How can I engage my learners?
The first batch of results from the new LearningBranch platform are starting to come in from our pilot sites. We are keen to get answers to the above questions so that we can make a real difference for instructors and organizations in their e-learning language and communication programs.
We compared completion results of 16 learners in the Academic English Preparation program at Capilano University using the same pronunciation course in 2 different learning programs:
Students started using the Vowels lesson of the Gentian Learning Advanced Pronunciation course on the older lab-based program in February 2017. After 2 weeks, they were assigned the Consonants lesson of the same course, mounted on LearningBranch. We then examined the track pages of each lesson to see how many items of the two lessons were completed by each learner.
Completion rates doubled using LearningBranch. The initial results indicate that being able to use multiple devices at home is important to learners, as well as having instant feedback.
A follow-up survey is underway.
Vancouver Community College (VCC) is a well-established college in Vancouver offering a wide range of access and applied career programming. Located in the heart of the city, VCC offers academic, cultural, and social environments that inspire relevant real-world training.
VCC offers a range of healthcare related programs including Health Unit Coordinator, Medical Office Assistant, Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant and others. Communication Skills form a vital part of each of these programs. Since 2014, LearningBranch has been providing the online curriculum to supplement the Human Relations Courses that are part of these programs.
The course instructor is Jane Forward.
Why LearningBranch is part of the program
The LearningBranch online practice platform benefits the students by providing more opportunities for listening and speaking practice outside of limited class time, more time with the video and audio scenarios, and more personal feedback from the instructor.
In March 2017, 19 students of the Health Unit Coordinator program began using the latest version of LearningBranch SocioLearner to complete assignments such as practicing voicemail messages as well as responding to doctors’ requests for information on medication.
16 of the students completed a survey about their online learning experience March 8-22, 2017 (an 84% response rate).
Summary of results
100% of the students said the course would be helpful for their communication skills in the workplace.
The most important learning features were:
Mobile access was considered important by half of the students.
Students were required to record their voices as part of the assignments. Recording practice is a critical part of the learning in the Human Relations Course. We asked students how recording practice may or may not have helped the learning process.
All students said that the recording practice was helpful. Not one student said it didn’t matter.
The top 3 benefits of recording practice, according to students, are being able to:
Being able to respond more promptly and preparation for classroom role-plays were less important.
The complete survey results are available here.
Patricia Macleod, March 31 2017