For some, online learning is a buzz word and for some, it is an impasse. Let’s try to find out why people are trying to adopt this phenomenon and how one can do that without any hitches.
Why online training?
Imagine, you are in a classroom with 20-25 students and there’s a teacher explaining you certain concepts. Here, the learning is centered on the instructor (teacher) and she sets the structure, sequence and methodology of the learning. She chooses the content and how it will be delivered.
In this setting, students often don’t ask any questions. There is less interaction with the focus being on the completion of the activity, rather than on the transfer of knowledge. The students don’t even have the option of going through the content again.
Online training or elearning, works the other way. It focuses on the learner, and not on the instructor. It facilitates interaction between the learner and the content, plus, is easily accessible anytime and anywhere.
Below are a few tools and techniques that are used in elearning.
- Devices for accessing the content (Desktop, Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones)
- Learning Management System (LMS)
- Content Creation Tools like MS PowerPoint, Articulate, Ptotemy (ptotemy.com), etc
- Instructional Design Study
- Interactive boards
- Webcam/ Webinars
- Communication tools like email, chat, forums, discussion boards, etc
These tools help in bringing the content to the learner and allow him to learn as per his convenience.
Converting existing training material into online content
Even converting existing training material into online content has become easy and cost-effective due to these tools.
There are 3 types of delivery for elearning through which content can be disseminated.
- Synchronous learning
This type of learning is live. It happens in real time, like a webinar or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
- Asynchronous learning
This can be done as per the learner’s convenience. Online modules or web forums are a few examples of this type of learning.
- Hybrid learning
Here, you mix the strengths of the first and second to achieve your objective.
Irrespective of the mode, the focus of any learning activity should be to enhance the learning experience through engagement, discussion and application.
The next part of the article will explain the process of transition of ILT to online in detail.