Schools and institutions had to transition to remote learning with little or no preparation earlier this year. Learning during such an impromptu long closure has turned out to be rigorous for both the teachers and students. Starting from how to deliver online courses to the proper evaluation, the initial journey was pretty much overtaxing.
There are disparities between teaching and learning in the physical classroom space and a remote learning environment, considering various challenges for educators. According to research from Warwick University, out of the thousands who embark on distance learning programs, only some 13% go the full distance. One of the major challenges being the lack of direct human interaction.
However, with the emerging rise of the affordable learning management system, distant learning is gaining traction. By taking the fullest advantage of accessible technology, people can now leverage the best practices of remote learning. Let’s have a look at some of the ways where a mentor can help students learn online overcoming the usual challenges.
1. Curation of Course Structure
Moving from on-campus to conducting online classes raises issues related to the course structure. The priority should be to design courses with specific approaches to suit every student’s needs. Often mentors have a lot of information that needs to be crammed into the online learning environment, which can create a disinviting learning environment.
So, what’s the way out?
To create an intentionally inviting online environment, courses need to have a clear and consistent structure that offers intuitive navigation. And this can be achieved in the following ways:
- Identification of necessary learning components
- Making necessary updates to fuel self-paced and self-directed online learning
- Integrating student involvement in the course and with the teacher
- Adding interactive elements in the course
Most teachers and instructors are working hard to respond creatively to teach their students to the same standards, even as their own lives are disrupted. Thus, to translate all these efforts into productive out-turn, creating a smart course structure is of utmost importance.
2. Microlearning Format
Microlearning can be defined as an educational approach that offers bite-sized learning units with just the necessary amount of information to help learners achieve a goal. The integration of this format presents content through mediated micro levels so students are exposed to small studying materials along with short-term assignments.
The basic characteristics of microlearning are:
b.Short and interactive materials
c. Multi-media support
Interestingly, microlearning is nothing new to the world. H.A. Simon, an American economist and cognitive psychologist came up with this approach in 1974. His research underlines “the effectiveness of formulating chunks of learning experiences that the short-term memory can retain”. This is undoubtedly, one of the best practices of remote learning that both teachers and learners can rely on.
Types of Microlearning:
- Interactive videos
- Explainer videos
- Kinetic Text-Based Animation
In an affordable learning management system, there are tools to enhance such content mastery for the teachers.
3. LIVE interaction
To deliver a virtual lesson for distance learning, LIVE classes are a must. Video conferencing platforms integrated into the LMS have imparted an agile way of learning. This makes it great for asking or answering quick questions as and when required. Moreover, by using a learner response as a jumping-off point for broader discussions, a topic can become more interesting.
Ideally, an effective distance learning program should include the concept of LIVE classes. However, with the closure of institutions, conducting frequent classes online can be a feasible option. By doing so, mentors and learners will have the chance to interact in real-time omitting the blues of humanness in the online realm.
4. Assessment Strategy
Given the importance to remote learning, assessment can be a great starting point for integrating this type of relevance into a course. Determining optimal assessment strategies to help evaluate the overall learner performance as well as provide adequate participation is mandatory.
It’s difficult to gauge how well students are keeping up without seeing them in person. Teachers can assess how much students understand a topic by having them answer online surveys, creating quizzes, team assessments, etc.
Note: Taking feedback from the students is equally important because in case of remote learning the idea is not to put a teacher in the front or center. For conducting online classes in the best possible way, regular and timely feedback from the learners make sense.
Before Summing Up
Students will not be spending the same amount of time in online classes as when they are in a physical classroom. Keeping them engaged throughout the course may seem intimidating initially. However, considering the above-mentioned tips, teachers can make remote learning productive at par.
Do you have some that are not covered here? Either way, we would love to hear your suggestions in the comments section.
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