Wednesday, 11 May 2016

How To Make Online Learning Courses Effective For Learners

In recent years, most of the companies prefer online learning for their organizational trainings. One may wonder the reason behind its growing popularity.
There are numerous reasons but the foremost is the fact that online learning courses give flexibility to learners to study and learn on “my time”. Though this flexibility might result in the deviation of learners from the learning process leading to poor performance, a key factor to the student success is “self-direction”.

Learners can become self-directed if they are motivated and have a sense of confidence. Here are few tips for online learners to make their online learning course more effective:
  1. Know what all to study: Modules or content is a critical resource of any training. You must know the modules you need to study in order to successfully complete your online learning course within a time frame. You also need to be organized. So it is important to have a list of assignments, assessments or discussions to be taken during the course in your calendar with their due dates so that you do not miss them. A great idea would be to review instructions of the assignments and discuss with your mentor for any constraints. In case you think you will not be able to complete any of the assignments as per the due date then inform your instructor about the same.
  2. Create a schedule: You must have a predictable schedule to allocate time for your online learning course. Pace yourself so that you don’t procrastinate. Plan a study time for each week allotting fixed number of hours.
  3. Connect with your fellow learners: Be a part of the learning community and be an active part of discussion forums – in addition to completing the e-course. Use social platforms to connect with your fellow learners. You can have discussions with them on assignments and share documents with each other. Enjoy learning by teaching others what you're learning.  You'll retain the most important topics. This helps learners to learn from each other during the discussions and build up relationships with fellow learners.
  4. Ask as many questions as possible: The more you ask, the more you will learn. Successful learners ask more questions during the classroom sessions which may follow, or any other platform of communication with the instructor. Be clear about your question, communicate it to the instructor properly and get clarification on all your doubts about the course concepts.
Organizations have an equal contribution to making online learning effective for their learners. Below are few tips for the organizations to increase the success rate of their learners:

  1. Organizations should clearly state its expectations for learners from the online learning course. This will create a sense of responsibility in learners and they will be able to perform better.
  2. Instructors should respond to student’s queries promptly. This will encourage them to ask more and more questions and make them understand the modules properly.
  3. There may be cases when learners do not know how to be self-directed.  Give them understanding on the resources that supports them in developing self-direction.
I conclude by saying that making online learning effective is a challenge for both learners and organizations. However, if both overcome these challenges by following these simple steps using the available resources appropriately, then online learning is a reward for both learners and instructors. Like Donna J. Abernathy says, "Online learning is not the next big thing; it is the now big thing.”