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5 Elements of Effective Online Learning

It’s pretty easy for students to click through powerpoint slides or listen to an online lecture, but will the knowledge really stick? How can instructors present course material and design review questions in such a way that students will retain the information? To shed light on this question, SmartBuilder.com identifies 5 elements that make eLearning most effective:
  1. Learner-Centric Design, which focuses on what students should be able to do upon completion of the program (as opposed to a content-centric approach, which places greater emphasis on the amount and quality of material covered).In a learner-centric approach, the instructor determines which skills the students will need to master, and then breaks down those skills into sub-tasks. Throughout the course, students are presented with realistic scenarios and encounter relevant challenges so as to learn how to deal with them.
  2. Intrinsic Feedback – When a student answers a question correctly or incorrectly, the subsequent feedback should be similar to the feedback the students would receive in a real-life scenario. For example, when a business student answers a question correctly about how to properly treat a customer, the e-Learning module can show an image or animation of a smiling customer – rather than just displaying “Correct!” on the screen.
  3. Delayed Feedback – Before marking a student’s answer as right or wrong, it’s a good idea to gives the student a chance to reflect why he or she chose that answer. This process of reflection helps to deepen a student’s understanding of the material.
  4. Case Studies and Branching Scenarios – After learning new information or skills, students should be given the chance to apply their knowledge to real-life scenarios. The situations may include branching scenarios so that students can practice making decisions and seeing the consequences of their choices.
  5. Motivation – Students are more motivated to pay attention and succeed in their studies if they understand why the material is important and relevant to their life and career goals. To promote absorption of the knowledge, instructors can tell students why each activity will help them achieve something they care about. Students will also feel more motivated if they play educational games that include elements of risk or drama.
Let’s start with an example: you are running a course on astrophysics and you have found a very interesting video that you feel enhances the points made within the already existing content. Is adding said video to the material the right move? As with any other website, application or product, compatibility is always a delicate matter. We need to always be sure that the material we post for learners to use is compatible with all the possible web browsers or platforms being used. To avoid discouraging learners, keeping it simple is preferable to overextending ourselves and possibly hitting an incompatibility roadblock. All of these key elements have the ability to foster a supportive, effective e-learning environment. When all of these essential components are in place, online learning establishments have the ability to not only provide students with the skill sets and knowledge base that they are looking for, but a virtual education platform that helps contribute to the future success of (and serves as a model of excellence for) the e-learning industry. Rewards may include essential certificates indicating their performance on the subjects. Career advancement support necessary for the working class you take in as potential students. Recognition for compliance or excellent work or being a master in a specific area is also a way of rewarding good performances. Besides, it motivates others to learn as they already know what they are currently investing in and their goals. The site should provide the necessary resources to students improving the learning process for rewards to be effective. Providing the objectives of the study offers a guideline on the expected outcome at the end of the course. Continuous assessments ensure students track their performances and progress while continuing with their learning. Finally, with a reward awaiting the completion, students can set their minds at ease. They can have their strategies on how to achieve their expectations and those of the course. Conclusion The largest population in the world today has access to a mobile phone and the internet in general. It is vital to ensure that your online learning incorporates all of the above elements. Thus, you develop an efficient learning website that will make it easy and effective for students to achieve their goals. You gain the satisfaction of a successful course that delivers well-learned students and drives sustainability for business oriented online learning.

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