Why Your Classroom Needs Online Learning

Although nothing can indeed replace a talented classroom educator, every educator could use a little assistance. This help may arrive in the form of online learning, and it’s something you can—and should—use in your classroom.

Online learning serves as an additional resource for your learners. When integrated seamlessly into the classroom, online learning enhances the educator’s instruction by making the lesson more relevant.

Benefits You Don’t Want to Ignore

Online learning has been around for a decade, and it’s not going anywhere. I’ve been a fan of online learning for a long time because of the many benefits it brings to the classroom:

1. Online learning acts as a time machine. It eliminates the challenges time and geography impose on learners. Learners who are absent or cannot get to class can still participate through online learning.

2. Class size doesn’t matter. Schools and colleges must continuously adjust for class size and learner enrollment. With online learning, it doesn’t matter if three or 30,000 learners are taking the course. Every one of them receives customized instruction.

3. Online will always be more patient than any educator. Elearning allows learners to go back and review as often as necessary. Learners can repeat a lesson as often as they would like, and the software will never hurry them up.

What to Look for in Online Learning

Not all online learning is made equal. If your curriculum department/IT team doesn’t vet software, you may have to scrutinize online learning programs to ensure you get the best available software and delivery system.

Does your online learning program have the following features?

1. Personalization. You want your learning activities to be collaborative, so what better way to get learners working together than to make a forum and discussion board where they can share their opinions. Look for apps that foster discussion.

2. Quality over quantity. Almost anyone can produce endless learning modules. The real question is, how good is it? Do not feel forced to opt for longer courses when you know the shorter course is better designed. Brevity is not always a bad thing.

3. Interesting interaction. Reading and answering questions online isn’t much different than reading a textbook and answering the questions at the end of each chapter. Instead, look for engaging activities, like gamification, simulation, and the use of a variety of digital media.

Help Your Learners Be Successful

Your learners may be new to online learning. It’s up to you to instruct them how to get the many out of their experience. Talk with learners about which tactics good learners use, like these. Tell them you want them to:

1.    Avoid distractions. That may mean ignoring what’s around your

2.    Participate as fully as possible. Online learning is not passive. Post comments, interact with others and make friends. The more connections you make, the more you will remember.

3.    Take the online learning class as seriously as you would a live course.

Online learning has the potential to bolster and supplement the work of the classroom educator. These strategies help you make it happen in your own classroom. 

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