After going through the Ideate phase, there are a number options that I could proceed with in terms of tackling my design challenge: How do we prepare and inform adult continuing education students in transitioning to hybrid learning?
In trying to think outside the box, I tried to have some variety in terms of how best to approach the issue. Training seemed to be at the crux of the problem, so naturally all the options revolved around that factor. An additional course, a video series, a technical manual were some of the thoughts that went through my mind and plotted in my mind map; each one having it’s own pros and cons (see padlet wall). At this juncture, I’m going to examine one of these ideas through a theoretical framework to see if it is up to snuff in serving the needs of the students and my organization. I’ve decided to try the SECTIONS model (Bates, 2015) on my idea of having a video training series. The criteria of the model seems to fit with my organization while remaining simple to assess in terms of my idea.
The first criteria is Students:
- Focus on the students is very important for a school board so this criteria being the first one makes sense. The demographics of adult students comprises of a typically older and potentially less technologically-versed population. In speaking with the students though, the majority of them seemed capable of viewing videos on platforms such as Youtube (usually for non-school related content). Access via at least mobile devices seems to be there.
The second criteria is Ease of Use:
- I think this criteria is very much linked to the Students criteria. As students are already accessing video content, duplicating that process should be method that should be explored. Students should not have to learn another platform or view from a site that they’re not already familiar with.
The third criteria is Cost/Time:
- Creating a video series could potentially be costly and time-consuming, but it all depends on the strategy used towards making it happen. Outsourcing of the videos is an option if the resources allow, but creating them in-house can save on costs and potentially time. In addition, those who use the technology the most (i.e., the teachers) are in-house and therefore they would know best on what content to include.
The fourth criteria is Teaching:
- Learning can be enhanced by the addition of media, but it must be done right and not just for the sake of adding audio/video. Videos have been used in courses to a high degree of success on teaching various topics. I have not yet decided on how these videos will be structured, but potentially they could be similar to ‘how-to’ videos on completing various tasks.
The fifth criteria is Interaction:
- While videos won’t be very interactive for the students, it will be possible to crudely gauge the interaction between the students and the videos by view count. Also discussions and referencing the videos in class when appropriate could reveal whether the videos are making a difference on student learning.
The sixth criteria is Organizational Issues:
- The method of a video series luckily should not have too many hurdles from an organizational standpoint as the videos could be viewed outside of class time and do not interfere with the regular teaching and learning of the class. A potential organizational issue revolves around branding and proper school board protocol if/when the videos become standardized resources for board usage.
The seventh criteria is Networking:
- I find this criteria to be similar to Interaction as it involves creating connections with others. Videos don’t provide much opportunity for networking as it lacks the student to student connection. Perhaps allowing comments on the videos is something to consider if there is a benefit that students will find in this.
The eighth criteria is Security and Privacy:
- The benefit of online video is that students do not need to provide any information to access videos in a public domain. If the videos do touch upon proprietary information, there may need to be a secure login for students to view them. This can be done via student logins with which they already have access to a range of services such as the Google suite.
By going through this framework, I can see where the strengths of a video series shines and when there can be potential complications. Overall I think SECTIONS has shown that an online video instructional series can accomplish the purpose of preparing students for hybrid learning. Now to consider various learning theories such as adult learning theory and cognitive load theory and see how they would affect an online video instructional series.
Bates, A. W. (2015). Chapters 6-8. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Vancouver BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd.