We are delighted to announce the launch of CEELI Online – our dedicated eLearning platform and program management system.
Our trainings offered on the platform were crafted using a “blended learning” methodology. This methodology anticipates a mixture of online and in-person educational events and allows for flexibility in the currently unpredictable environment. We are also in the process of identifying the best software options for use in delivering online program content.
We understand that online delivery is not as simple as just recording lectures on Zoom for playback. Recognizing this, CEELI Online offers useful programs that fully engage participants via online platforms. Such participant ‘buy-in’ is fundamental to the success of any online course, and relevant literature on online education recommends creating courses that are welcoming, user-friendly and easy to navigate as well as goal-directed. Online programs must offer readily accessible learner support. It is also important that the learning engagement is conducted within a secure controlled password-protected site. The need to build trust in the ‘community of online learner’ to share and engage is a critical component of any online course.
Delivery of programs online are offered in manageable components, so that what would be three days of in-person programming might be delivered over the course of five weeks online. To do this, we created program “hubs” that will act as repositories for the necessary program information and materials.
Eventually, as travel restrictions relax, we hope to move to a combination of in-person engagement and distance learning. For these in-person sessions, we will employ a ‘flipped learning approach’ which involves pre-session reading materials or online lectures, so that the in-person program can continue from a significantly more advanced starting point. The outcomes of the in-person discussions will then also be shared with the other participants on the online platform. In sum, we believe that this “blended learning” approach enables maximum flexibility in delivering programs in an uncertain time. It allows us to move program components online if conditions preclude onsite delivery. It allows fine-tuning of the curriculum, materials, and style of delivery during the program based on identified new needs. And it allows us to easily revert to enhanced in-person delivery when conditions are right.
In developing online programs, we will be using the market leader and proven adult learning educational software Moodle (https://moodle.org/). Moodle provides educators with web-based learning resources and can enable learning activities such as forums, quizzes, and chat features. In addition, the management, reporting, and evaluation tools are inbuilt. We will also integrate as appropriate, video conferencing software such as Zoom and Panopto—the latter is the leading video platform for higher education institutions and has multilingual functionality.
In sum, we believe that this “blended learning” approach enables maximum flexibility in delivering programs in an uncertain time. It allows us to move program components online if conditions preclude onsite delivery. It also allows for fine-tuning of the curriculum and materials based on the style of delivery required by the circumstances at the time, and it allows us to easily revert to enhanced in-person delivery when conditions are right.