Best practices for online learning
Now that you know that online learning has a lot of advantages 😉 let’s take a look at some of the best practices when it comes to it. Is there a good and a bad way to do it? What should you take into consideration before starting an online learning program?
Prepare yourself, the material, and your learners. Set expectations. Research has shown that the institutions that were most successful in online learning made clear to their students why they were implementing online learning, how it could benefit the students, and what was expected from them. So, after deciding to use online learning in your organization, but before actually implementing it, make sure to explain the objectives of that implementation, how it’s going to make the learners’ life easier, how they will be able to improve in their careers/academic life after taking the training and so on. This preparation is very important to make sure you have engaged, interested learners once the process starts.
Organize the learning material in comprehensible steps. Structure your course to make it easy to navigate. Test all of the links to make sure they are active and up to date. Separate the text into small, easy-to-read paragraphs. You can use bullet points, videos and images to make the whole process more engaging and interesting. Add practice questions after a long text or video to check your learners’ understanding.
Online teaching/training is supposed to give you less work, not more. We understand. However, it is still necessary to be available in order to help your students in case they need. You can add some contact information to your course or exam introduction page that they can use if necessary.
Online learning gives students more autonomy, and a feeling of more control (or mastery) over their own learning path. Giving students complete freedom, however, won’t give them the feeling of autonomy. What they’ll probably feel is panic, because they won’t know what to do. To be able to experience a feeling of autonomy, people need boundaries and clear goals. Those can be activities or tests to be completed up to a certain time & date, so they can move on to the next stage or level.
Analyze the results
After the students complete some goals, or stages of your training, you can start analyzing the results and statistics. Not only that will show you what are your learners’ strongest points, but also how you, as a teacher/trainer can improve your teaching methods and material.
After reviewing the results and getting feedback from the students, you can make adjustments in the learning material or update it.