[Technology 1049] Re: online learning - brief note re: our program's experience

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Holly Dilatush-Guthrie Holly.Dilatush-Guthrie at ccs.k12.va.us
Mon Jun 11 13:57:08 EDT 2007


Hello Heidi, Mariann, all,

Heidi wrote: <<My charge from NIFL has been to investigate the
literacy
and language proficiency thresholds necessary for adults to
participate
in online learning successfully.>>

ME: This is my #1 identified area of "NEEDS MORE RESEARCH" after
nearly two years of coordinating a pilot ESL distance learning class
at
the Charlottesville City Schools Adult Learning Center
(Charlottesville
VA).

Logically, then, I’m energized by the focus of this week’s
discussion! I’ve been collecting comments from listserv postings,
paragraphs from readings, references to resources, etc. for months –
compiling them in a “when can THIS SUMMER” folder. I wish this
discussion weren’t this week – only because it’s a very busy
week
for me already! I'll try to keep pace.

But I wanted to at least submit my gratitude for the validation of
“not being alone” in this challenge, for NIFL’s exploration,
and for your contributions.

I do passionately believe that online learning and distance learning
(particularly HYBRID/blended models) will have a meaningful, useful
place in the near and long term future of ESOL.

Additional FYI – our pilot program uses the Crossroads Café video
series, with an additional interactive website component I’ve added,
using a Moodle CMS (Course Management System). We use CASAS Reading
(and sometimes Listening) for reporting placement and progress
assessments.

We're a relatively small program. We've had fair success, but too
many
learners register, show up one week, then drop before/without
completing
12 hours/first episode. Follow-up (to attempt to determine WHY) has
been challenging -- guesswork more than documented responses. There
are SO many extenuating circumstances.

The three main areas you mentioned (program implementation issues,
evidence of improvements of basic literacy and language skills, and
student skills and dispositions) are crucial – and, in my
experience,
somewhat elusive and ever-changing.

I’m going to try to make time later today/tonight/tomorrow to use
your list of five key findings as a rubric to re-evaluate and reflect
upon our pilot program, and will try to post coherent thoughts
afterward.

Thank you – I’m HOPING many readers of this listserv including
“UPOs” (Unseen Participants, Overwhelmed) will make time to post
and share on this important, increasingly relevant topic.
Thanks again,
Holly


"No matter what our attempts to inform, it is our ability to inspire
that will turn the tides."
Holly Dilatush
ESL distance learning, Dialogue Cafe, Volunteer coordinator
Charlottesville City Schools Adult Learning Center
1000 Preston Ave., Suite D
Charlottesville VA 22903
(434) 245.2815 office
(434) 960.7177 cell/mobile
http://theHsmile.org ['home' to several Moodle CMS (course management
systems/virtual classrooms)]
http://www.Charlottesville-ESL.org
"Live with intention. Share inside~out smiles, inspire hope, seek awe
and nurture in nature."