The personal use of technology has made most of us adapt quicker. This is best exemplified in how students have developed learning skills and developped these skills online.
How Students Develop Online Learning Skills Roper Analysis
One of the primary challenges in online learning programs is the accompanying learning curve. To be successful on the web, students must be able to navigate, navigate, navigate. This is one of the biggest gaps seen in modern learning offerings that are highly interconnected. This is something that this author continues to speak with designers, instructors, and educators on as this industry continues to evolve.
Here is what we know; students who are given the necessary tools and technologies to help them succeed in their online classes use them. The only problem is that in the process of starting a new online program, the technology road map to meet its goals isn’t always a-ok.
Acutely conscious of these real issues, Shereize Learning Solutions ( www.shelecturesolutions.com ) has created a new framework on how students develop skills in online learning. Recently we had the opportunity to speak with Rodney Broadhurst, Managing Director for SLS, about this framework.
First, we need to understand the foundation of this solution. According to Broadhurst, the intent here is to “take the whole notion of an ecosystem out of the classroom and work it through the wider lives of students. It’s so important because, if students are not taught core literacy skills online, then they risk the loss of basic competencies they should have developed by age 5.”
“If you can turn that entire strategy into a shared vision we believe it’s a good step forward in terms of making online learning as attractive as face-to-face classroom,” Broadhurst continued.
In this regard, SLS makes several important points; first, it is crucial to create a common language across online programs, and as well to make things easy for professors and students.
“The primary problem that traditional universities faced is that there was an unlevel playing field in that some institutions had a more traditional approach and some didn’t. A better approach is to establish a common language across the worlds of online learning, digital learning, and digital communication.”
Broadhurst suggests that by committing to a common language that teachers and students can conduct a better course.
“The reason this format works for online courses is the environment, and whether it’s a virtual world or a mobile environment the same thing applies,” Broadhurst states. “I think we need to develop education systems that can easily interact with learning that takes place in other environments, such as online or mobile.”
The initial idea for this joint framework grew out of this online experience Broadhurst had while trying to get his MBA from Duke University. Upon receiving the program he found that his native language, English, wasn’t being represented in his language file. As it turns out, most of the materials offered were in the students native language – English.
“If I were to speak Spanish in a classroom setting with the existing materials I would not be able to say a word,” said Broadhurst.
With this experience in mind, SLS came up with a plan to fix the situation by visualizing the process of a student moving through the course and on the pathway to digital literacy.
“It’s not perfect, but I think that the paradigm we created focuses more on the individual student than anything else,” Broadhurst states.
“It takes the educationist out of the game and puts the student in charge of their education as they begin to respond to this common language they have in the classroom. From there we came up with a visual tool that allows a student to see progressions.
This is where the scope of the problem starts and at a clear place. As students learn and progress it helps to construct templates that can be presented to other students in the future. Additionally it helps to structure the class more for the students in order to allow for better collaboration and team work.
While there will always be the natural educationist that will be cautious when they see a new concept in place, administrators, teachers, and students have to be comfortable embracing these ideas when making an ongoing effort toward improving the learning environment.
This notion is also in line with things that we see in autonomous learning and the rapid shift to teaching through technology. In that vein, the concept of the common language is something that we see growing over time. This concept is bringing degrees in autonomous learning together and furthering that momentum. In addition, this represents a positive way to implement change in the virtual education world.
If you are interested in learning more about this approach you can find Shereize Learning Solutions on their website, and if you are interested in what is coming on the virtual learning front, you can find out about the free class at OPEN Tech-Media.