Preparing Students for Online Discovery eLearning
Wouldn’t it be great if your students could figure things out on their own with little to no help from you?
Some learners are successful without any help. They seem to get it innately, almost without trying. They’re naturals at gathering information, connecting the dots, and figuring out the relevance before moving on to the next challenge. Not all students learn like that, though.
When they are engaged in online elearning, students may not even be aware of course expectations.
If you want students to use their own experiences and knowledge to solve problems, you’re using discovery learning. It’s a constructivist principle, meaning that the learner constructs meaning himself or herself. Any student can learn how to do it. However, they’ll be better prepared for the process if you teach them the best practices in online discovery elearning.
Discovery is exactly that. The student unearths the process on his or her own. Sometimes, however, a student needs to know what to expect before embarking on the process. That’s where my tips come in.
Strategies for mastering online discovery elearning
1. Begin with definite goals in mind. You know the expectations for subject mastery, but students also need to recognize academic success. Discuss what learning the content looks like and what it isn’t. If your students can articulate the learning expectations, they’ve won half the battle.
2. Eliminate as many distractions as possible. Headphones, carrels, and a designated space for online discovery elearning may help. Even something as simple as having materials like pencils and paper in a convenient location can reduce the number of distractions.
3. Teach your students how to schedule their time. Students who take responsibility for their learning must also figure out how much time they’ll need for their elearning lessons, including collaboration and giving/receiving feedback.
4. Prepare your students to answer open-ended questions. They challenge learners and require them to think deeply about their learning process.
5. Make sure they know how to use technology. Discovery learning is all about exploring what-ifs, but applying those same principles to navigating the software or using a computer can be disastrous.
6. Know when to ask the SME (Subject Matter Expert). At some point in the course, the learner may get stuck, and there should be no stigma in that. Although you want them figuring out concepts on their own, there comes a time when they must ask an expert for help.
7. Finally, teach your students how to monitor their own progress and adjust as necessary. They prefer visual affirmation like charts or being able to tick off the items in a list. Whatever the strategy, they should feel comfortable using it, and it should work.
Your students can be successful in online discovery elearning if you prepare them for the experience ahead. By knowing what to expect, they’ll be ready for almost anything.
You’ll be thrilled that they are turning into independent learners able to take responsibility for their own learning.
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