eLearning - Feasibility for use in a parental education program

O'Donovan, Gerardine (2005) eLearning - Feasibility for use in a parental education program. Diploma thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This study explores the issues and challenges to provide a program of parental education via e-Learning to parents of children with autism. It looks at the key issues of technological readiness for such a program, the attitudes on both the student and instructor side to the set up of such a program, and the goals which the parents want to achieve through both home and or class based programs.

The survey does not study or propose specific implementations for use within the parental program. Rather, it focuses attitudes to end results of the training mode, the range of possible outcomes, such as being able to re-cap or review material as requirements demand. The study defines e-Learning in its broadest sense using the understanding of e-Learning as electronically mediated knowledge and transfer of instructional and training materials between experts and peer groups.

The study used four linked surveys to explore the issues. It surveyed attendance at parent education to date. The main goals that parents want to achieve through parental education; current attitudes to aspects of parent education classes; and the technological readiness of the group, in their homes, to use web based research and information material.

The study differentiated between maternal and paternal replies on attendance, goals, and main attitudes. In common with many other studies in the area, the mothers were significantly more involved in the parental education role. In this study mothers and fathers differed most markedly in their enjoyment of current parental education provision, timing of classes, and the use of parental education as a means to promote social interactions for the children. However, there is broad agreement between the parents on need for replay of course materials and for the use of e-mail as a method of feedback and back-up for a home program.

The survey showed that 100% of survey respondents have home computers and internet access and 94% use internet sources for research on autism and related issues.

The study concludes that the parent group is well equipped to partake in e-delivery of course materials and it would be a welcome enhancement to current provision, especially if it provided more modeling and instructional video elements. However, care should be taken to ensure that the support and networking opportunities that face-to-face interactions have afforded in the past will be accommodated in any new instructional modes.

In looking at directions going forward, the study briefly reviews models of e-Leaming implementation in other non-profit organizations and organizations using e-Learning for transfer of educational / instructional elements from professionals the SME's (Subject Matter Experts) to non-professionals carrying out specified tasks.

Item Type: Thesis (Diploma)
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education > E-Learning
L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education
Divisions: School of Computing > Graduate Diploma in Computing in eLearning
Depositing User: Tim Lawless
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2010 12:47
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 14:45

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