5. Communicate

5.2 How to stay proactive while communicating?

Victor Jeurissen, global practice leader for IBM Management Development Solutions, defines eLearning as: the use of innovative technologies and learning models to transform the way individuals and organizations acquire new skills and access knowledge (Moeng, 2004). He further defines learning as a collaboration of information, interaction, and information interchange.

In an online environment, an experience without communication is akin to searching for something in the dark.
In this section we explain communication strategies that will enable deeper engagement and higher order thinking skills in online learners.

Why is it important?

Have you ever walked in the dark? Literally, in pitch black darkness? With a feeling that you are definitely walking in circles – getting nowhere? Well, first-time eLearners feel exactly like this. If you really empathize with the “fear of the unknown” feeling, be proactive in communicating with your eLearners. Put yourself in their shoes and think of your expectations and questions as a first time eLearner. What information should be easily accessible? What technical skills need retouching? Any software plugins? Above all, what are the different formats of communication in this eLearning environment and how to navigate to them?

There are a couple of examples on how to facilitate communication, regarding your online courses.

Make sure you have those features in your LMS

The previous section provided an example where course defects are detected using reporting and tracking tools of the LMS. Improvements made in increments are actually the final aspect of instruction design. Not surprisingly, the phase is never completed. New comments and issues arise based on work context changes that need to be addressed in the course. This reminds us the importance of this eBook. If you want to be involved in upgrading your company’s courses and trainings, work closely with an ID (and follow the tips in this eBook) to perform in-house training improvement tasks. We guarantee an impressed boss and a raise! When we stressed the importance of communication between all users of an LMS, we also meant to use data collection strategies. These strategies fall under the “Evaluation” phase of the course design process. Best practices in instruction design, advise us to create a pre and a post course survey. A pre-course survey enables ID’s to understand the learner in better detail These surveys aid in performing efficient course improvements during the iteration process Pre-course surveys will also allow instructors to understand the capability, needs and expectations of learners enrolled in the course. Similarly, the post-course survey will demonstrate the quality of the learning experience. Any suggestions and ideas should be considered seriously when revising the course's content. Iterations through evaluating the course truly raise the quality and relevance of the learning materials.

Apart from evaluating your course's performance, integrating all features discussed above in your eLearning environment will ensure socio-constructive learning and more satisfied learners.

Use these tips to take your course up another level!

What metrics to track?