Computer based learning

Discussion in 'REME' started by spaz, May 12, 2011.

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  1. Over the last few years REME soldiers have started to complete more and more E-Learning courses. Some of these courses are mandatory for all ranks within the corps and others for those with specific roles. They cover many areas with the big ones at my unit at the moment being JAMES MIS training and Information Management. The courses are often lengthy and quite time consuming. Having considered the man hours spent on this training within my unit I believe I have identified the advantages and disadvantages of these courses.

    Advantages-

    All training is automatically recorded on the training database. Competent persons can be quickly identified and training deficiencies easily identified.

    Disadvantages-

    They're ******* shit, courses involve soldiers randomly clicking on the screen of some wanky flash application until they achieve a pass. **** all is learnt or retained by the soldier and the whole exercise is one big wanky, arse covering exercise.

    I'd be interested to hear other people's views on the subject, or maybe even comparing DIM Passports with other E-Learners.
     
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  2. We do lots of mandatory E-Learning in my branch of the Bonfire of the QUANGOs.

    I think your advantages and disadvantages sum it up very well. Especially the phrase used in disadvantages ''They're ******* shit''.

    I can only agree with everything you have said. Have you done the diversity one yet? Christ.
     
  3. We had to do online fire safety training the other day. So, if my MT burns down, a computer knows how to solve it?

    What pinheaded skin thief thought that was a good idea?

    This is the way forward because it's cheaper. I can't wait to have to do my PFA online :)
     
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  4. E-Learning courses are the same as any other courses that are 'mandatory'. Attendance and achieving a 'pass' is the mandatory part, retention of the information is not.

    In the same way as passing a computer based course may just require endless clicking until a pass is achieved, we all know that 'pre-computer course' many would turn up, do as little as possible and often achieve a 'pass' by having the required information available or even pointed out during testing. The assumption was often "It's a mandatory course, if I don't pass it looks bad on the instructional staff and I will get through no matter what". Right or wrong (and I would say wrong), a 'fail' was very rare indeed.

    You can add to that the fact that on non-computer courses the standard of instruction varies. It ranges from excellent, with good instructors who are interested and have a deep knowledge of their subject, to dismal, given by the uninterested, unprepared and those of limited instructional ability. A computer based course provides all the subject matter required for the course to those with the interest to read and digest it. Not everyone's cup of tea I grant you, but you can say that about almost any form of learning.

    What has changed? Nothing. You can still attend a course and pass with as little effort as you deem necessary. Information will only be retained if the student really wants to, but in the case of the E-student, all the required information is given to the same standard, no matter where, when or by whom the course is given.
     
  5. E-learning. ******* brilliant idea.

    The hours of fun I've had watching the mouthbreathers in my dept banging away and shaking their heads because they haven't taken anything in and have to answer a certain percentage of questions correctly before moving on. The fact that it allows you as many chances as you want means they randomly hit options till they bluff it.
     
  6. A software change imposing a 'three fails = 24 hour block" would stop that and I would add a auto email to the student's head of department every time there's a block as well. Not perfect, but not wanting to look a numpty to the boss is quite an incentive to all but the "don't give a toss" soldier, who wouldn't have done any better in the old system either.

    I also admit that E-Learning isn't ideal for all subjects. Okay for background theory, but no good for any 'practical' subject.
     
  7. Stop watching me take my Matrix tests! :)
     
  8. Plant-Pilot, some good points. Out of interest have you completed the JAMES training and then tried to apply what you have learnt to the MIS?
     
  9. No, but the fraud awareness one sounds the same. The similar (but not dii-based) CBT system used for gunnery is entertaining too. Lots of point, click and hope multiple guess tests, and a few bits that seem like the worst tank simulation ever.
     
  10. The problem with your suggestion is that this is a govt dept so they want everyone to pass regardless so that they have a get out clause should someone turn up to work wearing an SS uniform or goes head first down the stairs carrying a table.

    "Well they completed their diversity / H&S E-learning...."

    Arse covering is all that its about.
     
  11. Once again I agree that the software used by the MoD is usually the cheapest, which in turn reflects on the low quality of testing. I do reiterate that the software, in moist cases, does cover what is tested, which was not always the case in some instructors efforts.

    If you think back 20 years (for those old enough) we were having the same argument over matrix tests Vs written exams. Those used to the old system were saying that multiple choice had all the answers and if you ignored 'the stupid' answer and the 'obviously wrong' answer, you were left with a 50/50 chance. Having just questions and having to formulate your own answers meant that if you hadn't actually learned the course work, you didn't have a chance.

    I have done some very intense 'computer based' lessons with the OU. A pleasant change from hours of reading dry technical textbooks. They were interesting, well presented and the testing was anything but 'click until you get it right'. You could follow the course work at your own pace, with periodic confirmatory testing that wouldn't allow too many repeated attempts without sending you back to the beginning of the module.

    We all know that some of the computer based courses used by the MoD could be better. Whether due to the requirement that even the 'thick as mince' or disinterested can obtain a pass, cost, or a lack of interest in those developing and procuring the software, I don't know, but it's not computer based learning per se that is 'bad'. The 'paper' system before was no better at providing even quality instruction and stringent testing.
     
  12. I'm doing that MOSS training at the moment, how the hours have been flying by. Not nearly as painful as the JAMES guff though, but then again hardly anything is.........
     
  13. Has anyone knowingly done a course designed and delivered using Moodle (or would that not be obvious to the user)?
    I hear that the OU use it but I've never seen one of their courses up close.
     
  14. I'm not a fan of work based CBT, but then I'm not a fan of nights out of bed in some school spending twice the amount of time as I need to as has been the case at times over my career. I've just completed a hefty JAMES package, it would've been much easier if I could have set time somewhere at work to complete it instead of constant distractions throughout the modules, but the training is about an insight and overview, a good piece of advice is to have the Aide Memoires available from their web site. Interestingly MJDI in next year has traditional old classroom based modules delivered in the unit. I know it'll be down the how the PT want to deliver it, but it's strange how each can factor a different mode of training delivery into their budget.
     
  15. Moss does have it's uses in civvystreet. On the other hand I priced up the MSCE course I wanted to do and it came to £6k As I was out of work at the time, I give the "pay on the never never" a miss