Week 1: Explorer activity 1.5: Are you ready for online learning?


To complete this activity I have used the San Diego Community College: Online Learning Readiness Assessment (http://www.sdccdonline.net/assess.htm) and the University of Houston: Test of Online Learning Success (http://distance.uh.edu/online_learning.html). The characteristics that they share in my view are they are aimed towards those who are self-directed, self-paced, possibly self-taught, and mainly independent in their approach. On completion of the surveys I could have a feeling of “oh my” as they are daunting in their results set, especially if as the learner or prospective learner you have not used or are limited in your use of the technology or hardware.
When reviewing the outcomes I felt that although both were useful in identifying “where am I at” they did lack methods of improvement, and felt that they could have linked to online test site or support forum.
To critique the surveys, learner readiness can be miss-judged due to clicking on the wrong radio button when entering response. I also feel some learners may be “put off” if they are not in contact with the learning provider directly or if they feel that they are “not up to standard”.
For learning providers, these tools are useful as they can identify areas for focus during the course set up or introduction process, or identify the need to run a “week 0” as we did on the OCTEL course. They may also identify the provision of 1-1 support, with certain candidates, provided that the survey results are archived and accessible.
Correct use of the above surveys within the UK without access to the “results” data would require UK learners to collate their results individually and forward them on either through either a screen grab or printing out the results page.
Personally I feel that these tools are of use and they could be tailored and improved upon. In the past I have previously used the University of North Carolina’s site (http://www.unc.edu/tlim/ser) this site is useful as it provides a simplified results page. Along with the learning tool at Stark State College; Are You Prepared for Online Learning? (http://www.starkstate.edu/estarkstateamiready) This tool is good to use due to its well-designed layout, and three useful menu sections. Along with initial questions there is a section on skills required and also minimum computer specifications.
In addition to the identified tools I have previously sent out an email questionnaire to assess learners skill set prior to enrolment, and also emailed a technical specifications document for prospective learners to match up or aim towards before embarking on a course.
I would welcome any feedback on my understanding of the above tools and my interpretations.


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