Assignment 1.1: Profile Your Target Environment/Implementation Context.
The target environment for my project is an Higher Education Institution.
This training project is aimed at developing an effective and efficient training programme for Lecturers at an Higher Education Institution to make use of Moodle E-learning platform in their teaching. The learners are Lecturers at the Institution whose experience ranges from one to more than 10 years on the Job, they are highly experienced and specialist in their subject areas. Most of them are reasonably tuned-in to the use of technology but not when it comes to teaching because of limited access or lack of availability within their teaching domain. All the Lecturers have their own personal Laptop for work and are owners of Smartphones at various level of complexity in technical configuration. On personal basis, most of the Lecturers do have access to the Internet for personal development, research and access to resources to help them in their work. For this you will notice some of these Lecturers carrying about Internet access dongles.
The Institution provide access to wireless Internet at a monthly rate to the Lecturers but the connection is very weak to the point that some of the Lecturers may not even be able to access the Internet more than once in a month before their subscription runs out and it is time to pay up again. Some Lecturers will have to come close to the network room where connection is more stronger when they have to do some very important work online, like uploading students’ assessment scores on to the server for processing and so on. The current situation of things is not really ideal but the Lecturers got used to making the most of what is available in the absence of any other alternative. They do use their own personal subscription outside of the University provided one but that adds a lot to their monthly costs.
The University subscribed to an Internet Service provider that provide them with metered Internet service on a yearly basis which they in turn provide to the University community. Not too sure how many GB of data connection that is but from what they provide to the Lecturers, during the day when everybody seems to be on the network, connections are very slow and sometimes could grind to a halt, some users needs to be dropped off the network for others to have access and sometimes, others will wait till evening time when connection is less heavy to gain access.
The University have their specialised ICT department that provides all the ICT related services to the University community, they run the University local area network services and they also host and run many of the University Internet based services, such as the University website, Students’ portal, SIS and the Moodle LMS. They provide hardware and software support to the University community and any other IT support service that may be needed.
The main stakeholders are the Lecturers, who needs to be trained to use the Moodle Platform for their teaching, then are the students who will access the platform for their learning once the Lecturer are able to use the platform effectively for their courses. The ICT staff, who provide the network access to the university community, required software and hardware as well as other support service to keep the ICT services up and running smoothly. University Key officials, these are the High-ups that sanction what goes at the University, their consultation, approval and support is highly essential for any major move at University that could change the way things are done or require financial input.
Then we have the person to design and facilitate the training programme, which could be me. I have previously implemented the moodle LMS on a volunteering basis and has provided the training but feels the training was not satisfactory enough due to many factors and would like to design a training that will adequately meet the needs of the Lecturers to learn to use the Moodle platform effectively while at the same time addressing the issues encountered in the last training. Those issues include:
1. Slow Internet access.
2. Timing and availability.
3. Access to training resources.
4. Adequate Preparation for the training.
5. Face-face classroom versus Online Self-paced training
6. Consultation with the Lecturers.
The University community welcome the implementation of E-learning platform to enhance their teaching and learning process, which was done. But the Question is would they use it?
To answer this question is to know exactly what they would like to use it for.
A department requested to use the Platform, they run the Entrepreneurship programme at the University, they have a lot of students on the course and would like to streamline their management of the students and the courses they provided for them. They cut down the subjects to 3 only and invite professionals from outside the University to give Lectures to the Students on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Some of these Professionals are busy and may not be available all the time. The E-learning platform would be ideal to address this issue, the Lecturers can record their Lectures, upload it to the platform, give references and course note as may be required with exercises and assessment questions for the students to answer.
Another department looking to use the platform is the Part-time school. They run part-time courses throughout the week mostly in the evenings and weekends. Students are mainly in full-time employment taking advantage of the part-time courses to develop themselves and earn a qualification, some of them come from very far places to attend and classes are spread over different locations. The availability of such courses online will surely reduce the traveling time of both the Lecturers and students and the stresses involved in trying to fit in so much in a day. It will also allow the department to streamline the management and assessment of so many part-time students if their courses are made available online with the necessary assessment tools.
The above undoubtedly answer the question if there is a need for the E-learning platform in the first place but the main question is, would they use it? If there is a need for it, they definitely would use it but to be able to use it, they have to know how to. Which is what this projects wants to address. To develop an efficient and effective training programme to help Lecturers use the Moodle E-learning platform effectively for their teaching.