6 Steps You Can Instantly Take to Make Online Teaching More Effective
Expect exclusive attention of learners when teaching?
Forget not, you’re dealing with time-pressurized, short-attentive, mobile learners. They are more interested in one-line updates, crux of the story, and the direct impact of ‘something’ in their lives. Needless to say, they demand quick, handy and easy-to-understand information delivered just-in-time on any and every device they use.
Gaining exclusive attention of learners is difficult but it is possible. How? Here are six commandments for making online learning more effective:
Micro-learning / Bite-size Learning: Deliver Small
Since childhood, we have been learning in chunks – from nursery rhymes to piano lessons, football training to religious sermons. Why should it be different now when there are thousands of other equally interesting things to learn?
When it comes to learning, easily-digestible bite-sized chunk is the right size.
An average learner doesn’t want to take the pain of going through long lessons. As an educator, you need to think from your learners’ perspective and make their work as simple as possible.
Ensure to upload files as micro lessons. Here are few tips on how to create micro lessons.
Tip: Slice and serve.
How to Create Micro Lessons?
- Break down the entire course into smaller lessons.
- Decide the aim of each lesson.
- Identify the learning resources (text, PPTs, video, graphics) for each lesson.
- Recognize micro deliverables
- Include small exercises or quizzes at the end of each lesson
What are the benefits of Micro-Lessons
- Convenient for readers
- Respects learners’ time
- Greater attention
- Greater participation
- Less likelihood of lecture cancellation
Singular Focus: Stick to One Thing at a Time
Don’t chase two rabbits. Both will escape.
This popular saying sums it all. Your micro-lesson must focus on a single idea. There may be multiple learning objectives. But when you break down your module into bite-size, make sure to deliver just one idea with each bite. Let them consume and digest it first before you move on to the next.
Tip: Focus on One Thing That Matters the Most.
Brainstorm and discover what to serve in a bite that you are just going to feed into your learners’ brains. Repeat the words – single, one, solo and lone, in your head when designing a micro lesson.
Benefits of Singular Focus
- Quick knowledge transfer
- More value in short duration
- Enhanced learner productivity
- Makes learner stick
Create Visuals: Visuals Do What Words Don’t
Why should you use visuals in your online course? There’s a whole lot of science behind it. While words take long to sail through our brains, visuals hook us instantly. Words are processed by short-term memory while visuals are processed by long-term memory.
An individual translates and comprehends visuals and audio-visuals faster than text. Also, the retention is for prolonged period.
Tip: Don’t just dump content. Divide it in text, pictures, presentations and videos.
Make use of graphics, pictures, videos and other forms of audio-visual tools in your eLearning lessons. Here’s how you can create good quality videos from your phone.
What are the benefits of Visuals in an Online Course
- Faster transmission of concept/ idea/ knowledge
- Enhanced comprehension
- More engagement
- Trigger senses
But wait! Complex images can put a pressure on learners’ minds. Make sure images are simple, easy on eyes and resonate with the tone of your content. Also, use them only when necessary. Avoid image stuffing.
Pay Attention to Context
First thing we love is a backdrop. It shapes perception, decision-making, learning and experience.
That’s what attracts the learners. They will move ahead only if they find the context interesting. The content of your course delivers information, while the context shapes the learner experience.
Tip: Information within the context generates better engagement.
Context setting is about controlling the way information presented influences the receivers. Spend ample time in understanding what learners expect, what their pain points are, what provides the value for their time and money and what they are trying to achieve.
Here’s how you can set context
- Objectives of the lessons
- Tasks that learners would require to do
- Immediate takeaways
- Actions they will be able to take after completing it
Benefits of Context Setting
- Sets the scenario
- Helps learner see the bigger picture
- Gives learners an action plan
- Helps in self-evaluation
Establish Personal Connection: Human Factor
Virtual threads can result in strongest ties.
This is true especially in the age of 24/7 connected world.
Relationships are essential. Online learning doesn’t replace the need for human connection.
Establish a deep, one-to-one connection with your learners. Explore communication options in your eLearning platform. Here’s how you can engage distance learners more effectively.
WizIQ offers educators a range of online classroom tools to establish connection with their learners. You can use discussion boards, email, whiteboard and text chats to connect and engage your students.
Disclaimer: All of these options may not work for you. You will need to identify the most effective communication channel depending upon the preferences of your audience.
Benefits of Personal Connection
- Drives engagement in class
- Promotes student-friendly environment
- Makes them feel comfortable
- Promotes two-way communication
Go Mobile: Set Learning Free
mLearning and micro-learning is a strategic pair.
Learning on and through mobile has been the talk of education technology industry for some time now. In fact, mobile learning is far more effective than eLearning. Also, it has more potential than eLearning.
Mobile devices have become essential part of everyday life. Be it entertainment or education, mobile is the ultimate search device. That’s one reason while ‘going mobile’ is important for your online education academy.
Tip: Be future-ready with a native mobile app.
Benefits of Going Mobile
- Be ready for mobile-first era
- Mobile is a preferred medium to learn online
- Offers more freedom and convenience to learners
- Promotes informal learning
You now have an idea of how to make online teaching more effective. But simply reading them won’t help much in driving learner engagement.
It will take you several days to plan – to analyse the course material, identify how to break it down into smaller lessons, create high-quality visuals and establish connection with your audience.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
You need to commit yourself to a well-defined action plan. If you stick to it and execute the plan, you will start to see the results in just few months.
So, while you do that, take to the comments section and let us know where you are stuck. We’ll help solve your problems to make your course more effective.