Online educators are quick to sing the praises of eLearning. It’s simpler, it’s easier, it’s more cost effective, and it provides you with the optimum environment for remote education.
The truth is although eLearning might seem like the perfect solution, you should not allow unrelenting optimism cloud your judgment. You can run into problems with eLearning just as quickly as you can in the classroom. Assess your approach, and decide if there’s anything you can be doing differently to avoid some of the most common eLearning pitfalls.
1. Mismatched technology
You’ve got all of this amazing technology at your disposal, and you’re eager to use it to its fullest potential. What you may not realize is that your learners may not be able to utilize it the same way from their platforms. If your courses are using up a large amount of bandwidth and require a lightning fast connection, some students will appreciate them, while other students won’t be able to get them to work. Before releasing course material, find out what specifications work for everyone. If you don’t take this crucial step, make sure those who won’t be able to work with the material have some kind of tech support.
2. Differing attitudes
Most people taking eLearning courses have experienced the bulk of their education in a regular classroom environment. Switching to full virtual classes may be disorientating. You can’t expect everyone to take to the environment eagerly – there’s a certain level of adaptation that comes with making that change. Make sure to keep an open discussion about how things are different, and the way expectations change in a virtual environment versus a traditional classroom. Motivate those who are resistant to embrace this change!
3. Slow starters
Many students love the independence that eLearning offers them. Others however, might have absolutely no idea how to handle themselves. This doesn’t mean these students are lazy. It’s possible they’re just not self-starters. Micromanaging them will make them dread learning, and leaving them to their own devices will allow them to fall behind. Try to set up some good motivators and make eLearning something they look forward to.
4. First timers
Generation Y generally know a lot about technology. They’re tech savvier and have no issues navigating a computer. However, if you’re working with senior learners or younger learners who aren’t technologically inclined, they may have a difficult time understanding what you need them to do. Certain software or complicated tools can potentially confuse and frustrate them. Always offer guides or tutorials when introducing a new tech process, so those who are unfamiliar can get an idea of how to navigate things.
5. Streamlining priorities
Who doesn’t love to feel free? Being in control and making all the decisions is empowering, and it’s a popular draw card for eLearning. If you aren’t working with procrastinators, everyone will get everything done, sooner or later. Unfortunately, ‘sooner or later’ does not work well in teaching as it disrupts the entire course by not letting the teacher move forward with the material at a steady pace. Proper scheduling and deadlines can make sure everyone is working at approximately the same place. No one will fall behind, or get too far ahead. Have a schedule guideline for your students to follow. No one will have any excuses.
About the Author: Zoe Anderson is a blogger and a marketing assistant at StudySelect where she shares her stories about personal improvement and education. In her free time, she enjoys learning about new technologies and reading French literature.