CAE: a witness of –and a participant in– teacher evolution since the 1980s
Not so long ago (at the beginning of the 1980s), the teacher was still –for the student– a figure that was inaccessible. A source of knowledge, a socially influential individual who gained prestige simply by having chosen to teach – professionals whose words were valued as unquestionable truths.
In the past, the role of the teacher was merely expository in nature and the student became a passive subject who did not participate in the learning contents or in the learning methodology: the teacher had all the information, he or she was the only transmitter of knowledge (through direct, one-way teaching), there were standardized tests and assessment practices, and there barely existed a relationship with the students.
Today, teaching has evolved to completely transform that traditional, doctrinal figure of the past. Now, teachers are more professionally prepared and teaching is much more versatile: more than a source of knowledge, the teacher is a motivator, a supporter, a facilitator of learning, a mentor, a guide to show students how to construct their own knowledge and how to think critically. Today’s teachers play an active role in teaching.
Since those years, particularly since 1981, CAE (Computer Aided E-learning) has witnessed and participated in that evolution. Fundamentally because the technology and possibilities for self-governance in learning offered by e-learning solutions have influenced that evolution. Now, through the educational platforms –or LMS (Learning Management Systems) and LCMS (Learning Content Management Systems)– developed by CAE, the teacher/student relationship is fluid, agile, permanent, and fruitful. This is thanks to tools and resources such as:
Tools that enhance the student/teacher relationship:
• Answering of questions about the course through communities.
• Creation of surveys for users to assess the training that they receive.
• Possibility to include virtual classrooms for courses. These virtual classrooms have multiple configuration options (socialization, motivation, collaborative learning, etc.).
• A wide array of notifications to manage the course, to monitor students, and to keep the students’ levels of proactiveness in check.
• Sending of notifications via internal e-mail, external email, text messaging, etc.
• Sending of motivational alerts to keep the degree of learning in check.
• Message board built into the platform.
• Chat rooms.
• Generation and scheduling of reports.
• Configuration and management of communities.
• Achievement milestones and incentives to encourage participation.
• Discussion threads, question walls, etc.
The driving force for change
How does one get that relationship between the student and teacher to change? How does one bring the figure of the teacher closer to the students without deemphasizing the teacher’s role as a professional? The answer is simple: by assuming innovation as an attitude… by developing tools that give learning an interactive nature, that allow the teacher to create content and to diversify training. This, in turn, lets both parties (teacher and student) reach their full potential in a collaborative environment. This philosophy is the basis of leadership at CAE in terms of elearning, and it implies constant work in terms of R&D&I so that we can continue to provide new LCMS like those that follow:
“Poll:” Contributing value to the new LCMS by CAE
The term “poll” could also be understood as something along the lines of “query,” always being related with words like “vote,” “survey,” “opinion,” etc. Thus, “Poll” is a quick and easy way to offer students the possibility of choosing the topics to be addressed in each class and/or to let them decide on the mechanics or activities undertaken in classes. Thus, “Poll” encourages participation and obtains feedback in a precise and agile way. It’s a tool of extraordinary value to the teacher as it provides clear information regarding the resources to use in upcoming classes so that a learning experience that is attractive, dynamic, and entertaining can be created – thereby rekindling the students’ level of involvement and permanently improving their predisposition.
With “Poll”, students also choose
The idea is to take genuine interest in the students’ learning preferences. In this way, CAE opens up the learning process to students so that they can become increasingly more active in their learning and are able to participate in decisions that were once traditionally associated only with educational professionals.
“Poll” can be configured in many ways: you can define one or several questions with multiple options, and you can set if the students see the answers that were submitted by the rest of their classmates (in the stats section), as well as if questions may be repeated.
In addition to putting the mechanics to be adopted for the class into students’ hands, “Poll” also encourages participation by allowing pupils to choose discussion topics that are related to the theme being studied.
In short, this is yet another step forward in the evolution of the student/teacher relationship. It’s a value-added elearning training contribution that bears the CAE stamp and which invites us to think about the future of e-learning – a future that promises to be even brighter than the present moment.
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