How to make e-learning effective and tips to increase it's effectiveness
Anyone may be able to create a simple online course, however increasing the effectiveness of online learning is altogether different. An effective elearning course takes a good deal of time, hard work, and a commitment to high quality content.
Here are some tips that can help you create highly effective e-learning courses regardless of the material or curriculum:
Know your subject material well!
There is no golden rule on how much time you need to put into creating the ideal content, but one thing is certain - you need to take your time to research material before making it available to your learners. The reasons are simple, you want to be prepared to back up any claims made within your course material, not all learners digest information the same way, and some may need more explanation through examples or further proof.
Online courses provided should appeal to all learning styles
The design of the online course should take every learning style into consideration. For example, while one student may benefit from visual multimedia presentations of coursework and lessons, another student may be able to better absorb the information when it is presented in text form. An effective e-learning course always takes these various learning styles into account when the lessons are being created.
Students and teachers should be able to establish an open line of communication. Also, teachers should specify which means of communication they prefer and during which hours. This will ensure that expectations are met and that the student receives the help or support that they need. Also, students should have contact information for the systems IT support staff, and have access to a member of staff on a regular basis if needed. Examples of how students can communicate with their instructors are: discussion forums, social media, chats, email, video conferencing and other VoIP technologies.
Platform should be easy to navigate and fully functional
When designing the site and e-learning platform, ease of navigation and functionality should be top priority. A well organized and intuitive web-based learning platform enables students to focus on the coursework rather than having to sort out technical issues that may arise from poorly designed sites and systems.
Course documents should be available to every student enrolled
Course documents like the syllabus must be available for students to view, particularly at the beginning of the term. This will ensure that the student knows which lessons will be covered throughout the course, and can use the syllabus as a guide throughout the entire course. It provides teachers with an effective road map as well, and helps structure their lesson plans.
Set and communicate clear goals
A point we can't stress enough: one of the reasons teams are unable to achieve goals is not having clear enough guidelines on how to reach them. Part of the curriculum of any course should be what will be done, when it will be done, and what is needed for the successful completion of tasks. It is therefore important that all instructors set and communicate clear goals to their learners in a manner in which they are sure they will understand and will be able to put into action.