Classroom-Tested Ways To Build Community For Online Learners
If your goal is to create a community for online learners, then look at this project in terms of aspects that would help to grow best. Be ready to keep lots of things in mind since the beginning of every online project elaborates the trickiest part. What is it? This is where the biggest pain is simply to engage people and make it, so they would actually want to stick together. So, weigh out what digital tools are available to choose from and then figure out the best option to get started.
Building an online community isn’t an easy task and then having it up and running can be even tougher. So, keeping a strong focus on the base of followers is crucial. In this blog post, let’s take a look at some aspects and ways that were already classroom-tested.
Table of Contents
- Classroom-Tested Ways To Build Community For Online Learners
- Offer To Take A Fresh Look On Learning Transformed From The Top Down
- Get Away From The Transactional Model Of Education And Transform Learning Habits
- Nurture A Community Through An Inspirational Encouragement
- Keep Experimenting, Try New Things, And Build A Successful Online Learning Community Over The Long Term
Offer To Take A Fresh Look On Learning Transformed From The Top Down
The sad truth is that COVID-19 is probably one of some major factors now which stand in the way of getting back to the classroom safely. Coronavirus pandemic had summoned a thriving need to improve the educational system and transform it to a certain extent. People want to feel safe but, yet, receive an effective learning experience. And we can’t blame them for this.
No secret, there are many folks who are still used to an “old school” traditional approach to classroom learning. Obviously, some are having a tough time while dealing with new ways of getting an education through Internet resources. Thanks to new technologies, everything becomes easier and more user-friendly. We can foster an environment online now where people receive, discover, grow, nourish unique skills, and have fun.
But let’s talk about some statistics. For example, McKinsey & Company reported that the shortage of high-educated or skilled people will be between 38 to 40 million workers worldwide in the nearest future. The future is near and it keeps making bets on digital technologies. So, not only youngsters but also more mature people ought to educate themselves on how to handle that tech stuff just to stay afloat.
Everybody wants to be an active part of the tech-oriented world we live in. Well, most people do. Hence, the novice ways of learning became extremely important. Learning how to learn in the digital world will help to gain even greater knowledge, update skills, or even get additional education. In other words, the more knowledge or skills you have the more valuable and marketable you become. Learning becomes even better if you are a part of an online learning community happily participating in mastering unique skills or exploring new capabilities. Also, online learning communities can bring effective ways of delivering a broader perspective to learners on what education is actually all about.
Yes, some might think that online education is just too novice and transformed from the top down. Very confusing to some. But online learning already proved itself to be just as good as brick-and-mortar schools. What else is there to it?
- Much lower cost for classes;
- Accessible in the most remote areas of the world;
- Effective. Let’s pretend, a person X wants to learn philosophy. By the end of his/her online course, person X will be able to recall at least 80% of the theory and be capable of reproducing the course knowledge on a daily basis in a professional environment.
- Offer collaborative learning. For example, person X will learn even more from peers by participating in group discussions and community work. Later, he/she should be able to link the correct piece of information and deliver the best possible outcome on the job.
So, are there any tricks that help to motivate learners? Here are a couple of things that you can do:
- Provide information on how to improve long and short term skills successfully;
- Identify, then tailor courses to specific needs of students with multiple styles of learning;
- Aid skilled students/workers and provide resources that help to find suitable jobs;
- Help to find matching recruiters for those who look for jobs
Get Away From The Transactional Model Of Education And Transform Learning Habits
As has already been said, today’s educational system is seeking reformation in its methods of delivery of information. The teaching methods have been improving due to the introduction of digital technologies. And these technologies just keep bringing more benefits to teaching methods. Improvements and outcomes have opened up new avenues for virtual learning communities that already made a mark in online education. As this sector keeps growing and recruiting players, there is a higher scope for eLearning platforms to make an impact.
We’ve already witnessed the shift from a somewhat outdated transactional model of education to a new way of how students learn and how professors teach. The fact that technology enables very effective response systems in virtual classrooms is undoubtful. We see that the audience response system that elaborates online is a great way to increase participation, as well as interaction with each other. If an audience tends to enjoy the collaborative work, that’s how the online learning groups evolve into online learning communities and develop their own learning habits.
There are lots of new online institutions that already transformed learning habits and offered space for building a community for online learners. This includes online high schools, colleges, certification programs, enterprise training programs, test preparation programs, experimental online programs, innovative online programs, eLearning platforms, experimental online programs for universities, etc.
Here is a list of aspects that are common for online learning and that transformed learning habits:
- Online learning management – web-based tools, digital analytics and reporting systems, online learning management systems, corporate online learning solutions.
- Online content – online videos, digital content from top universities, open-licensed content, content libraries, digital textbooks, eBooks, PDFs, etc.
- Networks and marketplaces – tutor and training listings, paid/free online instructional videos, college choice companies, online resume programs.
