In continuation with my previous post, some of the major features to ponder while deciding to get your course work on-line are –
Synchronous learning – This kind of pedagogy is highly appreciated in the platform of on-line education. Incorporate synchronous teaching as much as possible, through webinar, video conferencing, live chat etc. As I recall, one of my professors arranges for one or two webinar, per semester. Synchronous learning makes a student feel at a classroom, of course virtually. It enables students and teachers to collaborate and learn in real-time.
Motivation – The author of http://blog.thewritersgateway.com, Rupa Rajagopalan is a well-known blogger in the arena of Instructional Design, In her blog she raised a question ‘ What are the challenges with Online Training?
For which I had commented,
“As an online student, I would like to point out that one of the foremost challenges in any online training program is “Motivation”.
The concept of motivation is a good one abstractly, but extensively it fails in the online training program. Nevertheless, there are some enormous ways to motivate students. The presentation of training program through ‘Multimedia’ itself will lead to reinforcement and positive motivation. The practice of Multimedia designing according to the 12 principles of Mayer will be of huge help during the program.
Walter Deal (2004) (p. 3) suggests, “Students who come to class and are well motivated generally will maintain or improve their level of motivation. However, students who are poorly motivated can benefit through additional attention to build their interest and motivation through teacher intervention”
Ruth Clark in her book (p 209) suggests that “Leverage personal interest to boost motivation”. She says, “Contextualize learning material in ways that relate to learner goals.”
Rupa says – “With online training, the trainer has to make an effort to keep the communication going. If there is a lack of communication, then the online training program is sure to fail.”
My opinion – I have seen myself lose motivation and interest if my professor does not take an interest in the students personally. I have one professor who interacts via mail with every student in the beginning of the semester and gives feedback to every comment we make in the discussion board throughout the semester. This certainly benefits us as we don’t feel isolated.
Rupa says – “The trainer needs to make the learners comfortable because most people are apprehensive about online training. I work hard on my attitude, tone and language to interact well with my learners and I am sure with time I will get better and better at it”
My opinion – Your students will be motivated with this perspective. For a distant student, this definitely helps to further continue with their program. I understand that it is difficult to maintain it but constructive criticism leads to improvement.
Deal, Walter F., III. “Using flash technology for motivation and assessment.” The Technology Teacher May-June 2004
Mayer, R. E. (2009), Multi-media learning (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Ruth Clark. (2003). Building Expertise (Second ed.). Silver Spring, MD: International Society for Performance Improvement. ”
I’ll conclude this series in my next blog with another important feature – “Building Virtual Community”
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