Delivering the Diploma in Probation Studies in North Wales and Dyfed Powys: On-Line Learning Explored

Published 15/10/2003
Type Article
Author(s) Iolo Madoc-Jones
Corresponding Authors Iolo Madoc-Jones, NEWI, Julian Buchanan, NEWI and Paul Senior, Sheffield Hallam University

Drawing upon three years experience of teaching through Blackboard, a Managed Virtual Learning Environment (MVLE), the authors examine the conceptual confusion that tends to surround e-learning. They explore the new opportunities and limitations afforded to students in an on-line learning environment compared to traditional educational learning environments. The article describes, contextualises and documents the particular experience of delivering the Diploma in Probation Studies (DipPS) on-line to Trainee Probation Officers in North Wales and Dyfed Powys, and incorporates feedback from the Trainees themselves to illustrate some of the benefits and issues faced by e-learning students. A clear distinction is made between the MVLE and distance learning, and the article concludes by arguing that blended learning, based on andragogic constructivist strategies is the way forward, as opposed to traditional established pedagogies that are well served in the real world classroom and in correspondence based distance learning.