Relationships – not technology – hold the key to Online Learning

“The reason why dating sites are so successful is that they allow people to find new relationships, not because people are enamoured with the technology. Will education technologists ever acknowledge that the key to Online Learning is relationships?”

The key to forging new relationships is to work in a much more intimate way with both the learning and teaching community.

This paper presents a model that acts as a framework for integrating current communications media with innovative learning processes. This osmotic approach to education and training is a unique progression that assimilates layers of learning into a cycle.

The author has developed a Learning Utility framework, designed to increase participation, which effectively positions the workplace as a training location. Learning Utility is built around the idea that now and in the future, people will engage in learning through alternate modes to suit their education needs and learning preferences at any point in time.

Learning Utility thus proposes a value pyramid of seven learning methods, with the value increasing to qualification(s) as the peak outcome. The seven stages or layers of learning include informal learning communities, knowledge resources or repositories, individualised and self-paced learning, instructor-led online learning and classes enhanced by rich media. The final stage is the assessment process which includes competency-based certification and recognition of prior learning, ultimately resulting in accreditation through the issue of qualifications.

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