SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Practical Steps: How to Help Students Succeed in eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

There are many different ways to learn, and every person is geared to learn differently. Some students perform exceptionally well in the classic learning environment. Others can lose confidence in their ability to learn because they just don’t seem to understand what is being taught. One of the main problems is that theses learners are geared differently and require a different type of structure to fully understand the lessons. E-Learning offers students the opportunity to find the right mix of learning and tools to maximize the classroom experience. Finding the right combination is the key to successful eLearning.

Naturally, a students willingness or desire to learn is important. To ensure that employees have more successful eLearning experiences, it is vital to provide some motivation. Before commencing with the online courses, each student should be analyzed for their optimal learning techniques.

STEP 1: Address a variety of learning styles

Learning styles depend on how our senses process the information. It is well know that people have different learning styles that work best for them. It is essential before the learning process begins to find out what the most effective method of learning for each individual. This is called the dominant learning style, and normally students can achieve success with a combination of the different styles. 

There are 7 styles that should be considered when attempting to create the best learning conditions:

  • Visual (spatial) styles of learning
  • Aural (auditory-musical)
  • Verbal (linguistic)
  • Physical (kinesthetic)
  • Logical (mathematical)
  • Social (interpersonal)
  • Solitary (intrapersonal

IMPORTANT: It's key to recognize and respond to individual differences and not use only one instructional technique to facilitate learning in a digital environment. Designing for a variety of styles isn’t just about trying to reach a lot of different types of learners. Instead, it’s about trying to reinforce content for every individual learner in multiple ways.         

(Image source: Blue Mango)

STEP 2: Provide students with the 8 Universal Tips For Highly Effective e-Learners:

Each student may have different target learning techniques, but there are eight universal tips that can make a highly effective e-Learning environment. 

  1. Establish reasonable but challenging goals - It is essential to keep the learning process positive. Goals provide an ideal means of evaluating how effective the eLearning process is for each student and to inspire them to keep working.
  2. Provide real situations so students can value the lessons in terms of their future - One of the most classic comments of school aged students is “I’m never going to use this in the real world.” This sentiment does not dissipate over time, so it is important to provide a meaningful real-world parallel for their eLearning experience.
  3. Encourage discussion about student goals - By talking about their successes and short-comings, learners are more likely to find encouragement and guidance.
  4. Provide potential issues and difficulties learners may encounter working online - Armed with foreknowledge of potential issues, learners are less likely to get frustrated or feel they are falling behind.
  5. Emphasize the available tools - Begin courses by building in time to learn the tools so that students are more likely to use them. 
  6. Generate individual schedules - It is too easy to get lost in the day-to-day, even with goals. Setting up a schedule helps to keep learners on task and evaluating their work.
  7. Incorporate session into the job - If employees feel that the classes are integral to accomplishing their projects, they will be motivated to keep up with the latest training.
  8. Encourage the community - Online communities are a great way to give your learners a voice, for complaining, critiquing, even complimenting aspects of the sessions. They are not only a good way for students to talk, but it is a good way for teachers to see where they need to work on the class.

eLearning offers students the opportunity to find the right mix of educational tools to maximize the learning experience... and finding the right combination is the key to successful eLearning. What do you think? What other tactics have you used to help learners succeed? 

 

Topics: eLearning, eLearning tips

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