A “relational support” system can be key in making the transition to online learning.
What Is Relational Support In Online Learning?
Aside from the various avenues for information on education, there are a number of resources available for individuals to find help and education.
The vast majority of online learning exists through Khan Academy or CodeAcademy. However, those organizations work towards limited spread and often don’t offer any type of opportunities to get help.
Relational Support is coming online, but without any great start. So, what exactly is that? It means that help for the course must be broadcasted to the audience. How is the course broadcasted? How do you guide individual learners?
This is something that requires thought, strategic planning, and localization. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you begin the implementation of relationship support.
Can you reach all interested learners?
This question must be answered from the start in order to really figure out how best to do this. There is a huge demographic of learners who may not know that CourseCentral exists, or may not have been able to access it or the sort of support it offers.
For now, yes. However, if you start to break people into small groups, people may remember your product or service, but not necessarily what it is that it offers.
Maybe they are really looking to search for support for any specific skill area, but it might take them one question in the online space and them missing that opportunity.
You may be the sort of institution that has created a community with a huge reach. But are you trying to tell people to talk to you? Is it just taking place behind the scenes?
Can we influence the culture of how community members navigate the platform?
This is a significant issue, and this is something that is left to community choice. Some communities of learners want to operate as they have done the past, while others want to keep some control over their experience.
Maybe you opt for a process that you don’t have yet established?
Using a social media site as a communication platform for education is not yet a segment that many people are focusing on. If you invest some of your time on that and try to establish a mass audience, you may uncover unintended consequences such as spam.
Are you using something like Colleability? Are you testing the waters as to how you should handle and develop a cohesive culture for your relationships?
Can you provide more than just a conversation?
While there are a multitude of options available to teachers who have started to learn how to succeed in a medium like online education, there has been a sense that there are two sizes of teacher.
One small group of people who put something together, and put it on a website that meets the needs of the vast majority of a class. This is the traditional, traditional cohort of teachers who find themselves learning in the way that they grew up and perhaps didn’t change much.
Then there are others who may have trained their entire life in the classroom model of teaching. They probably had no idea of the difference in processes one might work with when compared to another. That’s the other type of teacher, the teachers that know what they’re doing.
It is this sub-rhyme of education that may fit the creative niche the whole of online learning needs.
What’s your strategy for which groups you will appeal to for assistance?
A good plan of attack might be to reach a certain demographic that in your opinion will stand out and have a bit more understanding of what type of support the course offers. Instead of one big kind of family, this may be a small group of people who are specific to certain groups within your population and can reach a certain segment.
A similar approach can be taken with teams within a school district. If you have a group of professors that work under the direction of the principal, this is the group that would be able to provide the individualized education that this particular genre of learner may need.
So, what now?
As you start the implementation of value proposition, your model should be validated, to determine which student segments can fill the perceived need for support.
The value of having a relationship with a product or service can only be measured by the success of a product or service.
How you handle to development of this understanding will set you apart from your competitors as they start to grow their businesses with more integrated functional areas.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author’s own and not necessarily shared by TNW.