Do content and self-marking quizzes make a real “eLearning” experience?
SCORM activities and multiple choice quizzes are still the main “interactive” mode of delivery in FE. However, there are justified questions about its effectiveness in motivating students to ‘learn’ new material.
Having watched students in a Further Education College working through SCORM and other learning materials I think a lot depends on preparation. Here I am talking specifically outside of a corporate or even adult learning environment.
It looks like younger students who are doing activities for homework or instead of face-to-face delivery need to be introduced to material before it is used and the connection between it and their studies made explicit. Students appear to want to work through online learning as quickly as possible and pay little attention to feedback, even making the assumption that difficult questions are actually errors rather than attempts to get the students to engage with the material.
A friend of mine with a background in coaching recently started developing online courses and added icons at certain points that indicated what you were meant to be doing at a certain point. The most useful one that he had was a “reflect” icon which, believe it or not, did actually make me pause for a moment. From this on some of my activities I’ve added timed Powerpoint style presentations that force time to reflect.
Obviously face-to-face time with an engaging (and engaged) facilitator can be considered to be an ideal, and the ability for students to engage in ‘social constructivism’ is highly desirable, but neither is necessarily easy (or financially viable) to achieve. In an imperfect world, well designed eLearning with thought provoking questions and signposted reflection points should allow students to learn effectively with a cost saving. But this does need face-to-face support from facilitators with a view of the whole learning outcome.