Setting Up An Online Learning Experience

  • What is the significance of knowing the technology available to you?

It is important for the instructor of an online course be familiar with the technology that is available. Moreover, the instructor should follow the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method. Only use the technology that is familiar because having students use technology that you as an instructor are not familiar with can have irrevocable consequences. As you become more and more familiar with technology, than new technologies should be introduced into online courses.

  • Why is it essential to communicate clear expectations to learners?

Clear expectations needs to communicated to learners for many reasons. Learners need to have a clear picture of what is expected of them and what they can expect to get from the course. This can be communicated through outcomes, goals and objectives.

  • What additional considerations should the instructor take into account when setting up an online learning experience?

When setting up an online learning experience, it is important for the instructor take an opportunity to get to know the learners individually. Adult learners are will be taking online courses for many reasons and they all have varied responsibilities and it is important to get to know your students to allow your course to work for all learners involved.

Online learning is a great tool for learners to continue their education. I have personally have taken a number of online courses in which, some were fantastic and others were not. The courses that I enjoyed the most are the ones with an active facilitator the related to me on personal bases. There were courses that were a struggle but the instructor was able to keep me on track by pairing me with other students or even walking through difficult areas. I have had courses where I felt that there was no one on the other end, all we received, as learners were our assignments and a due date. Often it took the instructor weeks to give feedback on assignments, which made it difficult to know what his/her expectations were. Immediate feedback and a personal relationship with learners are key to effective online instruction.

Patrick Hopkins