Ten years ago, if I would have been asked to sign up for an online course instead of enrolling myself into an actual college, I would have strongly declined the offer but today learning by means of virtual reality is not only flexible but it allows to accommodate more than one task at a time.
Nowadays people who are working all day, those who hardly have time for themselves and can’t afford not working, they can learn different skills and expertise through the comfort of their home.
Distance learning has its own pros and cons, one must know how to make the best of it and for that, the instructor and the learner must be on the same page and both of them must follow some do’s and don’ts in order to meet the end goal of the online engagement.
Now let’s shed light over some factors that are likely to make your online learning experience a good one.
- Integration of Multimedia
Online courses already have an edge over regular courses because they have the capacity to differentiate themselves from boring books. The learners can be presented with the information in different and creative ways so that they don’t lose their interest and are hooked onto the lecture.
Different videos, charts, podcasts can also be included which can’t be integrated in normal books and this will keep the learners engaged more as compared to reading long texts with no diversions.
- Self-Dependent Learning
The online instructors must keep in mind that the learners are adults and can manage work on their own, hence, the attention to tiniest of details must be avoided such as assignments being dictated thoroughly which is just going to frustrate the learner.
Moreover, the online courses must leave room for self-discovery and exploration of different aspects of the subject by the learners on their own and it must also allow freedom of choice and must not dictate everything repeatedly.
The learners are also required to practice self-discipline because they have to manage work on their own without others reminding them to do so, scheduling and staying on the same pace as the class is crucial for a successful outcome.
- Peer Connections
One of the major lacking of an online course is the isolation of the learner and if this isn’t properly handled, then the learner is likely to feel out of place and over worked. Successful online experiences involve the students interacting through online forums, the discussion boards where the learners are free to communicate off topic in order to develop understanding and a sense of belonging.
The instructors can also encourage the learners to improve interaction by working together on group projects online and this is likely to help in fostering connections and a chance to make friends all over the world. Knowing you have someone on the other end, doing the exact same thing as you does comfort you because you both can relate and handle each other’s queries.
- Reliable and Latest Designs
Nowadays many courses are designed in a stylish and flashy way using a whole lot of hosts that the learners have to download. Since the learners are widespread, some areas don’t support such technology and this can prove to be a major interference in learning and the traffic to a specific learning site may reduce just because of that.
The videos must use designs and technology that are universally acceptable and used.
Also the design of the material presented in the video must be creatively integrated that enhance learning and maintain the learner’s interest, varied designs and presentation of information will improve retention and motivation to learn.
- Active Reading and Practicing
One of the major factor of successful online learning experience is not to skip anything present on the screen whether it’s a video or an animation. Graded assignments are of greater importance but the extra material on the course is added by the instructors to aid the learning even further and if it’s skipped just because it doesn’t have marks attached then it’ll be the learner’s loss since skills can’t be gained through marks alone.
- Meeting Requirements
The learners must not delay the deadlines till the last day and must take the course seriously, successful learners view online courses as a feasible way but not as an easier way to learn.
The instructors on the other hand must try their best to avoid having one way communication and to present proper feedback to the learners whenever they can so that they can assess themselves, they must present quality content that’s interactive and encouraging for the learners to give their own input and achieve the milestones in a successful manner.
The factors discussed above will definitely make the online learning experience a successful one and will make sure that the interaction is inspirational and educational at the same time.
Faiza Farooqi is an Online writer at Simply Studies who help students pursue career enhancing certifications and talks about career counseling around the internet.