Monday, March 5, 2007

Some Background

I guess at this point some background is in order.

My name is David McQuillan
I'm the course coordinator of a Diploma of Therapeutic Massage at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand.

On-line delivery is not something which is commonly done within the massage industry. Our courses are fairly practical and hands-on. However we've had many enquiries from students who are interested in studying part-time or from locations at some distance from our campus. I'm currently working towards the development of a part-time/distance programme with practical work covered in intensive blocks, and most of the theoretical material delivered on-line. I believe that we should be able to deliver a programme that is at least as effective as our classroom courses with this mix.


Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Dave, I remember when we first met to discuss possibilities for massage therapy. We looked up youtube movies and I dunno about you, but I was struck my the number of videos associated with a learning orgnaisation. Have you followed these leads up and looked into how they offer their learning opportunities?

I'd be interested to know if you maintain your idea that "online delivery is not something which is commonly done within massage industry". My investigation on this is only superficial. Hopefully you'll find the time to look into these initial leads and report back on them.

Dave said...

Hi Leigh,

You're right. I was thinking about that statement as I was dozing off last night, and I should really have said "online delivery is not something which is commonly done within the New Zealand massage industry". It definately doesn't really seem to be true in the wider world.

And thanks for the reminder. I'll definately try to spend some time researching other online massage providers

Dave said...

Funnily enough Leigh upon looking into it, it does actually seem true that there are not many providers internationally providing massage via a distance or blended format.

Those youtube clips are almost all advertisements for face-to-face classes. I've searched the wider web, and have found that there are several institutions offering blended delivery options (I've posted these to my delicious account - tagged as massage online education). Most of these programmes are approximately equivalent to a NZ certificate programme. I've found one quality offering at OMERI. Login as a guest, and you can access the Free Sample Course. Whitney Lowe, the creator of the programme is of some standing in the industry, and at a glance this programme appears to cover some of the material that moves our certificate courses up to the diploma level.

Leigh said...

Hi Dave! you are right, Blogger doesn't alert me when a comment is added to a post I have commented on. A significant shortfall with blogger I reckon. Other blogging services do though, but if you forward on to my email the copy of the comment as you have done, then that's an effective way to keep the dialogue happening.

Its great to see you following up these leads. I only went as far as watching the ads on Youtube, which lead my to think about the motivational aspects of online media like these... and I'm not surprised that there is only one online learning option in Massage out there. What would be surprising is if most of the courses didn't use a significant amount of the Internet and digital resources in their courses - even if only to afford more flexibility in study. What you might call blended.

Personally, I don't think there are many courses anywhere that work as 100% online. Even this DFLP course recognises the need for face to face on reasonably regular occassions.

Its a shame that the one course that does offer online learning is requiring a login to see the course. Even the guest login stops most people finding the course. I dunno if you've noticed, but the DFLP course is entirely out in the open, so is or will become easier to find and participate in. As it develops, I see DFLP pasted all over youtube, delicious, flickr, blogger, wordpress wikiversity, wikipedia etc... and from that I hope we will draw in attention and participation of all sorts. So far so good...