How to make elearning super effective

Vivek Singh, Digital Marketer at WizIQ, talks online course creation, and how to keep students engaged

When your job is to ensure that students under your care are learning their prescribed coursework as efficiently and quickly as possible, it is essential to provide each person flexibility and convenience. This flexibility and convenience make your institution more streamlined as well as opening your doors to more students who may not be able to go to school in a traditional brick-and-mortar environment.

This is of course possible thanks to e-learning platforms, which offer online courses to students who can learn at their own pace. Often referred to as “distance learning,” these courses are delivered over the internet “to somewhere other than the classroom where the professor is teaching,” as noted by eLearningNC.

Components involved in e-learning

If your organization is new to eLearning, here are the major components to be aware of:

Course structure

All of the material must be presented coherently in a digital format online, and you will do this most efficiently when you have a well-developed course structure that takes the students through the curriculum. The advice from an instructional design expert is to keep your modules to 10 pages or less, since shorter chunks will be digested more easily by the students.

Software solution

Students are accustomed to using software interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use. Ensure that the e-learning platform you work with is flexible enough to include all of your curricula, and identify features that help to deliver courses better such as internet connectivity and cloud backup, among others, before you purchase an online learning tool.

When your job is to ensure that students under your care are learning their prescribed coursework as efficiently and quickly as possible, it is essential to provide each person flexibility and convenience.

Usability

The system must also be simple to use. Students have limited time beyond reading, studying and taking tests and will be somewhat unwilling to learn how to use a clunky e-learning software system that drags them down.

Content engagement

The most fact-filled curriculum will not do your students much good if it is not engaging them on every level. See to it that the content is relevant and speaks to the needs of the students as they pursue their online degree.

Instructor

Tech is important, but at the heart of all leading educational systems are the instructors. Your teachers must demonstrate a passion for teaching and have a genuine interest in helping students develop their minds and learn how to learn better.

Challenges for the instructor

Some issues that instructors face in making valuable courses include:

Plagiarism by students: Students are not sitting in front of you when they give answers to questions or when writing their essays, which can make it harder for instructors to detect plagiarism in action.

Knowledge vs. practicality: Another challenge is for the instructor is to answer the question how much of what the student has learned online, can he/she apply in the real world?

Making connections when not face-to-face: Forging bonds between students and instructor (as well as amongst the students) when the work is all done online, is another area of concern.

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5 Tips to make e-learning super effective

The online instructor can overcome the above challenges by creating an online course which should keep the following points in mind:

1. Choose the most effective teaching methodology

You know best about which method of teaching will result in the best outcomes in your particular student demographic. Would a self-paced (asynchronous learning method) or live class (synchronous learning method) work better? You can choose between blended, flipped or inquiry-based learning methods which will ensure greater engagement and learning outcomes for your class. To bond with learners, you can schedule live sessions to check up on your students at regular intervals during the course duration.

These days, people are accustomed to doing research and going online while they are out and about, using a laptop, tablet, or their smartphone.

2. Select an organised content structure and add media

Use your online learning tool or LMS to structure your content in a logical sequence. Certain LMSs have the functionality to lock modules of an online course guaranteeing that learners systematically progress through the material. Add audio clips, videos, PPTs, and PDFs to your online course to improve engagement, and 3D graphical displays of information that move dynamically are invaluable when it comes to presenting complex topics. You should also pay attention to the length of the module and duration of the video, as it needs to capture the imagination of the online learner, and not allow them to get bored.

3. Use attractive instructional design

Follow best practices when designing the materials. The pages should be clean and not cluttered with too many facts or questions. Most LMSs use the Google Material design which is intuitive and easy to navigate.

4. Choose the right software solution

The e-learning software you select must meet the needs of your teachers. Good e-learning software will help you launch live classes, create self-paced or scheduled courses, and use an online content library to store all your digital sessions. Additional features such as an integrated eCommerce portal and mobile application may be present in the LMS as well. Also some have plagiarism checkers incorporated within the LMS which enable the instructor to keep a better check on learners.

5. Encourage students to form online groups for synergy

Each student has unique skill sets, and you can encourage them to join study groups online, and work on projects together. Using discussion boards, chat rooms within the LMS, or other online communities will help online learners make social connections and feel like they are part of a ‘real’ class. This communication can also facilitate application of what they are learning.

Advantages of having a great e-learning course

These days, people are accustomed to doing research and going online while they are out and about, using a laptop, tablet, or their smartphone. Moreover, with this technology helping them stay connected, accessing excellent courses no matter their location is possible. Online learning can be super-effective if these pointers are applied when preparing and delivering your online course.

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