Panelists for the Panel on
Online Learner Competencies were, on behalf of ibstpi, Jan
Visser (Learning Development Institute) and Katzuaki Suzuki (Kumamoto
University). They were joined by Tony Bates (University of British
Columbia) and Federico Borges of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya,
as well as two students of that university, Desiderio Ferrer
and Assumpta Bohigas.
The panel session on Online
Learner Competencies had the following description:
In February 2004 the International
Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction
(ibstpi) decided to embark on what was then a new project. The
aim of the project was to identify and validate learner competencies
in online settings. The board considered that most of the rapidly
growing interest in online learning on the part of the research
community focused on technology, management, or instruction in
online environments, but rarely addressed the learner's experience.
It was felt that this bias should be corrected. Online learning
environments provide learners with a range of challenges and
opportunities that are potentially more diverse than those that
characterize face-to-face settings. Thus, establishing the set
of competencies and typical performances that learners in the
21st century should master is hoped to contribute to changing
learner and instructor behaviors in face-to-face learning settings
as well and to provide guidance to educators regarding learner
preparation in general.
The Panel on Online Learner
Competencies will focus on getting panelists and participants
from the floor to clarify for themselves (and others)
what they see as key competences
for online learners;
how those competencies depend
on the online learning environment;
how they depend on the competencies
of other actors in that same environment; and
how they depend on the broader
context of which the online learning environment is part.
The panel session will likely
count with the presence of participants whose principal occupation
is to study and others who are primarily concerned with teaching.
It is hoped and assumed that those who teach are also active
learners who are conscious of their lifelong learning experience.
It is equally hoped and assumed that those on the panel and in
the audience who study are aware of the crucial roles they often
play in the learning environment as the way they act may either
facilitate or hamper the learning of others.
At the start of the panel panelists
will be asked to briefly (a few minutes each) reflect on the
above questions from the perspective of their personal and professional
experience after which the floor will be open for discussion,
the outcome of the panel being entirely dependent on the involvement
of all in the discussion.
Participants will come out of
the session being better prepared as teachers and learners for
making a conscious contribution to improving their own and other
Preliminary conclusions resulting
from the analysis of selected items of a recently conducted ibstpi®
survey on online learner competencies were shared with the audience
An audio file in mp3 format
of the panel discussion is available here.
Note that due to the distance
between the microphone and some of those who spoke the sound
is at times weak. However, turning up the volume to an appropriate
level and listening to the conversation using headphones, it
is perfectly possible to understand what is being said.