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Working from existing resources also means that alternative resources and activities are often not included in design of course, so much as tacked on end. For example, existing Internet resources are often listed as background material; learners are invited to go beyond structured course resources if they choose to. Such an approach misses opportunity to broaden depth of learning available through existing online resources. Designing learning process to incorporate such resources allows more effective use to be made of them.
The issue then is about selecting appropriate technologies for learners and training objectives. The respective advantages of core technologies can be summarised as:
1. Internet resources - Provides access to training in a range of situations that learners might otherwise not be able to study in. - Less suitable for modelling verbal skills or physical behaviours. - Facilitates communication between students and tutors at a distance. - Limited ability to provide feedback on behaviours (e.g. practical presentation skills) - Provides access to current worldwide resources. - Less interactivity/depth of learning experience than multimedia.
2. Multimedia resources - Makes available a wide range of learning resources and realia - More complicated to access 'live' and update. - Incorporates a range of activities that stimulate and motivate learning. - Generally more involved development process
3. Print resources - Provides a permanent record - Difficult to update. - More transportable and can be used in a wider range of situations. - Costly to distribute
Don't assume that only one resource type should be used. Well designed customised training solutions will often combine a range of resources that, packaged together, provide a learning experience that draws on strength of each one. For an example of training that combines multimedia, internet and print based resources, see www.tess2000.com, a course in study skills preparing learners for University ertiary level study.
Phil has been involved in a number of projects in the field of flexible delivery, both research based and product-based. http://www.toucanhouse.co.nz