How To Implement Online Learning

Learn from women who have mastered the art of promoting online learning.

What exactly is an online learning environment? While many students tend to shy away from this term, the idea of online learning is so widely adopted across the technology and business sectors that you’d be hard pressed to find a company that isn’t using it, or many startups that haven’t been hired to facilitate their course offerings.

However, most of us are not on the receiving end of online courses; we can access these techniques and strategies to expand or tweak our existing courses and programs, to improve how they work as a whole, and to improve our performances.

Here are some of the key steps you can take to implement online learning into your learning and development efforts.

1. Focus on Specific Areas

If you don’t have an internet connection, if you can’t physically make it to the one and only satellite university on the planet that offers online courses, or if you really want to keep your business a private affair, you shouldn’t put online learning near your business. Simply take this as a serious suggestion and follow it to the letter.

Instead, evaluate your business areas and focus on which parts need the most refinement. Figure out what some of your existing courses are and where they could see some improvement. Then, contact an online courses provider, or a PR firm that already deals with their ideas.

In their second interview with Alex Schmitz, The Daily Beast’s tech correspondent, pointed us towards another great site to consider, Udemy. The platform’s lessons feature an extremely large selection of courses, and they’re available on almost any device you want to access them on (should you have access to it).

4. Recognize Success and Seek Improvement

Schmitz points us to are a great example of an online learning course and the people behind it. The instructor, Krishna Om, is recognized by The University of Toledo and ISU, and was recently named one of Fast Company’s 10 Heroes of Innovation. His course, “Investing in Life’s Most Important Parts”, is found at the Udemy platform, and it has already gained a 15,000-student following.

The key to this course and anyone else’s online learning program is to identify what your goals are, and then go about developing and improving your learning in a way that hits home with students. This means having real-world goals in mind; it means being transparent about why you’re undertaking your learning project, and it means choosing which lessons you’re most likely to benefit from.

5. Speak with Your Students

One of the most common criticisms of online learning is that students are forced to follow lectures, given the limited time slots in which your classes meet.

However, that’s not necessarily the case at all: students can watch the lessons online, print them out, or read the pieces themselves, and that’s about it. That isn’t going to stop them from enjoying a course, as we’ve seen. In fact, it’s rather the opposite: viewing lessons from online courses provides more satisfaction than watching them during a traditional lecture.

But don’t just lecture students: join their classrooms and deliver feedback through engaging Q&A and responses to their queries. The method of interaction works wonders for online learning, as it helps students feel like they are part of a community of like-minded people, and it also helps students understand the different levels of proficiency your courses provide for them, allowing them to progress at their own pace.

6. Try Online Testing

Another big criticism of online learning programs is that they often rely on form tests, such as multiple choice quizzes, that are too easy to pass.

While there’s nothing wrong with the multiple choice quiz, it is low in the learning realm. If you set a goal for yourself (because it’s in your own interests to do so) to take a course on a new platform or angle that has not yet been tried, then you could choose to take an online test with the goal of passing it. These tests can be tailored to all sorts of topics; while they may not be full online courses themselves, they’re a major step up in learning quality.

7. Seeding Events for Your Potential Students

Schmitz calls this “Seeding Events” and, in his experience, they are a valuable platform for catching prospective students’ attention and luring them towards online learning.

These events are sent out in the mail, made available online, or combined and put together into one massive PDF file to be shared with other potential students. This teaches young people how to search for and apply to online courses, and to build a reputation for themselves.

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