Over the last year, we’ve learned a lot about online learning. However, the most important lesson is this; many institutions still have no idea of how to successfully transmit knowledge through online platforms. Most of these institutions believed that the transition from in-person classes to online learning platforms would be easy and barely an inconvenience, but the sad fact is that they have been proven wrong.
For most of the “pre-corona” years, what passed for online classes was mostly transfers of school-related materials into an online medium. Much of the knowledge transfers still happened in-person. Sure, others were a lot more comprehensive. For example, some online courses got by with pre-recorded video lectures, assigned reading, and multiple-choice assessments, but as we’ve seen, even that is not enough.
Now, this isn’t to discourage many institutions who have put a lot of work into creating online environments that work for teachers and students— it just means that there’s a lot more to do to get an optimum online learning experience. Here are five basic expectations institutions should have for their online learning structures.
Learners Are The Most Important
If your online learning system isn’t learner-centric, you’re flat-out wrong. Most traditional courses that are taught in person are designed from top to bottom, with the teacher deciding what the students must know.
That approach is simply not tenable with online classes— especially in times like this. Instead, the teacher might consider looking at learning from the point of view of the learner. If teachers do this, more courses will be designed according to the tastes of the learners, and that will invariably translate to more efficient teaching experiences.
There Should Be An Active Experience For Learners
Online learning environments shouldn’t be the passive and tepid affair that is obtainable in most online classes. The reason why this is undesirable is simple; people don’t learn well in isolation. For learners to optimize their learning experience, they must learn in an active environment and forces them to participate in learning— and importantly, perhaps, teach them to enjoy participation.
The great thing about online classes is that you can coordinate the class and make students learn together with just a little effort. They can work on tasks, collaborate, engage in activities, and generally just be active in the class. The tutors only need to create the opportunities, and learners will surely take advantage of them.
Feedback Is Important
One thing that people often underestimate in online learning classes is the power of feedback. During physical classes, students may be able to get feedback immediately from teachers, but that may not be as easy during online classes. That’s why tutors should take extra care to make sure they get across to their students with feedback.
Since online learners have to be extra careful with managing their time, instructors must give them timely feedback so that they can begin their learning process quickly.
Anticipate Learner Variability
What works for one learner may not work for another. That’s why teachers must understand how to reach different students, and must take learner variability into account while designing course modules. Teachers who do not take learner variability into account end up developing modules that do not reach learners who aren’t comfortable with the traditional way of learning.
Of course, it can be very difficult to accommodate learner variability in an online classroom, but it’s not impossible. And with classroom tools like DaDesktop, you can design course modules for different types of students easily.
Continue To Evolve
One of the reasons why online learning is so amazing is that you can always be better. Sure, when teachers and learners are new to the system, mistakes will be made. It may look like the system may never be able to achieve its goals. But after a few weeks, there will be changes, and participants will learn to adjust to the new system.
Once they adjust, they can even start to innovate. For example, a class can start with basic zoom classes— but as time goes on, teachers can start using complex tools like Google Classroom and DaDesktop for grading purposes. As they get used to that, teachers can even start to introduce even more complex online teaching tools that make the entire experience worth it.