IESl DLA Live Interactive platform is a great way to simultaneously address all IESL members or a group of members who are pre registered to event. The President of IESL or another Senior Council Member such as a Chairman of a Standing Committee can take questions from thousands of members Interactively in a very organized manner!
IESL DLA Project History and Vision
IESl Education Department guided by the CPD Committee, started piloting it's DLA project in 2017/2018 session. The project team (CPDC, IESL Secretariat, services providers: i-Context Pvt Ltd, Mobitel, SLTC, etc) lead by the Chair of CPDC and the IESL Director Education continues to strengthen IESL DLA. We have a vision of delivering much needed engineering and none engineering knowledge to more than 50% of those who register for IESL CPD courses, digitally, in 2018/2019 session and 75% of CPD courses, digitally, in few years. CPD courses with class room hands on activities and field visits are not ideal for IESL DLA delivery. We also want to give time to member community to embrace digital learning.
IESL is using multiple MOOC based LMSs from Sri Lanka's premier telecom service providers and private sector dedicated e-learning providers. To develop educational content to be delivered via IESL DLA, CPDC uses its traditional method of utilizing / funding member resources and purchasing already developed digital courses from service providers approved by CPDC. IESL DLA offers free and fee based courses. Methods of offerings:
Method 1: Stored CPD Courses are offered over a set time period (generally few weeks) to pre registered members. Registrants can access the course online at individually convenient times 24 hrs of a day, during course duration. They can start, stop, restart where left or go back, take quizzes online, track progress, etc. all online. If there is a local resource person behind the self learning material, registrants can ask questions online. If it's a fee based course, full payment must be made at the online / in person registration ( MOOC based course fees are significantly lower ) and with access codes given, registrants could learn at their own pace, time and location as long as they have an Internet connected device such a smart phone, a tab, a Laptop or a Desktop computer. All interactions by registrants are tracked by the IESl Education Department through service providers' MOOC based Learning Management Systems (LMS) where the digital course content is stored. IESl first tested this method with MOOC based educational content provider i-Context during 2017/2018 session. Some courses were offered (free and for a feee) on a pilot basis in the fourth quarter of session 2017/2018. Figure 2: IESl signed a formal service contract with i-Context Content Convergence (Pvt) Ltd. on 22nd of March 2019
Method 2: Live Interactive CPD Courses are offered in a virtual class. Pre session educational content is uploaded for the registrants to view / download and the overall registration is same as in Method 1 (Stored CPD Courses) or regular CPD courses. During a virtual class session, the lecturer has the ability to speak to all or an individual participant and also the ability to control participants mics. Participants can text the lecturer at all times and such questions/ messages are always visible to the lecturer and all participants. Any responses from the lecturer can be made visible to all participants or a specific participant. In many instances, session activities are recorded for registrants' use during the course open period (for review or to understand a missed live session- However, don't sacrifice the value of live interaction in a virtual class ) Tests are administered online and participants can communicate with lecturer via messages, after class hours, as they need. These tools make IESL DLA Interactive Learning even superior to in class learning.
Mobitel is our first service provider for this method during the pilot stage which began in earnest at the start of 2018/2019 session utilizing there robust MOOC based m-Learning LMS. They not only provided IESL with great technical know-how but acted like a true champion for digital/mobile learning. IESL CPDC want to make a special mention of Eng. Hindujan of Mobitel for his contributions.
Two CPD courses were piloted live (one free - Figure 1) and another fee based shown above in Figure 3 - 2nd M-learning CPD programme on "Energy Cost Saving - ISO 50001-2011 Energy Management System ". It's an eight consecutive Saturdays course started on 09th of March 2019. This course is conducted by Eng. Janaka Rathnakumara.
Given the success of the pilot project and great partnership shown during it, IESL CPDC endorsed IESL Secretariat and F&P Committee to sign a contract with Mobitel soon to continue the use of m-Mobile platform to serve our members
Figure 4 - On 17th of January 2019 the Project Team arranged a training programme for potential resource personnel on how to use m-Mobile platform on how to effectively conduct classes and how to effectively engage with students to make classes more efficient and interesting. CPD Chairman Eng Arjuna Manamperi, Director Education Ms Dilini Jayasinghe, Eng A J M Korale, Eng. Janaka Rathnakumara, Eng R W D T Dayabandara, Eng Dileepa Lathsara, and Eng Gamini Hathiragama participated for this training programme. It helped those pioneering resource persons to realize how to instruct engineers effectively using m-Mobile LMS and overcome doubts in conducting E-Learning. Eventually, resource persons were satisfied and gave new ideas to enhance IESL DLA E-learning CPD Programme.
Our third partner is none other than a leader in telecommunications - SLT. IESL Project Team is in the process of setting up pilot courses with its MOOC based Aakasa LMS. Once pilots are successfully completed, IESL will come up with a win-win contract to serve members!
IESL Education Division and CPDC Reaching Out to Public Enterprises
CPDC Chairman (2017/2018 & 2018/2019) - Eng Arjuna Manamperi and Director Education - Ms. Dilini Jayasinghe have ample determination to promote IESL DLA CPD programme as well as face to face CPD programme. They have begun to meet heads of training divisions in major public organizations, where hundreds of engineers serve. The focus is to deliver custom CPD courses to their specific needs.
The first meeting was with the Water Board promoting strategic educational relationship. It was initiated by Eng. Manju Malkelum who is a member of the 2018/2019 CPDC (shown below with IESL Director Education to his right with Water Board Officers who came to the second meeting with feedback from the first meeting agreeing to involve their staff in IESL DLA programme.
Discussions were also held with RDA, CMC & Mobitel to promote IESL Custom CPD and DLA programs. We received a positive reaction from all organizations and they appreciated IESL DLA initiative. Further, those organizations said it is invaluable for those who are working in rural areas or Colombo city suburbs and even the staff working in the Colombo area who may have tight work schedules or traveling challenges due to traffic congestion.
NOTE: Please see the special report at the end of this article on CPDC activities for the last five completed sessions. IESL CPD programme has developed to be the second highest revenue generation activity for IESL ( first being awarding membership) and a "cash surplus" with great future potential. However, its operations arm, the Education Department needs to be strengthened with additional resourceful staff with strong digital education content development skills and above average analytical / marketing / PR skills. The four full time staff members including the Director of the department handles another major service area of IESL ; evaluation of educational requirements with the same staff.
Final Message from Chairman CPDC and Director Education
IESL CPDC and IESL Education Department is aggressively looking for opportunities to serve our members and member organizations. We also encourage IESL PC Chair Persons to work with us to utilize these modern learning tools to serve your workplace staff / members. As mentioned before, IESL President/ Council Committee Chairs could use these digital services to reach our members in any location, interactively , to connect regularly ( much lower cost, no need to travel or keep action Colombo HO centric). Further we are looking for great resource personnel among diaspora members and local experts as lecturers and digital content creators. This is your chance to serve Sri Lanka and thousands of her engineers serving in remote/ rural locations. Please contact Director Education Ms. Dilini Jayasinghe via email (Dir.firstname.lastname@example.org) and copy CPDC Chair Eng. Arjuna Manamperi (Manamperi.email@example.com)
CPD performance & progress over the recent 5 year period
Eng. Arjuna Manamperi
"B.Sc. (Eng), MS (Eng), MBA, C.Eng., FIE ( Sri Lanka) is a serving two term Vice President of IESL Council and the Chairman of CPD Committee. He is a member of the newly enacted Engineering Council of Sri Lanka and a three term Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Sectional Committee."