Virtual learning is a great way to learn – but only if you can maximize the experience of the participants. It is not enough that you provide great content. It is important to think about the learning process so you can create activities and interactive elements in the course.
The thing about online learning is that there is no physical presence. It is hard to distinguish any barriers that could be limiting the learning experience of the target audience. To help keep elearning problems to a minimum, here are possible barriers that can compromise the learning experience in your online classroom.
- Tech capabilities. A sophisticated online course is great – but only if all the participants know how to navigate it. You have to take the time to understand how tech-savvy the learners are. If not, you might end up with a course that some of them cannot navigate. There are programs that are simple and user-friendly. Stick with those programs so tech capabilities will not be a hindrance for learning.
- Previous elearning experience. There are also incidents wherein the learner had a bad elearning experience. You need to help them get over it so they can fall in love with learning something new. They have to get over the feeling of dread when they are faced with online learning. To help them, you can concentrate on making the learning experience fun and memorable. Make it as engaging as possible. Try to avoid a serving a boring course. It also helps to provide the learners with a list of what they can expect from the course.
- No motivation. This is also an important factor when it comes to having a great virtual learning experience. Motivation will always be a challenge and if it is not addressed, it can be a serious barrier in the learning process. When you have motivated learners, they usually approach the learning with enthusiasm. Their own disposition and attitude towards the elearning course will help them have a great time while learning.
- Challenging concepts. This is an obvious barrier. If the course is too hard, it will be hard for learners to have a great time learning. For difficult topics, it is advised that you make the explanations as simple as possible. Using visual elements like tables, infographics, and other tools help make the course more entertaining. Make sure to use terms that the learners can understand. And if it is really difficult, you can cut it up in bite-sized courses. That way, it will not overwhelm the learners to the point that they dread learning the next lesson.
- Lack of support and feedback. During the learning process, if the questions of the participants are not addressed when they are needed, it might be hard for them to move on and concentrate on the next lesson. You have to ensure that there is a support readily available to help with their queries. It does not have to be in real time. The questions can be sent through email but it has to be answered immediately. The same is true for any technical glitches in the course.
- No sense of community. Nobody can live alone for a long time and the same is true for learning. Virtual learners may not be with each other physically but that does not mean they cannot help and support each other. If you set up an online community, they can discuss amongst themselves and help enrich the online learning experience even further. Not only will it be engaging, it will also be a great way to interact with other learners.
If you can address these barriers, you can help make the virtual learning experience of the target audience more worthwhile. That will definitely leave a positive mark on the participants.
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