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Results

Demo

The Up2UML Content Demo provides an overview of the content developed in Up2UML. A video clip demonstrates all the features of the online course. Two of the lessons are made freely available. The demo also introduces the guidebooks for tutors.

Pilot Trainings

A total of nine pilot trainings were conducted in Germany, Ireland, France, Romania and Bulgaria implementing a variety of blended learning settings. Feedback from participants was very positive. Participants were asked to rate a number of different aspects of the course on a five-point scale (strongly agree - agree - undecided - disagree - strongly disagree). Most aspects were rated rather positive: A positive mean value for a scale in the following Figure indicates agreement to statements that referred to that aspect, negative values indicate disagreement.

  • Resources: Participants felt that they had sufficient and a broad variety of resources
  • Preferences: Participants enjoyed the setting of the course and would participate again
  • Collaboration: Participants felt they had sufficient opportunity to interact with their peers and felt the collaboration was useful
  • Ease of Use: Participants found the on-line course easy to use and did not experience significant difficulties
  • Overall satisfaction: Participants were overall satisfied with the course. They would participate again and recommend the course to friends.
  • Learning: Participants felt that they had learnt about UML
  • Application to work: The only aspect that attracted some disagreement was the participantsí perception of whether they would be able to apply the concepts they learnt straight away at their workplace and whether it would improve their job performance.

feedback from participants

The pilot trainings implemented different blends. Comparing across trainings allows to analyse differences in the perception of participants. Participants of on-line only courses were more disappointed about the course. Nevertheless they would tend more to recommend the course than those who also attended face-to-face meetings. They also found the course less difficult.

There was no difference between the groups in terms of the perception of the available resources. In fact the groups had pretty much the same resources available.

Participants who had attended face-to-face sessions agreed significantly more to a statement about their learning gain. They were also more confident about using UML on the job. However, the project, as part of the course, was less important for this group possibly because the interaction with the teacher and their peer learners gave them more opportunity to apply their UML knowledge in different situations. A number of differences between the groups accoutred in terms of the perception of the blend itself. The on-line only group expresses a preference for that type of training while the blended learning group would be open for on-line or traditional classroom settings as well. For the on-line only learners it was less important to be able to discuss with peers face-to-face.

Delphi Study

A delphi study was conducted to find out about the requirements for successful blended learning in SMEs. The panel consisted of SME employees in the IT and tourism industry, e-Learning trainers and providers, researchers as well as employees from large companies for comparison. The sub-panels discussed and polled in three rounds to identify the most important aspects. The following list shows the top 10 aspects identified across all sub-panels:

  1. Self-Paced Learning
  2. Time Flexibility
  3. Quality
  4. Learner-Centred
  5. Content design
  6. Efficiency
  7. Student interaction
  8. Workplace-Related Learning
  9. Usability
  10. Relevance of Content