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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Online Learning at Yeadon Sailing Club

Yeadon Sailing Club has undertaken a Tuesday night training series for many years and it has always been a core activity in enhancing the skills of its members, but also in attracting new members and promoting the amazing sport of Sailing. Yeadon's water size and location make it an excellent and safe place to learn and race at a great club standard and has been part of the community since 1928.

Tuesday nights are jam packed and very busy events with 30 attendees on average and covering all the practical and theoretical topics in a night is a difficult task, so were looking for a way to make better use of the time available. In addition, YSC wanted to help retain the attention of the training members by engaging them during the week between sailing session to help with skills and member retention.

In 2013 YSC started using an Online Learning Tool called Edmodo. Edmodo can be roughly described as a Facebook for learning. Because it allowed us to build a closed social network focused on Sailing Training at Yeadon, the training team were confident that members could learn on-line safely. There were many positives to Edmodo such as the closed network, library for resources and quiz tools. But it lacked a 'flow' like a course and was it wasn't very intuitive to use and find learning materials. Mainly as it has been built as a tool for the American education system.

Eliademy featuring an RYA YouTube video
This year YSC is trialling Eliademy instead, this is a public or closed by invite, online classroom. The advantages about Eliademy are that the links for joining do not change on a bi weekly basis, enabling you to make them available within your printed training materials and welcome booklets. 

It also allows you to build a structure that can follow and support your practical training activities. You can provide your members a link to the course and they can easily signup and learn. 

You can monitor their progress by viewing the results of the short quizzes. Although the quiz tools are not as sophisticated as Edmodo, the Multi Choice question type is easier to use and set-up, and allows you to embed more video and image content. All content is managed via basic and easy to use editing tools which allow those with HTML skills the ability to add further innovative information should they want to. The tool is therefore a very flexible way of covering sailing theory.

Both Eliademy and Edmodo have Apps to access content on Tablets or Smartphones, although Edmodo's is a little more advanced. Perhaps the simpler nature of Eliademy is one of it's appeals although it does allow for feedback so learning enthusiasts like me can keep suggesting new ideas.

Neither tool would be any use without the fantastic video materials that are available on YouTube and elsewhere on the web, mostly provided by the RYA. Eliademy and our Tuesday training sessions help to give these freely available learning materials context and improve the learning journey. We would always advise purchasing RYA's publications which are excellent ways of learning the skills associated with sailing.
Training at Yeadon Sailing Club

We have big plans for Eliademy at Yeadon and hope that tools like this, along with a well organised and well run practical training programme conducted by volunteers, will serve to enhance the club, its members, their skills and help promote sailing.

We will be trialling Eliademy throughout the year and look forward to seeing our members progress through the beginners programme and then on to becoming racing club members.

If members of non members are interested in finding out more about using Eliademy or our experiences and ideas around online learning tools, please email info@yeadonsailingclub.co.uk

If you are interested in trying sailing and learning at Yeadon, then please visit our website at www.yeadonsailingclub.co.uk.

YSC Open Day Saturday May 17th, free Come and Try sessions.

#sailing #rya #eliademy #edmodo #sail #ysc

Tim Burnett, Volunteer Instructor, Yeadon Sailing ClubLeeds/Bradford, Yorkshire, UK.

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