How Do You Differentiated Instruction For Online Learning

It’s not enough to provide some confusing terminology. Whether you are receiving electronic textbooks or giving online instruction for future C-level employees, you will want to provide clear instructions and ensure that learning is done correctly.

Online learning is ubiquitous. Even my aunt who worked on NASA Television couldn’t keep up. She lives in Washington DC and had always taught.

She has grander responsibilities than teaching right now. These days, she’s juggling the virtual world of NASA together with her freelance website writing. She struggled with the online class because it didn’t give her the follow-up feedback she needed. She moved on after the first session because she wasn’t satisfied with the instructor and the instructional environment. When I explained to her about the online Gator program she had just created with Brechin’s platform, she was really happy. It was actually inspiring.

With online learning, do you need to think about differentiated learning for your students? It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not a fad. It’s a vital resource for everyone, even adults who struggle with the traditional classroom environment.

Adults struggle in the digital world

Adults can struggle in the digital world, especially if they lost track of their self-discipline in elementary school. Adults tend to feel like they have to pay more attention in class.

Online classes can help. They can be integrated into the classroom setting and have some of the structure and social cues that adults have trouble with. The right online distance learning experience can be a bit challenging for adults, though. It can feel confusing at first. Adults might not always feel comfortable with online, so they don’t always use it.

But if adults are given the opportunity to meet with the instructor and get feedback and involvement, then they will learn how to maximize the capabilities of online learning for both themselves and for their students. Even seniors who have never been online before will find out how much they’ve been holding themselves back online.

Online students at many universities are getting a great dose of inclusion. They have a place in the classroom if they choose to participate. All of the learning outcomes, processes, and expectations are in place for the students. They just have to take responsibility for their learning and be successful in that context. It is actually a great way to improve participation.

Common knowledge is changing how adults learn

Most adults who are tech-savvy would likely prefer to complete their assignments online. When you put it into practice, it can work well, but it’s not an easy fit for every adult.

The right way to approach the use of online education for adults is different for everyone. Create a learning program for adults that’s aligned with their strengths and interests.

For example, there are some adult students who find self-regulation difficult. Their best course is a self-motivated online course where they take the initiative to check up on themselves and learn more about themselves. They might even want to work with an online coach to fine-tune their skills to be more successful. At my university, we have found that educators working on a distance learning track are more likely to be white-collar professionals who are well-educated and confident and who have meaningful job experiences to refer to when they plan.

We have a different set of challenges and expectations. We are more likely to view online learning as less of a commitment than it might be for the educator or students in the classroom. We also might want to model certain behaviors in order to build better relationships with our students, like encouraging self-regulation, and using media and social media to teach ourselves the importance of self-discipline.

Practice, practice, practice

Online education works in any environment where people interact. It can be used as a means of becoming a better person. It doesn’t have to be Facebook. It can be a common sense practice that might be inconvenient for a few days and makes sense if it’s able to make our students better learners. It’s a learning tool to support and enhance the experience of higher education in an exciting and flexible new way.

Like it or not, adults are involved in learning and they are stakeholders. By implementing online education in the classroom and being an asset to the learning community, adults can leverage the capabilities of distance learning. That might be up to you.

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