Breaking it down
Let’s start by breaking the two main words in this topic down, crucial and support – both strong words that can stand on their own, hold a lot of power, and are critical to creating the best learning experience for all learners. The Cambridge Dictionary describes crucial as “being synonymous with extremely important or necessary because many other things depend on it”. Looking at support, the Cambridge Dictionary describes it as “to agree with and give encouragement to someone or something because you want him, her, or it to succeed”. Pretty powerful hey? So, imagine launching a learning experience for learners without any guidance, support and encouragement, they would struggle, and the learner uptake would be rather low.
Providing support to learners can be something as simple as a forgotten password or helping them understand a piece of learning content a bit better, either way it can be frustrating and disconcerting for the learner, and put them off learning online, especially if they have an exam coming up or their deadline to complete the learning is due. Support could range from learner to learner; instructor/educator to learner but also the person managing your e-learning platform, we focus specifically on the role of the educator/instructor and the e-learning platform administrator.
So, how can you best support learners?
With this in mind, how can learners be best supported? Below is a list of some of the solutions that will go a long way to ensuring your learners not only enjoy their learning journeys, but will keep coming back for more.
- Realise that not all learners are the same, they do not all learn in the same way. Structure learning journeys with a bit of everything to accommodate for this. Meaning that you have a good balance between text, audio, visual imagery, videos and so on.
- Make learning journeys as bite-sized as possible, learners take in more and therefore remember more, when given in small bite sizes then having to go through large chunks of information.
- Ensure timeous feedback on assessed assignments and try as far as possible to make the feedback individualised to the learner.
- Encourage learners to lean on one another by forming discussion groups and perhaps creating collaborative assignments.
- Be proactive and reach out to your learners, ensure you respond to their phone calls or emails in a timely manner.
- When you are providing a solely online course, learners rarely have the opportunity to meet you in a person. So, perhaps include a few instructional videos with you as the admin or educator in them or at least a welcome video so they know who they are dealing with.
- Reinforce learning along the way but creating short quizzes between content so they can gain the best understanding they can before the final assessment. Memotrainer goes a long way to doing this, reach out to New Leaf Technologies to learn more.