Attributes of High-Quality Online Learning
What constitutes high-quality online learning? I am glad you asked that question because we have the answer. The following are eight hallmarks of high-quality online learning experiences and complementary conventional instructional approaches.
- A small number of grading requirements – Grade the meaningful, big-idea assessment tasks; take advantage of auto-grading features. We want value on productivity, not activity. Don’t just grade everything for the sake of grading everything. That is not how assessment works.
- Several ways to demonstrate mastery – Allow a choice among written, video, audio, typed, and image submissions; enrich learning by encouraging submission variety. Trust me, your students have different learning styles, and they will appreciate the multiple assignment submission modalities that you allow.
- Frequent wellness checks among learners, educators, and parents – Text, email, or post a quick (and confidential) survey. Follow up. Honor virtual office hours. We can leverage relationships to improve outcomes. Students will appreciate the fact that they are not just another pupil meant to be processed by the education factory.
- Learn from your mistakes – Abandon time limits on at-home and virtual assignments, accept late work (with graduated consequences), and embrace retakes. We want learners to get comfortable learning from mistakes. Who cares if the student is a couple of days late with an assignment? Allow this as a grace period, and then enforce graduated consequences afterward.
- Flip your classroom – Leverage virtual team working environments; evaluate team productivity and learning products. We want learners to perform the heavy lifting while educators, parents, and teachers serve as guides on the side. Flipping the classroom will also come with other benefits, which I will leave you to discover on your own.
- Center instruction – Don’t repeat because learners can pause and replay; do chunk complex ideas into short segments (seven minutes or less); do reinforce learning via frequent low-stakes checks for comprehension. You should create short videos that supplement text instructions; this provides a multisensory learning experience.
- Make the schedule predictable – Predictability is key; set a daily or weekly template for providing instruction, facilitating engagement, and performing an assessment. All students want to be in an environment where they know what is going to happen next. This goes for elementary students as well as adult learners.
- Cautiously utilize synchronous and asynchronous collaboration and learning platforms – Set up professional classrooms and make time for connections without overusing tech. Tech has its place, but too much can ruin the learning experience and devalue the synergy that naturally occurs in an environment conducive to learning.
In this short but sweet article, we have outlined the eight attributes of high-quality online learning. As you can tell from our article, developing and delivering online learning is not as hard as one might think. Don’t let myths and intimidation stop you from using this medium to help your students enjoy positive learning outcomes.
Are you looking for a way to facilitate your online learning course? Consider using Pedagogue. Its virtual classroom feature allows users to Livestream, make audio or video conference calls, share their screen, files or a virtual whiteboard, and much more. It only takes a second to set up your own virtual classroom and invite your students to join. Pedagogue also gives educators the power to create, share, and reuse interactive learning experiences and assessments while leveraging over 30 learning content templates.
Do you have any additional attributes of high-quality online learning that you would like to share with our readers? If so, leave them in the comments section below.