- Live training and tutoring – streaming lectures and conferences, 1-1 live training and consultations, specialized teaching tools like Supercoolschool, tutor-student networks.
- Online learners’ tools – online backchannels, memorization help, mobile learning apps such as StudyBlue, test prep programs, personal learning assistants such as LurnQ.
- Collaborative online learning – online study groups, modern forums (like Quora), language, and teacher communities.
- Hardware used for online education – laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc.
For example, if you’re a part of an online learning community, you can learn a foreign language through online interactive games that relate to your personal goals. That way you could not only adapt yourself automatically to your personal unique learning process. Also, you will be able to test your progress continuously in detail in order to reinforce it, if needed.
Nurture A Community Through An Inspirational Encouragement
The COVID-19 pandemic has made “online learning” a mainstream trendy expression. Replicating a study hall through Microsoft Team, Zoom, or any other digital platform provides quite effective training that can even inspire bigger thoughts. However, online learning can also be an exhausting experience because it requires the incorporation of many things like creative devices and advances for receiving instructions.
So, a computerized learning system needs a hearty scholastic foundation that would improve virtual studies, as well as behavior assessments. How can this be done? By providing encouragement to learners. This encouragement must be woven into the computerized training system including all its components.
But what are the reasons students need encouragement? In other words, why would the students get bored in class?
- Learning environment. When you’re at home, your mind isn’t on studying, reading textbooks, working, etc. Your mind is on playing video games, gossiping with friends, going on the Internet, watching movies/shows and if you are studying, trying to make it as interesting and fun as possible by listening to music, watching your favorite Netflix show while studying, or whatever but having to sit for an hour, listening to teachers droning in your home? That just doesn’t match. You just want the class to end so you can do whatever you do at home compared to in school where you really don’t have many options.
- Lack of creativity/movement. Learning can be boring if it gets restricted. If all you can do is listen to your teacher, eventually, it does get boring. But there are certain times where students can do fun activities like practice tests, learning games, discussions, and debates. Maybe it is even chatting with friends while you work on assignments and helping each other out.
- It just isn’t taken seriously. Students might wonder – what’s the point of learning if there are no exams coming up? Learners can lose motivation unless they’re in higher grades where they have important exams to go through.
Basically, the main challenge for an online instructor here is to find a golden middle for keeping a balance between members of the community who already moved forward. At the same time, to engage everyone else. Here are a few ways to help to overcome this challenge:
- Vary your teaching methods;
- Engage with students by emphasizing the human aspect of learning online;
- Use online forums to encourage discussions.
Here are some tricks that were commonly used in classrooms for fun learning:
- Interactive sessions – where one got involved even if they didn’t want to.
- Solving problems together – learning can be fun at times when the teacher hands out a problem and takes around a group meanwhile other participants discuss and solve the problem together.
- Life from sad to happy – even in online school things can get hectic at times. So, try to set everybody in a happy mood and joke around to keep your mood elated.
- Competition – seeing your classmates perform well right in front of your eyes would give you a pinch of competitive feel.
- Mindless games – simple games during free periods would add to the fun.
- Fun childhood stories – asking random questions about fun stuff that happened in childhood or asking “rowdies” to start an argument, both can be fun. Lower down the anxiety through communication.
Keep Experimenting, Try New Things, And Build A Successful Online Learning Community Over The Long Term
Even though we are living in the era of the Internet and connectivity, we still keep on improving the modes of education by using digital technologies. Online learning communities use connectivity in the most efficient way possible too. Just the same way as in every traditional school or college with having teachers/instructors and students competing until they take any particular test. After we move online, we would see that there are thousands of other students studying the same related subjects as you. And each of these students has his/her own problems, solutions, approaches, and level of knowledge.
So, one of the goals here is to link students to teachers who relate to the same subjects on a global scale. Then accumulate a collective amount of knowledge for improving online teaching styles. Basically, to make it so students will be able to reach out to other students and teachers in any part of the world to discuss problems, solutions, and innovations. As well as teachers can connect with other teachers and can discuss a cumulative solution for any problem.
New technologies, novice approaches, constant experimenting in the field of online learning can help us to create a system of education where you can visualize what you are studying. Today, learning events and sessions that could be held online, allow enough time for students to connect with other students, and discuss anything related to their subjects. This way learning will not be limited to one particular teacher, study pattern, textbook, or country. It will be a global education with global learning communities where one will not miss out on anything.
Online learning communities offer a new experience for online learning by helping teachers reach a global audience through dynamic online courseware. Students get an opportunity for taking classes that are otherwise unavailable, receive knowledge, and master skills needed for becoming successful in any professional field.
Online learning communities help to develop a new learning management system technology that empowers schools and teachers to distribute their content to a larger audience. Also, they help to embrace open standards and maintain the quality of education. To summing-up everything being said, online learning communities contribute to building new ways of learning for an increasingly connected world.