Choosing a Distance Learning Technology

technology tools

In an effort to distribute the staff information system to the multi-regions I would need to first consider the telecom and instructional technologies available within the organization. I would work closely with the human resources department to obtain the learners level of expertise so I can consider the intrinsic cognitive load experience level of the organizational staff with the use of online technology tools and the Internet (Lambert, Kalyuga, & Capan, 2009). This information will support the design of the training. I will also seek to gain a better understanding of the desired learner outcomes. With this information I would design a linear module in an asynchronous environment using a CMS as the technology tool. The units in the module will implement scaffolding to reduce extraneous cognitive load for the learner (Lambert, Kalyuga, & Capan, 2009). Narrated videos using PowerPoint would be used to provide the instruction, along with animation videos where appropriate would be included in the instruction. Learner assessments would be given after each unit in a module to determine learner engagement and accountability of knowledge. The modules in the CMS will include the use of a Wiki to present short training videos created in PowerPoint or another multi-media video tool. The Wiki will provide a modular navigation with a video tutorial providing information on how to use the Wiki. An instructional video that provides step-by-step instructions for adding content, uploading files, and creating new pages as required is provided in the course overview in the Wiki. I will also implement the use of Dropbox to upload documents and share information. Dropbox is a free service that enables you to share and store files with the capability to access the files on different devices. Evaluation and assessment of the training is a strategic component of effective training. My goal in the evaluation is to assess the extent to which learners have advanced in skills, knowledge, or attitude, determine what and how much did the participants learn, what new skills do they possess, and what new and appropriate attitudinal positions have been produced (Simonson, 2007)? This is conducted after each module is completed by the learner. Today organizations are converting training results from e-learning activities into monetary values and comparing these costs to the cost of the training program to determine a return on investment (Simonson, 2007). So I would also evaluate the ROI to measure the financial effectiveness of the organizational training.

I conducted researched on social networking and the use of Dropbox as a collaboration tool in use by external organizations. The University of Alcala in Spain conducted a study to promote autonomous, collaborative and proactive learning amongst the students in the university (Moreno, 2012). The study also looked at the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with the F2F approach resulting in a blended learning model. ICT’s link social organization (or social networks) and Web 2.0 technology. The student’s performance (final marks) were used as a benchmark for success. The results demonstrated that the implementation of blended learning has a positive effect on in learning outcomes (raising exam+work pass rates) in the subject (Moreno, 2012). The University of Alcala continues to use the Dropbox to facilitate collaboration amongst the distance learning students.

The Army delivers standardized individual, self-development, and small group training to soldiers through the application of networked communication systems. The goal is to have Army training more learner-centric with soldiers assuming increased responsibility for the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills. The Army has sought to develop a method of instruction that is more soldier-centric and collaborative rather than classroom based (Bonk & Wisher, 2000). A teacher professional development environment called TAPPED IN is used as a collaboration resource. This resource combines opportunities for informal and formal learning that emphasizes collaboration and social interaction within a supportive community of practice. TAPPED IN is primarily a synchronous environment relying on a multi-user virtual environment. Filled with different floors, offices, and meeting rooms, members can name and furnish these rooms, create and share documents and hyperlinked objects, and post items in their own workrooms. By employing Java technology, TAPPED IN rooms are dynamically and continuously updated by the participants of the community (Bonk & Wisher, 2000). In effect, TAPPED IN helps overcome teacher isolation by providing a rich sharing of experiences and resources while also recognizing and rewarding participant achievements (Bonk & Wisher, 2000). In addition, it is a generally safe and supportive environment for learning (Bonk & Wisher, 2000). This collaboration tool has been successful for the Army in creating learner-centered instruction that is effective and soldier centric.


Bonk, Curtis J. & Wisher, Robert A. (2000) Applying Collaborative and e-Learning Tools to Military Distance Learning: A Research Framework. United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Retrieved from

Lambert, J., Kalyuga, S., & Capan, L. A. (2009). Student Perceptions and Cognitive Load: what can they tell us about e-learning Web 2.0 course design?.E-Learning and Digital Media6(2), 150-163.

Moreno, Justo de Jorge (2012). USING SOCIAL NETWORK AND DROPBOX IN BLENDED LEARNING: AN APPLICATION TO UNIVERSITY EDUCATION. Business, Management and Education. Retrieved from

Simonson, M. (2007). Evaluation and distance education: Five steps. Quarterly Review of Distance Education. 8(3) pp. vii – ix.

One thought on “Choosing a Distance Learning Technology

  1. From: Juan Jaimes, EDUC 635-2 Distance Learing, Group 1

    Hello! Leslie,
    Seems, TAPPED IN is similar to SIMS 4, it’s a life simulation video game, where players can interact virtually with others. Like TAPPED IN filled with different floors, offices, and meeting rooms. SIMS 4 has interactions with the environment and people too, distance learning technology has made it possible to communicate long distance, instead of just F2F meetings. Distance learning is very cost effective and helps with time. I guess we learn from the past, distance learning has been around for many years and the Army has been using instructional design for many years and technology has advanced over the years.


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