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Monday, September 24, 2007

eLearn Magazine Education and Technology in Perspective.



Bringing Online Learning to a Research-Intensive University
By Niall Watts, Educational Technology Officer, University College Dublin

University College Dublin is a traditional, campus-based university with a strong commitment to research. Like most universities, UCD has a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for e learning. In our case it's Blackboard. Many faculty members identify e learning with the VLE. Blackboard is used for announcements and the delivery of passive content such as handouts and PowerPoint slides. Little attempt is made to make full use of the online medium. This may be because most academics have not learned or studied online as part of their education. To teach online requires them to rethink their teaching methods and imagine teaching differently from the way they were taught. Despite their exposure to digital media and social networking software, students seem to have equally low expectations of online learning.

How Long Should an E-learning Course Be?
By Chris Bennett, Founder and CEO, Ah Ha! Media

We've all participated in a course, training session, or even conference call that seemed to go on for an eternity. There's no question that when participants reach a certain time threshold attention spans begin to dwindle, and learning objectives fall by the wayside. This would lead one to correctly assume that there is in fact a magic number representing the ideal length for interaction—one that's long enough to cover the content, but short enough to maintain focus. This article will provide a framework for answering the question, "How long should an e-learning course be?"

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Using Game Shows as an Instructional Tool
By Dan Yaman, CEO, and Missy Covington, Communications, LearningWare, Inc.

As more and more corporate and K-12 instructors gravitate towards interactive and attention-grabbing instructional techniques, many are starting to see the intrinsic benefits of using game shows. Our experiences, and those of hundreds of instructors, have shown that when learners play game shows their energy levels surge, they pay attention, and they remember more of the instructional content.
Game shows are an appealing medium—they provide healthy competition, have entertainment value, and are a cultural staple both in the U.S. and internationally. However, many instructors are unable to come up with a practical and justifiable way to use them. They are sometimes met with resistance from skeptical supervisors and financiers. What follows are a few of the most frequently voiced objections and our time-tested responses.