Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Fast Facts About Online Learning

Changing Teacher’s responsibilities are the keys to encourage student’s participation in online learning. The teacher’s role is more of a mentor who possesses excellent presentation skills, is tech savvy and equipped with varied information. Teacher needs to respond effectively to student’s queries during and after the session and juggle between backend and frontend efficiently. Also the importance of asynchronous learning and peer to peer interactions cannot be underestimated. Asynchronous learning environment will encourage reflective thinking and self-directed learning.

Student on the other hand needs to change his/her mindset and adapt self learning disciplines to cope up with changing education demands. Indulging in peer interactions, identifying tricks for quick and relevant searches, building lateral connections with industry mentors, and designing self-study plan are the traits of the motivated learner who will change the education economy in coming years.

In parallel with teacher’s and student’s endeavors, universities need to empower flexibility in scheduling courses and exams, designing efficient curriculum and defining policy advocacy to prepare themselves for the 21st century education challenges and expectations.

Online education going social
Let’s discover the role of Social Media in this regard. A well defined Social Media Strategy can jump start the level of student’s involvement in online programs and courses. There is an intrinsic need for the online education going social in order to build an online learning paradigm.
Social media allows students to get aligned with emerging trends, network with knowledge communities, gain valuable advice from education industry leaders and participate in enlightening debates and discussions.  It can prove to be an important start up renovating online education. It makes it simple for teachers to share information with students as an extension of classroom lecture in the form of videos, power point, audio files, and embedded links to other resources. Social media boosts students’ participation by creating lessons interactive by means of forum discussions, Wikipedia style collaboration, live chats, feedback sessions, online assessments, and more such mutual platforms.
Keeping in mind the need of contemporary student who is passionate about social media and believes in digital interactions, online education providers need to consider social media a boon. Social media not only facilitates education effectively but also inculcates the habit of teamwork, reflective thinking and self-directed learning in the students.  

Collaborative online course development process 
Challenges of eLearning providers, management institutes, and universities are mounting with the growing demand of quality online education. There is an intrinsic need to define a course development process that integrates quality assurance measures across all online courses.

In a typical traditional process, the course is designed by a faculty member without consulting with instructional designers, assessment experts, multimedia designers, software engineers and programmers. This process is inadequate because many aspects of instructional design and software implementation are overlooked. These breaches can be overcome by collaborative development model. In the collaborative development model the team meets on a regular basis and gets an opportunity to broaden their knowledge base through frequent information exchanges.

While implementing this model, additional faculty members should be trained as course developers and online instructors. We need more instructional designers to work in collaboration with the course developers and design experts. Such group effort will ensure smooth functioning between instructional designers, subject matter experts, and multimedia and course developers. It avoids the gaps of insufficient instructional design, poor course quality and course delivery delays.

Additionally we need to incorporate the concurrent course revision framework that enables the production team to efficiently measure the effectiveness of process framework. Flexible framework will make it possible to adapt to changes in technology, support scalability and meet users’ ever changing demands. 
The online course designed with such a collaborative approach encourages contact between student and teacher, develops mutuality and cooperation, uses active learning techniques, gives prompt feedback, communicates expectations, and compliments diverse talents and ways of learning.

Defining a more streamlined course development approach is all about realigning the development steps involved in planning, design and development, and course delivery with the collaboration mindset. In pursuit of an improved process, we have to build the efficient culture and inculcate these best practices.

Inforgraphic: Personalized Course Development Techniques  

This infographic illustrates various Instructional Design models. These approaches create more meaningful instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge more efficient, effective and appealing. Kolb’s Learning Style, Gagne’s 9 Events, McCarthy’s 8 instructional events, ADDIE model and Prensky’s approach are pictorially depicted. These models facilitate more experimental and meaningful learning environment.

Instructional Design for eLearning

Share your views about ways to enhance students’ participation in online learning. How do you think social is changing the way students learn? Got any suggestion for instructional design infographic you would like to see? Please leave your comment.

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