruction and learning can occur independent of time and place. The distributed learning model can be used in combination with traditional classroom-based courses and traditional distance education courses, or it can be used to create entirely virtual classrooms.
My ideas last year:
How is PHRD getting ready for the Distributed Learning Strategy?
PHRD is doing a wonderful job at meeting the educational needs of our 21st century students (SmartBoards/Evergreen Plan) but there are always ways of improving the existing plan. Students will soon have the option to complete all of the diploma exams and PAT’s online. Students who attend university will have to take courses online in order to achieve an undergraduate degree. Are we preparing our students for the 21st century style of education?
- Should we mention 21st Century Learners in our Education Plan?
- Are PHRD’s schools accessing the available resources in our district?
- If so…are they using them to the potential in order to meet the needs of the 21st century learner?
- Should our students be required to take at least one online course before they graduate in order to prepare them for post secondary?
- If we provide our new teachers with extra resources and support will the quality of education provided to our students improve?
Access the resources that ADLC has to offer such as D2L. Alberta Distance Learning Center has a variety of courses online and in print that allow flexibility to both students and teachers. Introduce and educate our teachers about Moodle so that teachers can put their courses online.
- New Teacher Orientation: Inform new teachers of D2L and provide them with the option to use ADLC online courses.
- Provide a sign-up/info form at new teacher orientation for those who are interested in using D2L.
- ADLC teachers can assist with mentoring new protégés.
- New curriculum implementation and support from ADLC would be valued by teachers.
- Implement a policy that all our students have at least one online course before graduation. Example: Forensics
- Religious Studies 10-20-30: Students who are provided with a Christian education in elementary should be given the option to continue with this in high school.
- Educational Learning Technology Coordinator can assist teachers with questions or issues that arise when using D2L or Moodle.
Pros of D2L
- Provide new teachers or out of subject area teachers with valuable course resources and assistance from expert mentor teachers.
- Courses can be blended, teachers can choose to use all ADLC materials or mix and match teacher material with ADLC online material.
- Assessment for Learning is highly acknowledged in ADLC course development.
- Allows flexibility for students (work at their own pace).
- Credit Enrolment Units (CEUs) stay with the school. ADLC just requires the course final mark and the diploma mark to be sent to them for processing.
- ADLC Courses such as Second Languages and Religious Studies will allow PHRD to provide students with more choices and flexibility. (Extra diploma acknowledgment in some cases)
- Videoconferencing can be added to enhance or provide support.
- Parents can access student marks online.
- ADLC is willing to provide training for teachers wanting to use D2L.
Pros of Moodle
- Teachers can design their own online course.
- Expert teachers in our district can share their resources or course with another colleague.
- Easy to use.
- Engaging for students.
A few School districts (Rocky View and Black Gold) have included the Distributive Learning Strategy in their Education Plans in order to meet the needs of the 21st Century Learner. Below are a few key goals that I isolated out of Rocky View’s Education Plan.
Rocky View School Division 21st Century Learners
2008-2011 Three Year Plan
Goal 2: Learners are competent, qualified and dedicated
Outcome 2.1: Students succeed as 21st Century Learners.
Measure: 2.1.2: Percentage of students who agree they use contemporary technology frequently to help them learn.
- Engage Education Centre departments and school communities in a dialogue to build an understanding and recognition for 21st Century skills acquisition.
- Document key 21st Century knowledge, skills and attributes for students.
Outcome 2.2: Students complete programs.
Measure: 2.2.2 Annual drop-out rate of students aged 14-18
- Research and where viable, implement programs, courses and delivery models that facilitate student engagement in learning.
- Further develop distributed learning approaches, i.e. Dynamic Distributed Learning Network Project.
Goal 4: Learning opportunities are distinct, continuous and systematic.
Outcome 4.1: Distinct programs ensure students succeed
Measure: 4.1.2: Overall teacher, parent and student satisfaction with the opportunity for students to receive a broad program of studies including fine arts, career, technology, health and physical education.
- Further develop and articulate a comprehensive framework for Gifted Education.
Goal 5: Instruction challenges and engages the learner.
Outcome 5.1: Curriculum delivered is student-centered.
Measures: 5.1.1. Percentage of students, parents and teachers who agree curriculum and instruction meet the individual learning styles of students.
- Engage Education Centre and school stags in a dialogue to build and understanding of 21st Century instructional practices.
- Consult, coach and collaborate with teachers to align instructional practices to 21st century learning.
- Develop and deploy 21st Century learning models
- Collect, publish and celebrate best instructional practices.
Extra Info: Distributed Learning Strategy
Alberta Education is taking the lead in developing Alberta’s Distributed Learning Strategy in collaboration with stakeholders. The vision, objective, action plan and implementation plan for the strategy are as follows:
Vision: Alberta has high quality learning opportunities and choice that transcend the barriers of time and/or location in enabling students’ quest for excellence in learning.
Objective: Develop collaborative and sustainable relationships that allow learning and teaching to be individualized and independent of time and place.
Priority Action 1: Establish provincial policy, protocol and principles for the development and delivery of distributed learning.
Priority Action 2: Create a supportive environment for continuous improvement and build teaching and leadership capacity for innovation.
Priority Action 3: Facilitate the coordination of resource development efforts.
Implementation Plan: As a result of discussions with stakeholders, a five-year implementation plan has been designed. This implementation plan is based on the successful completion of five phases: Discover, Define, Design, Develop and Deploy. Each phase will be implemented in light of the three priority actions listed above.