The digital learning environment revolutionizes the way individuals learn – from higher education to corporate training.
Online learning provides numerous benefits, including worldwide accessibility and the ability for each to learn at his or her unique pace. However, the digital learning environment also presents some unique challenges for educators. How can educators encourage engagement in an online classroom? The answer is simple! Create immediacy!
In a classroom setting, educators communicate directly with students that foster lively discussions. In a digital learning landscape, incorporating a similar level of immediacy will often lead to a successful online class.
Implementing the strategies below will guide e-learning educators to achieve immediacy in online learning.
- Provide video lectures and other multimedia content. The presence of an identifiable instructor improves student success in a digital environment, as various sources cited in the Strategies for Virtual Learning Environments: Focusing on Teaching Presence and Teaching immediacy Providing video lectures and online video chats not only helps students visually recognize their course instructor, but contributes toward their connection with the instructor.
- Provide timely and individualized feedback. The Internet conditioned students to expect immediacy in all things, including feedback from teachers. Factors such as responding to student questions, providing detailed feedback on assignments and ensuring availability for comments and questions builds toward the idea of an accessible online educator.
- Create deadlines and enforce them. A lack of structure in course-level instructional strategy can appear challenging; however, generating a set schedule with non-negotiable deadlines, allows teachers to create firm rules that encourage students to participate. Set schedules also reinforce the idea of an accessible authority figure, leading to a more engaged class.
- Build an online community and encourage students to interact with each other. Interaction and collaboration between students improve the feeling of immediacy in a digital learning experience. The interactions form a sense of community for students, contributing to more structure and shape of an online learning course. It also allows students to reach out to one other, ask questions, and receive advice quickly and efficiently.
- Provide continual updates for students as the course progresses. Welcome messages, syllabus revisions, and other class updates keep students informed of course happenings. Receiving the appropriate information allows students to prepare better and stay on top of coursework, boosting their impression of course
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