In recent years, eLearning has transformed our educational system. The ability to take courses online has given students greater access to educational opportunities than ever before. This is one of the primary reasons for the growth of eLearning, and it provides an opportunity for educators to reach students in new and exciting ways.
While eLearning courses offer tremendous benefits, there are also challenges to the model that must be addressed in order to deliver an online curriculum in a way that best addresses the needs of students. There are several differences between traditional and online learning formats that all educators must understand if they’re going to successfully transition to an eLearning model.
If you’re considering incorporating eLearning into your curriculum, we recommend reading the following article to ensure you have a clear understanding of the challenges you must address when designing your eLearning program:
6 Challenges of eLearning That Educators Should Strive to Overcome
The article identifies six common challenges that students face when transitioning to eLearning formats.
eLearning is fundamentally different from traditional learning in many ways, and some students may have trouble adjusting to this new format. Two of the greatest adjustments students must make involve:
When creating your courses, it can be helpful to provide some tips for students on how to carve out a dedicated learning space. This will facilitate deeper learning and improve the effectiveness of your course.
It’s also critical to build in a way for students to communicate with their instructors. While it may not be realistic to offer real-time communication since students will work through course materials at their own pace, it’s important to respond to questions in a timely manner.
Traditional education often relies heavily on verbal and textual content to deliver information. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most effective way to reach many learners. There is a growing body of research indicating that that many learners retain significantly more information when it is presented visually than verbally.
eLearning provides a greater opportunity to tap in to visual learning abilities of many students since this format is ideally suited to deliver information visually. If you’re not used to creating visual learning materials, this can be an adjustment as you build your first eLearning courses. However, once you get more comfortable designing image-heavy content, you can leverage this learning model to help your students get the most out of their course materials.
The lack of real-time interaction between instructors and students can make it challenging for many online learners to understand exactly what is expected of them. Therefore, it’s critical that eLearning courses have clear, detailed instructions that ensure students can grasp the expectations and specific requirements for coursework.
eLearning is very effective for highly motivated students who have the ability to thrive in a setting that allows them to work at their own pace. However, not all students possess this innate ability.
In traditional learning environments, it can be easier to motivate students. A highly engaging teacher can have a dramatic impact on a student’s motivation and work ethic, and many students also draw motivation from peers who lead by example. However, these forms of motivation don’t exist when working through coursework alone in an online format.
There are two ways to help ensure all students stay motivated in eLearning settings:
Educators must adjust to using microlearning techniques when designing eLearning course materials. Microlearning involves breaking up content into bite-sized chunks that are more easily digested in an online format. In most instances, students will retain more information via microlearning than when eLearning courses present content in big chunks of information.
In addition, there is greater onus on the student to evaluate the extent to which there are gaps in their knowledge with eLearning. In traditional learning, the teacher is generally responsible for this important task. In order to ensure students can identify the gaps in their knowledge, it’s important to provide more frequent online assessments. This will provide students with the opportunity to go back and review information while it is still fresh rather than waiting to assess their retention of knowledge at the end of a large unit.
Online learning models provide a variety of tools and apps which make it easier for students to perform problem solving tasks. While this has many benefits, it can also limit the growth of a student’s ability to think abstractly when problem solving.
One way to address this challenge in eLearning is to include quizzes in your content which stimulate abstract thinking. These quizzes aren’t necessarily intended to be used as assessments of knowledge retention. Rather, they can be ungraded exercises used specifically for the purpose of nurturing critical thinking abilities.
eLearning can be an effective way for educators to supplement their classroom courses, providing students with a greater ability to access information in the way that will best fit with their learning style. In order for these eLearning courses to effectively address the needs of your students, these challenges must be addressed in the design and implementation of your curriculum. At Beyond Campus Innovations (BCI), we can help you design an eLearning program that is optimized for the ways in which students learn in an online setting.
BCI’s exclusive Learning Transformation Platform™ delivers a more effective, sustainable and impactful experience for online learners. Our unique methodology takes a holistic approach to the creation of eLearning materials to ensure your courses effectively address your objectives. After taking the time to understand your learning success elements, we’ll plan and design your course materials, create the modules used to deliver your courses, and monitor the success of your courses over time to make any necessary adjustments.
As the industry leader in eLearning course content and development since 2015, we understand the unique challenges associated with eLearning. We can help you navigate these challenges to ensure your courses deliver maximum impact for your students.
Contact us today to learn how BCI can help your organization implement an effective eLearning program.
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