Intelligent strategies can help your academic program take root online or online learning place.
What Is Strategy Alignment In Online Learning Place
Top-down planning can end up being the hardest part of implementing a strategy for a student population with disparate interests. “If you work with something in a top-down way, people’s motivation to learn is going to be challenged,” said David Weeks, the CEO of One Degree Learning. “It’s like your brain: You may not want to cooperate, but if you put everyone in a room and say, ‘Come up with new ideas,’ they may.”
“If you give people the power to make their own decisions, we get a more flexible, cohesive learning experience,” Weeks said. This kind of new-stream leadership is appropriate in different types of teaching environments, he said. For example, in their model, a community group focuses on producing online content based on a machine learning algorithm that adjusts with each class.
Weeks and his staff began their effort by determining what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go. Using a data model that took into account what students do and why they do it, they developed a well-rounded, multipronged approach to online learning. Each new course has a goal to take a group of people who would not have otherwise found each other and connect them by weaving a structure into the work.
For instance, if one student already has a signed permission form for online study, the supervisor of that class would indicate that he or she can use that form when a new student signs on. This works even if the new student doesn’t have the same content.
By stepping back and looking at data, a learning community can make decisions on how to best allocate resources. This is known as learning strategy alignment, an approach that takes into account both the resources a team has available, like resources and people, and the capacity of the people on the team. As things become overwhelming, a team can pull together resources and recruit more people to help.
Weeks said that building a top-down planning process and then incorporating it into the learning process is crucial for a successful shift into an online learning environment.
“It’s about involving everyone,” he said. “We have done this because it works and we’ve learned. And our latest class has been through our strategy alignment process. We were able to find new efficiencies, so we are able to offer something that students are going to love.”
The following steps to developing a strategy alignment process can be adapted to help all stages of a shift into a learning environment.
Get an exit strategy for current students. Rather than offering a lecture and a test, develop a survey that encourages the students to determine what they know. (Distributed surveys also work.) These high level knowledge bases can be used in a team aspect of the learning process. At the same time, assess the skills students have as learners.
Create language guide languages. For foreign language, craft a set of in-depth vocabulary in a few categories that the student can use in their course. In addition, create lists of phrases that demonstrate the transferability of those words to different contexts. Now, students can quickly and efficiently find common words and phrases in the course and work with classmates to develop online course materials around those words.
Identify common meetings. The goal of focusing a study group on new courses is not to focus a meeting exclusively on the course. Form large groups that have familiar terms and conversations in common areas so that the group can dive into the new course concept and ideas.
Strengthen an early system. The ultimate goal of this exercise is for every single student to have a part in this work. So, make sure there is an accessible way to post homework and keep track of study progress. This means using something like the grading system ThinkFree or Edmodo, giving students a place to share their notes and work, and featuring a way to share and comment on research. In some cases, students may also find that they have been assigned additional work on the course. If this happens, though, it is best to let students focus on just the initial class and create a plan to improve how they do that. If students end up relaunching their entire study group, then it might be time to step back and reassess the idea of a whole group of people being trained by the same person. This is crucial for unifying a community around a single goal.
Finding a customized and efficient method for education management is one of the most important goals in today’s world. The group-wide focus and structure of a learning organization can help to make these goals reality, even when every student has a different interest and background.