It is a well-known fact that most instructors use interactivities in classroom training sessions. Could these activities, which are very effective in classroom training sessions, be adapted to online learning? What aspects need to be considered before converting an activity to the needs of the eLearners?
Online trainers could efficiently use classroom interactivities in their instruction by paying attention to the following five important aspects.
Achievement of learning objectives
This is arguably the most important aspect to be considered while adapting classroom interactivities to eLearning. The adoption of these activities needs to add instructional value. For example, questions asked by an instructor in the classroom could be converted into interactive quizzes and games. These could be used to test the learner as well make the course fun.
Activities that do not help to meet the learning objectives create confusion and make the trainee dissatisfied because his learning efforts are unnecessarily diverted to the performance of unproductive tasks.
Engage the eLearner and promote learning collaboration
The interactivity needs to be appropriate to the eLearning environment. Activities need to help the learner efficiently use the online tools. Interactivities that aid the establishment of an online learning community are the preferred choices.
It is important to consider the nature of interaction that takes place between the learners before zeroing in on an activity. It is also essential to analyze the need for reflection in the learning.
Timing of the activity
It is very important to use the right activity at the right step in the flow of the e-course. This goes a long way in deriving maximum benefit from the interactivity.
For instance, using an activity that requires a high degree of interaction between the learners in the initial days of the e-course may not yield the desired results because the learners are not familiar with each other adequately to collaborate extensively.
Meeting the needs of the learners
The trainees’ requirements need to be factored in while choosing an online learning interactivity. eLearning courses are accessed by learners with different backgrounds and it is important to meet their varying needs.
Often, Gen-Y workers are given the training along with older personnel who are less comfortable using online tools. Instructional Designers should pay attention to “inequalities” such as this to ensure efficient collaboration among the learners. The requirements of employees with special needs also need to be considered.
Ease and cost of conversion to the online format
It is essential to estimate the effort and expenditure needed to convert the classroom activity to the online learning session. Most instructors prefer using activities that can be readily adapted to an eLearning setting.
For instance, activities such as brainstorming could be easily adapted to the online learning context. The trainee could type the subject of the threaded discussion to express his thought, which allows others to read his mind even without opening the document.
Proper use of classroom interactivities helps learners to be engaged and to collaborate with each other effectively, thus enhancing the efficiency of eLearning. How do you use classroom interactivities? We would love to learn from your experiences.