P R plain card disc letter a C E

The Learning Community at Preston Reservoir ACE (Merrilands Community Centre)

(img: merrilands community centre )
he learners in our community that will benefit from our proposed blended learning initiative, are:
  • Learners studying VCAL, who are mostly disengaged young adults, although for one of the groups we are aiming for a wider age range.

Our particular challenges with this learner group are:
  • Partly finding ways to manage the multiple-level aspect of classes. We have run two separate classes this year, and are on the verge of trialling a team-teaching approach to enable a wider range of options for learners.
  • Partly finding ways to engage the learners within an adult learning environment.

What's happened during this project?

1) Use of data projector has enlivened discussion and led to more engaging sessions.
2) A range of activities involving some use of screen / network technology.
3) Creating an online space for learning materials and discussion.

More detail here about these activities.
A different overview of the same project here.

Overview of the Outcomes and Activities

Here's a 12 minute audiovisual presentation, focussing on the activities learners engaged in during this project.
1) via Teacher Tube (direct link)

2) or via Blip.TV

Blended learning as a solution

For this e-learning initiative, we focussed on this ACFE-funded course:
Adult numeracy i & ii (combination course: cgea / vcal).

Before starting, we thought technology could assist in these ways:

  • As well as a collection of self-paced worksheets we wanted to trial some online, web-based resources, to allow learners to work toward their certificates with more flexibility.
  • We thought hese resources would probably be housed within our moodle-based intranet, although they would draw on existing resources such as protea textware cd ("Measuring Up"), Your Online Assistant (YOLA), videos on YouTube (podcast called "math strategies" by students), and the Infinite Thinking Machine.
  • We also wanted to run some sessions inviting students to evaluate existing math software/ applications, eg learning games (Add-em-up, Calcul, Google Sketchup). The activities would involve running each program, and using some proforma to evaluate their use; possibly as pair-work. Ideally the evaluation criteria would be negotiated with the group before this.
  • Rather than installing software on every machine, we would trial the use of "remote desk-topping" into a student server (windows'03).

Potential benefits for PRACE and the learners:

This group of students tended to enjoy working with technology, especially for communicative purposes. We hoped to increase flexibility for existing learners, and so create a greater likelihood of meeting individual needs.
We hoped this project would give our organisation an opportunity to trial some software, as well as to find out more about the potential of a moodle-based intranet.

For more detail, read the full Action Research plan, in ms word format: action research plan (prace, vcal).doc

For more information:
Michael Chalk

Phone: 9462 6077
Email: michael chalk < ace [at] michalk.id.au >