By Bill Anderton
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientist
The four cornerstones of our learning methods are:
On-Demand Learning is typically lecture-oriented in which a subject matter expert makes a presentation on a topic. Presentations are usually captured either as full-motion video or audio-graphic presentation consisting of PowerPoint slides synchronized to a recorded voice track of the lecture.
On-Demand Learning is available in the course’s Virtual Classroom for viewing 24x7. Students may view on-demand learning sessions at their own pace including the repeated viewing of sessions, in whole or in part, for full comprehension.
On-Demand Learning sessions are asynchronous because they are self-paced; other students and/or instructors are no necessarily online at the same time.
However, On-Demand Learning can still be interactive (with blended-learning techniques) because questions and answers can be posted, or discussions on each on demand session can occur via other components of the system.
Community-based learning consists of several online learning communities where students, instructors, mentors and guest can meet online using virtual telepresence technologies to interact with each other. Interactions among members of our learning communities lead to discussions, opinion sharing and exchange of ideas. Community-based-learning is very powerful because it can harness the whole community for the learning experience.
Some technologies used in community-based learning are synchronous where all participating members meet online, together and at the same time and in real time. Other technologies used in community-based learning are asynchronous where participating members can exchange messages in a store-and-forward fashion; members can post a question and others can see the question and post a reply when they enter or return to the community. Members of the learning community can use any of these methods to discuss the topic at hand, ask questions of instructors and mentors, ask questions of other students or engage in the other interactions provided by our applications.
Community-based learning simultaneously has elements of both a study group and a colloquium.
Our overall Connect Community is composed of one general-purpose facet and multiple special-purpose facets. Each student can belong one or more of the facets of the communities as needed:
All facets of the Connected Community use a common set of features and functions and can use any combination of the following features and functions are employed in our Connected Community:
All facets of the Connected Community can use any of our streaming media features:
Any of the facets of our Connected Community can employ any of our interactive community features. The interactive features of the community will allow interaction among community members: students, instructors, mentors, consultants and guests. The features allow you to ask questions, post opinions or have on-going dialogs and other interactions.
Sometimes, traditional instructor-led learning is needed. Rather than replacing Instructor-Led Learning, our system embraces it and extends its effectiveness with our technology. Using the technology tools in our Live Classroom system, we can enable instructors to teach live real-time classes and sessions to any number of students who can be located anywhere. Our Live Classroom technology allows multi-way conversations, shared PowerPoint slides, virtual whiteboards and even desktop video to be simultaneously shared among all participating students, instructors and mentors.
Live Instructor-Lead Learning is synchronous; all students, instructors and mentors participate at the same time. However, travel isn’t required; the class comes to the student rather than the student going to the class. The use on Online Instructor-Led Training can accelerate the speed and efficaciousness of learning and knowledge transfer while reducing disruptions to the work day and lifestyle of our students. The efficiency of our online tools also makes the most productive use of instructors, mentors and consultants.
Live instructor-led learning can be in the form of a physical class component meeting in a specified venue or it can be totally online.
Sometimes, individual students or small groups need highly-customized and individualized tutoring, mentoring and consulting. Such learning sessions can be as short as a single session or on-going over a long period of time. Our system provides all of our live real-time synchronous learning tools for live meetings as well as all of our community-based tools for tutoring-, mentoring- and consulting-based learning.
Private virtual meeting rooms can be created for a single individual or for a group of any size. These rooms are secure and access is allowed only by password.
Tutoring-, Mentoring- and Consulting-Based Learning rooms are ideal for one-on-one meetings with instructors or mentors. Also, they are ideal for meeting with consulting practitioners.
In most cases, the best learning environment is one that uses some combination of the four cornerstones of learning; a blended environment of more than one style of learning often produces the best results. Blended learning produces the best and most efficacious learning experience by combining two or more of our learning methods into more-complete and more-powerful learning experiences. Our instructors and course designers can use any or all of our technologies in any of our courses to build the best blended learning experience. While each technique has its own unique advantages, when blended together, synergies result in more effective learning experiences. The specific advantages each learning method can be used to its maximum advantage, efficiency and synergy.
For example, students might begin with the power and ease of self-directed On-Demand Learning for lectures. Then, after viewing the on-demand media, students and instructors can meet together in live real-time sessions for questions and class discussions. Student can ask the instructor questions or to explain things the student didn’t understand the first time through the material. Then, all students and instructors can join into the in-depth discussions that occur with the Learning Communities. Finally, if needed or desired, private tutoring or mentoring can occur for highly customized learning.
Taken together, all of the components are blended learning.