Instructions for Success
Because the entire program in Learning Systems Technology is designed to be delivered in an “online” format via the internet using “browser” applications, the following listing of explanations, steps in the process, and conditions are provided:
Hardware and software considerations
IAll of the course documents, tests, and examples are written in html or web page format and can be viewed with any of the current web browser applications such as Internet Explorer and Netscape. Currently, these applications require a PC or a Mac with at least 32 MB of RAM. More RAM is recommended along with a minimum CPU speed of 133 megahertz and a hard drive with at least 20 MB of free space. Further, an internet connection with a modem running at a minimum speed of 28.8K or other internet access such as DSL or direct access on a local area network (LAN) is required.
Software needed include wordprocessing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, and web page authoring software. All of these types of applications can be found in the “suites” packages such as MS-Office, MS-Works, Appleworks. Other types of sample software will be downloaded from the internet as needed.
Email considerations and the LSTE Forum
Obviously, email is the main vehicle for communicating with the instructor and turning in completed work as attachments to email messages. It is assumed that the learner is proficient in the use of email before entering the program. Internet service providers (AOL, Prodigy, Compuserve, etc.) should not limit the size of transmitted files and allow for extended access time on the internet.
BlackBoard is the predominant platform for experiencing the entire program.
Program Requirements and Philosophy
All of the courses with an LSTE prefix are conducted using a variation of Mastery Learning. Using this approach, the learners are expected to actually learn and perform with the concepts and skills contained within the program until such performances are deemed “mastered” by the instructor. Learning in this manner suggests asynchronous activities or unsynchronized activities or people doing things at different times but successfully completing common experiences, a feature of a free society. With the logical understanding that the college age members of our society are made up of people with a full spectrum of academic readiness levels and sometimes unrealistic motivations in life, the asynchronous approach seems to be the most appropriate method available. Other approaches where people go to college after high school graduation, are placed in a Freshman class, expected to complete the Freshman course of study in nine months and all arrive with essentially the same motivation and readiness for the Sophomore year or drop out of school, is most unrealistic. Actually, the concept of “Do Until Accepted” is used where the learner produces after instruction or research, presents to the instructor, the instructor reviews and writes recommendations as needed and returns the product to the learner for adjustments until the instructor is satisfied that the product meets the specific requirements set forth in the the course syllabi and documents.
The only timelines should be set by the learner. Most of the timelines in the past were set by the educator rather than the learner in the belief that the educator knew best when learning should have occurred. Real learning occurs at different times for different folks so it is illogical to test thirty people to see if they are all meeting the same outcome at the same time in the same way. The only constraint on courses within the program will be the normal beginning and ending dates for the semester.