THE BLENDING OF THREE CHANNELS FOR DELIVERING A COMPREHENSIVE AND INNOVATIVE DISTANCE LEARNING COURSE
Consorzio FOR.COM. – Formazione per la Comunicazione (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:TIPS “T-learning to Improve Professional Skills for intercultural dialogue” is a two-year Leonardo da Vinci project co-funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. The purpose of the project is to support cultural mediators around Europe to improve their skills and competences through the T-learning approach, an integrated methodology which exploits the potential of E-learning, M-learning and TV-learning.
The TIPS pilot course is modular and each module is divided into units hosting various learning objects. The same modular structure is reproduced within each platform whilst different types of learning objects are available through the three systems. This ensures a real integration that is a combination of theory and practice, not just the sum of contents delivered in a triple modality. The TIPS T-learning system hosts various tools to encourage both interactivity and interaction.
In the framework of the TIPS project, the concept of integration is a leit-motiv which concerns social context, course subjects, methodology and technology.
The TIPS beneficiaries benefit an online course supported by a mixed methodology where e-learning is supported by M-learning and TV-learning. The triple system exploits the benefits of distance learning tools and replaces the weaknesses of each methodology with the potential offered by the other, thus ensuring high interaction, portability, no limit of space and time, multimediality, simulations. These intrinsic qualities of TIPS system are expected to positively impact on the cultural mediators’ learning process by promoting customised training able to fit different learning styles.
Within the framework of project, the three main components of integration deal with pedagogy, didactics and technology. As far as pedagogy is concerned, the use of different instruments (personal computer, smartphones and television) promotes different learning styles (e.g. visual, auditory) approaches to learning. From a didactic point of view continuity is ensured among the different learning objects through the inclusion of cross references. For example, while listening to an audio lesson via computer the user is informed about a movie on the same subject available through TV.
The integration also concerns technology: the three platforms are linked through a comprehensive database able to track students’ training paths and allow tutors to make statistical analysis.
The innovation consists on the integration of the three tools in order to provide effective didactic support available anywhere, anytime. This methodology will provide users with effective individual, on-the-job training. Each participant will have the opportunity to select the tool that best fits his/her personal or professional needs. The TIPS project will exploit the opportunities offered by ICT tools for training purposes, and the innovation consists also in the kind of contents that will be conveyed through them.
The project applies this methodology for social works and cultural mediators, the target group, who play a key role in the social integration process of immigrants. They are involved in services for immigrants, refugees and human traffic victims. Lifelong learning could support these professionals by providing specific training based on their needs. The proposed methodology would effectively provide these professionals with innovative, on-the-job training that is exploitable in every day work-related activities.
Keywords: e-learning, m-learning, tv-learning, stb, streaming, mobile devices, social software.