Setting up Effective Online Learning Experiences

When setting up an online effective learning experience, there are several approaches that can be helpful. One thing that is extremely important is to demonstrate patience. Boettcher and Conrad (2010) suggest, be patient with yourself as you develop online teaching skills. Also be patient with your students as they develop online learning skills that often mean that they must become more active learners and take more responsibility for what they know and the skills and values they want to develop.

I would also want to get to know my students by asking them to do introductory bios. I believe getting to know your students will also give insight on their learning styles and abilities. Every student will learn differently, so tailoring a teaching style that is most beneficial to each learner can be very critical. Many adult learners have been out of school for several years, and getting back into a structured learning environment could prove difficult. This is why I feel it is important to get to know your students and tailor your approach to them. Also it helps to refer to those bios throughout the course and start using students’ names in your responses; it makes a difference, and gives them a sense that you know them and are reaching out and touching them personally (Laureate, 2012).

Clear and ambiguous guidelines about what is expected of learners and what they should expect from an instructor make a significant contribution to ensuring understanding and satisfaction in an online course (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). Whenever I begin a new course I always read everything the instructor has posted, and familiarize myself with the syllabus. This way I understand what I am expected to complete, and what their policies are as it effects things that concern me. These things are important because it makes for a cohesive learning environment, and ensures there aren’t any gray areas.

As stated before, I think the major consideration that instructors should take into account when dealing with adult learners is the learning curve. You may have students who are young, very tech savvy and already know how online learning works. Then there will be students who are older, may have been out of school for a while, so not only are they new to online learning, they may need help readjusting to structured learning as a whole. There has to be balance when dealing with these separate learning abilities, and it will take a great educator to make sure they can handle it all.

References

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Launching the online learning experience.Baltimore, MD: Author.

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5 thoughts on “Setting up Effective Online Learning Experiences

  1. Hello, Rainier

    I enjoyed reading your blog post. You mentioned that the instructor needs to be patient with online students. I agree because there are different students’ personalities in the online learning environment, and patience and resilience are important instructor qualities in online teaching.

    I also like the introductory bios. The type we were asked to complete in week two of this course, except that you included learning styles so that the instructor will understand how students in the online class learn.

    Lastly, I am sure you meant ‘clear and unambiguous’ not ‘clear and ambiguous’.

    Regards

    Alex

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    1. Rainer, I agree with your statement. “Every student will learn differently, so tailoring a teaching style that is most beneficial to each learner can be critical.” Teaching styles should include teaching methodologies and techniques. Hands-on learning is essential to the learning process. The ability to engage in the learning process, connect with the information being taught, and apply what has been learned shows if learning has taken place.

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  2. Hi Rainier,

    I think having your students do introductory bios is a good idea. Introductory bios allows a teacher to get to know his or her students and it helps the students to learn about each other as well. A good method to use with having your students do introductory bios is to have them do getting to know me essays descriptors as well.

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  3. I believe that in the beginning of any course there is always the doubt about what to expect from the instructor and from other students. In an online course, that doubt increases because of the fault of face-to-face interaction. That’s why is so important for the instructor to clearly establish the guidelines and show thier students what it’s wanted from the course.

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  4. Reply to Rainier,
    I do agree with you that online instructors should avoid using ambiguous messages to communicate expectations to learners. Truly, if the message is ambiguous meaning inexact, it would be open to all types of meanings and this will lead to confusion and chaos. As such, online instructors should use unambiguous messages to set up clear expectations so their learners could be on the same boat with them. Additionally, you have argued about learning diversity in terms of learners’ abilities, needs, expectations and interests; and as such, online instructors should balance their course design to cope with their students’ learning curves and expectations as well. Conversely, I commend you Rainier on such an endeavor, and truly this will make the teaching -learning process very active and engaging as well. I thank you for sharing with us such a great insight this week.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Ati

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