Creating virtual learning courses is different from the traditional ones. You have to compensate for a lot of things. For one, the lack of physical presence creates a different vibe in the learning experience. The instructor and the students usually cannot see each other. While there are elearning courses that allow learners to view the instructor, they usually cannot view each other. It is usually very hard to adjust to – especially when it is the first time.
While online courses may be different, it does have a lot of advantages. For one, it allows learners to access the course regardless of where they are. There are also courses that you can access regardless of the time. This is ideal for people who are too busy to be tied to a schedule when it comes to learning.
Of course, virtual classrooms are only effective if it follows certain rules. So if you are thinking about creating virtual learning courses, you need to understand these 4 rules and make sure you implement them.
Rule 1: Keep it short and engaging.
Cognitive overload compromises the learning capacity. You do not want to give too much information in one sitting because the retention rate will be lower than you would like it to be. If it cannot be helped, make sure that the course if only between 60 to 90 minutes long. And these lengthy courses should have intervals that will allow the learners to reflect on what they just learned. It can be an activity, assessment or a simulation that will help them remember what was just discussed. Of course, you also have the option to tap into microlearning. These are short courses that only last between 5 to 10 minutes.
Rule 2: Allow interaction.
This is very important because this is how you compensate for the fact that the learners are not physically learning together. Make sure the course is equipped with tools that will allow screen sharing and forums. Give learners enough time to discuss with each other online and to share their thoughts and opinions about the lesson. You can also come up with exercises that will introduce them to each other so they can get used to learning together in the virtual classroom.
Rule 3: Try to customize content.
This will probably involve some research. You need to know who your learners are so you can inject elements and details in the content that will suit their learning preferences. Not only that, you should also understand the medium that you will use to deliver the content. Make sure it is suited for the delivery platform that you have chosen. Make the text short and meaningful if you will use social media. If you want to use a blog, it has to have the right images to complement the text. In case you want it in video format, make it visually appealing and use relevant audio without distracting the learners from the lesson.
Rule 4: Allow sharing and collaboration.
Finally, you need to encourage sharing and collaboration between the group. Rule 2 mentioned the use of forums. This is actually the best way to do it. This strategy will involve the whole group and the instructor can easily facilitate the learning process even as they allow the learners to gain insight from each other.
As long as you follow these 4 rules, the virtual learning process should be as effective as the traditional way of learning.
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