Why Your Classroom Needs eLearning
While it’s true that nothing can replace a talented classroom teacher, every educator could use a little assistance. That help may come in the form of elearning, and it’s something you can – and should – use in your classroom.
Elearning serves as an additional resource for your students. When used seamlessly in the classroom, elearning enhances the teacher’s instruction by making the lesson all the more relevant.
Benefits you don’t want to ignore
Elearning has been around for a while, and thankfully, it’s not going anywhere. I’ve been a fan of elearning for a long time because of the many benefits it brings to the classroom:
1. Elearning acts like a time machine. It eliminates the challenges time and geography impose on students. Learners who are absent or cannot get to class can still participate through elearning.
2. Class size doesn’t matter. Schools and colleges must continuously adjust for class size and student enrollment. With elearning, it doesn’t matter if three or 30,000 students are taking the course. Every one of them receives personalized instruction.
3. Elearning will always be more patient than any teacher. Elearning allows students to go back and review as often as necessary. Students can repeat a lesson as often as they would like, and the software will never hurry them up.
What to look for in elearning
Not all elearning is created equal. If your curriculum department and your IT team doesn’t vet software, you may have to scrutinize elearning programs to make sure you’re getting the best available software and delivery system.
Does your elearning program have these features?
1. Customization counts. You want your learning experiences to be collaborative, so what better way to get students working together than to create a forum and discussion board where they can share their opinions. Look for tools that foster communication.
2. Quality over quantity. Almost anyone can produce endless slides and 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 students be successful
Your students may be new to elearning. It’s up to you to teach them how to get the most out of their experience. Talk with students about which strategies good learners use, like these. Tell them you want them to:
1. Avoid distractions. That may mean turning off the TV or MP3 player and ignoring what’s going on around you.
2. Participate as fully as possible. Even elearning is not passive. Post comments, interactive with others, and make connections. The more connections you make, the more you’ll remember.
3. Take the elearning course as seriously as you would a live course.
Elearning has the potential to bolster and supplement the work of the classroom teacher. These tips help you make it happen in your own classroom.