Online training platforms: Pros and cons

From DevSummit
Jump to: navigation, search

What are the past experiences with online learning?

  • Board members are not well educated on how to be board members, so B needs online self-facilitated training for them.
  • Additionally, B uses [lynda.com](lynda.com) and [nonprofitready.org](nonprofitready.org) for tech education.
  • M has been doing 15% of online courses for many years
  • M wants to know how to integrate online and offline learning in libraries so library tech specialists don't have to know every tech skill
  • E majored in CS and Education
  • doing online education is a privileged thing, so you have to be comfortable in a particular type of online setting
  • [Membership Empowerment Training](www.aivol.org/usa/training) project trains trainers, and travel is expensive. Can some of it be done online?

There is a difference between skills-based learning and content-based learning

  • skills-based: how to learn one particular platform or programming language, or tool
  • content-based: how to build an advocacy campaign, how to use computational thinking
  • "Distance eduation": another name for this
  • "Hybrid learning": online pieces, but meeting in person
  • "flipped classroom": content comes from online, and videos, and people help each other out with assignments in person

What would your ideal online learning environment look like?

  • [add photos link here]
  • B: linear, person-focused, at the singular user level. Help people navigate and get to information quickly. Learning taxonomy: broader learning framework, submodules, sublessons.
  • B: data on the backend to find out where people are and the ability to monitor progress
  • M: Quick feedback in terms of what is right or wrong. Don't like having to wait for mailing and response
  • M: Still wants to have people interaction and meet/eat with them (this in the context of language learning). For technology, still need to have an offline/real-world project/application
  • E: Connect nationally online, have amazing connectivity with no lag, screenshare effectively, small groups
  • H: People working in a big group, then sometimes separate out into small groups, that feed back to the larger group. Process where as a group they decide what the best methods work for them learning together.
  • What concerns her about online, is that you can't use flipcharts for people to always see where we are, where we're going and where we're going to end. How can you do this online? It's good to put learning objectives up on the wall so people can guide you back to them if the group deviates.
  • N: Difference between digital stills and digital content pieces. For online skills, Feedback on whether something works or doesn't work, individual learning, directing people to stack exchange for more help, and a certificate. For online content, the learning happens in breakouts, in a tangled web where the start point is not in a defined place.

How can webinars not suck?

  • in disability community, there are a lot of challenges that people work through. there's a "raise a hand" protocol.
  • You can use Zoom to divide people into groups, but using it and platforms like it requires tech skills that not everyone has
  • Success story: a fellowship program for training activist leaders, meeting up every week to discuss issues. Get broken up do small discussion groups and then added back in.
  • perhaps it was important that people met in person once before, and then were more comfortable meeting online. If online is the first place they're meeting it's problematic.
  • mostly webinars have been terrible: we open other tabs, get distracted, hard to participate, 40 people with microphoness on is truly awful, etc.
  • Google Hangouts often has lag, and you are limited to the number of people you can add, and for people with bandwidth issues, people can't see slides.
  • Mozilla Open Leadership Training: online, self-guided, mostly text, lots of writing assignments and tutorials, and videos of people.


Education is not neutral, power dynamics are embodied by norms. Webinars are an expert model, not a flipped classroom.

  • Donors talk about doing online education just because they want to scale it with less money. But it might actually be more work and cost more money in terms of time spent by facilitator. If facilitator has never done an online course, they have to learn as they're doing.
  • For a course model, like a MOOC (Coursera), forums move too quickly, people don't do their homework, when it's time to have the conversation, the two people who did the homework are talking.
  • What about office hours online? Could have a big group for overall content, and then small group optional office hours people can call into to ask questions and have a smaller group discussion.
  • Often B attends webinars to learn about software and ask questions to a salesperson
  • More radical conceptions of online learning
  • Self-pacing and unstructured learning is important in online learning
  • Twitter as a site for learning. Post and learn from/about communities.
  • requires a lot of trust in learners and trust in them to shape their own learning
  • in skills-based courses, you can integrate content (like when people are learning a programing language, incorporate computational thinking)
  • Recurse Center: people in cohorts taking online courses on whatever they are interested in, and pairing up with each other
  • Time Bank: bartering, skill-sharing. You put down your skills, people call you to help them with something, and then you get points for that. You can spend the points on people helping you out with other things.
  • Think about what you want to do first, before you think about the tools.
  • One of the reasons people do the webinar model is because people currently are conceptualizing online learning as delivery.
  • Depending on what you want to do, it might signal needs for new tools.
  • There are different tools for what you want to do
  • Mumble is a sysadmin tool for developing for people with low bandwidth situations.
  • Orange Coast Community College: first remote learning idea and platform. In California Community Colleges, they would mail you VHS tapes, and you could come to the classroom twice a semester. Mostly seniors and people with disabilities.
  • What if particular classes offered different modalities for the ways people want to learn and want to participate? Oral learners vs. visual vs. tactile learners.