Crafting videos, presentations, and lessons for students to access and cooperate with at their own pace is one thing, but creating learning content that requires both students and instructor to be online at the same time provides a whole new set of challenges.
Formally referred to as synchronous online learning (versus asynchronous learning, which is accessed and utilized at any time), the "live" learning environment happens in real-time on the Web and encourages interaction, commenting, Q&As, and other types of instant feedback. Being "live" in front of an audience comes with a unique set of challenges. Faulty equipment diminished bandwidth, missing the hint, intimation, guiding suggestion, can all take their toll on a successful session.
- Don't assume your equipment is spot on. User test classes to test your equipment, bandwidth and classroom functionality. Book a test session 'Test Kolada's virtual classroom' with our Community Team.
- Don't assume your students have everything under control. Today's pupils are pretty tech-savvy, but that doesn't mean things can't go haywire in the middle of your session. Send a student to Kolada’s guide before you start the course.
- Do plan ahead for contingencies. There may be times when someone "dropping off" of the connection impacts the entire lesson. Virtual classroom will not close the session. The only way to close the classroom is by selecting ‘finish class’ button or if you run over expected lesson time by more than 15 minutes.
- Don't overload the session with technology. When it comes to synchronous online learning there is a tipping point where "too much" technology negatively impacts the student experience. Keep it simple when developing the coursework and related content, and focus less on the technology itself and more on creating an engaging, interesting learning environment.
- Do experiment with different pieces of equipment. The only way to figure out what works best for you is by testing out different options and determining what you're most comfortable with. Our Community Team can be your testing buddy. Do not hesitate to use us, we are here for you. It cost you nothing to book test session with us. Go to the main search engine and find 'Test Kolada's virtual classroom'.
- Don't assume your students are homogeneous. Not all students learn at the same pace, nor do they possess the same level of technical proficiency. Remember Kolada’s mantra is to deliver, courses tailored to student needs at paste that works best for them.
- Do match your educational strategies with your teaching tools. Not all technology tools will gel with your specific teaching methods and strategies. To ensure a positive match, teachers should think through the class that they want to deliver and how they'll be using technology to engage the students.
- Smaller chunks are easier to digest
Often learners don’t thoroughly read online content. Students scan! So, your challenge is to make them scan the information that we want them to learn. The answer to this challenge is chunking. Start small and build upon material. As a learner clicks through pages it also gives the feeling of accomplishment and progression.
A few tips:
- Use bullet points. Students will scan bullets.
- Break things into steps. If the information happens in a sequence then number it.
- Always think about the presented materials from the perspective of the new learner (your audience). What should they remember 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.?
- Find ways to present sentences to be more concise.