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Guiding the use of elearning: Guiding e-learning: from theory to realisation. -- 22 -- Short (oral) Paper

13:40 - 14:40 on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 in 3.204

With ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world. It supports girls and young women to develop their full potential, as active citizens of the world, with a focus on leadership development, community action, and advocacy campaigns.

Introducing technology into education is challenging (Collins and Halverson, 2010), and there are concerns that this may further marginalise the deprived (Carr-Chellman, 2005). This work confronts the realities of introducing e-learning to WAGGGS; with the aim that more leaders, especially young women, will be able to experience the development programme (WLDP), currently delivered face-to-face.

The project started in June 2010 with desk research of current e-learning practice; combined with technological and pedagogical audits; providing a good understanding of the stakeholders and materials. The technology audit sought to understand what technologies potential participants and facilitators were familiar with and the differences around the world. The audit highlighted many issues, from rolling power cuts in rural Africa impacting on the availability of technologies, to the inseparable relationship of some members and their mobile devices. The pedagogic audit concentrated on existing training materials used by individual members and in face-to-face group events. This highlighted the Guiding ethos of non-formal learning in an intercultural context, the differentiation methods built in to accommodate for age variation,s and the range of quality materials available.

Following this initial work a prototype e-learning system has been developed based on the Moodle platform, and the first international trials will take place in March/April 2012.

The results of the first international trials will be reported and compared with expectations of the planning stage, highlighting where things went well and where there were surprises. The actions taken before the second set of trials will also be presented, it is expected that the second set (scheduled for the early summer) of trials will include a multi-lingual aspect.

The paper highlights areas of importance when planning and implementing e-learning in a large international organisation, from the initial theories of the desk research, to the realisation of using it with a large multi-lingual international group.

The session is important as it addresses the realties of delivering e-learning overcoming difficulties ranging from rolling blackouts of power through time zone differences to lack of common languages. Internationalisation is becoming increasingly important across many educational sectors.

This work is part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project between the University of Reading and the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) with funding from the Economic & Social Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board.