10 Best Practices for e-Learning
Before you read my 10 best practices, please keep in mind that I’ve done it based on my own experience and perspective in that I still teach a “live” e-Learning course but these are all practiced advised by e-learning experts.
Being active and supporting your students through multiple methods of communication. The primary one is often going to be e-mail and it’s very important that you respond to all student queries professionally and as quickly as possible. Other methods of being present could be announcements in your LMS (Learning Management System), online discussion forums, Wikis and even just responding to their activities (eg. if they’ve posted something, reply to their post).
Students need to have a set list of expectations and guidelines so they can succeed in your course If it’s a “live” online course let them know if it’s optional to attend the sessions and the hours/frequency of those sessions (you could have a calendar). There should also be clarity on assessments and due dates for assignments. And last but not least, clear guidelines of what they can expect from you as the instructor and what you expect from them as a student including classroom conduct and behavior.
Create Supportive Online Community
Create a safe, supportive and nurtured online community for your learners. If they don’t already know each other, create activities that will help them learn about each other and work together successfully. Use online tools like forums to encourage collaboration, discussion and self-help.
Ask for Feedback
At various times, especially early on, you should ask your students for direct and honest feedback for how things are going. This will help identify any gaps in both instruction and learning that you can use to ensure the success of your students and reduce anxiety and frustration.
Create Engaging Content
Engaging content is key to keeping your students interested, active and motivated. Use technology whether it be online quizzing with Kahoot, videos and fun/interesting resources to keep your learners engaged.
Group projects go hand in hand with having a healthy online community for your learners. Use this community to create group projects for your learners and help them to achieve as individuals and groups.
Use Existing Resources
There are already so many useful resources out there whether books, blogs and vlogs. Don’t reinvent the wheel if there is helpful and relevant content already out there. If there’s not, your students will thank you for creating content that fills any gaps that are not available online.
Build for Mobile
Some courses are still not designed for online so make sure your LMS is mobile friendly (responsive) and that your content is too. Make sure all resources, especially documents use open standards such as .pdf, standard docs that work on all platforms (Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows).
Personalize Your Course
Have a Closing Activity
Having a closing activity is a great way to summarize the learning during your online session. Create activities that get your learners to recall and summarize what was learned. This will also create incentive for your learners to participate in class and most importantly not shrink away from the computer in the middle of class.