It’s a whole new communication ecosystem out there and if you’re struggling to facilitate a new distance learning initiative, you’re not alone. After all, more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies now use eLearning on some level. While many organizations have already started implementing distance learning, it’s often piecemeal, without full integration with other systems and practices. But when quality solutions are in place, online learning tools enhance and strengthen already existing educational opportunities.
Here are 5 tips for building out your distance learning program:
While you’re quickly deploying a distance learning solution to meet today’s needs, it’s not necessary to leave traditional classroom methodologies behind forever. As many organizations already know, hybrid learning is a powerful tool for both educators and students. This blend of online and in-person learning tools and experiences provides flexibility for both students and educators. Hybrid learning platforms:
- Retain in-person relationships and discussions – People still crave face-to-face interactions and discussions. Hybrid solutions retain those experiences while providing for learning cohorts that live around the globe.
- Allow for nimble response – Hybrid learning platforms allow for quick rollout of new information and tools via digital deployment methods, but they also provide the space for offline learning in situations and locations where power and/or internet are not available or where hands-on practice or face-to-face engagement is required.
- Flexible learning – Global workforces and educational communities mean that students have varying needs for scheduling, learning styles, and physical availability. Hybrid solutions allow for learners to access their content at a time and location that is convenient for them.
Build Engaging Content
You’ve likely heard the quote from Bill Gates that “content is king.” There is no place where this is more applicable than in distance learning where the content needs to provide an effective replacement for an in-classroom experience. Make content development a top priority.
- Build out a diverse library of materials that includes video, case studies, group discussion forums, and interactive visuals.
- Be cautious about overloading lessons with information. As people spend more time in front of screens, burnout may happen at a faster rate. Keep lesson sizes and depth to easy-to-digest portions.
Quality learning requires active participation by both the educator and the learner. If the path of information travels in only one direction, the iterative process of input and feedback is lost.
- Incorporate communication tools where students can get and give feedback.
- Provide asynchronous collaborative platforms where students can interact with each other and their educators to enhance learning experiences.
Build Long-Term Learning Solutions
Although your organization may feel under pressure to choose a distance learning solution, there is also value in researching quality products that can carry you into the future. For an example, take a look at the digital adoption platform WalkMe. This innovative product provides just-in-time training quite literally just as employees are moving through an application. The right solutions save time and money, as well as ensuring that the education continues, even when an in-person educator isn’t immediately available. Finding a balance between your right-now needs and the challenges that may crop up in the future is a great way to future-proof your organization.
As both instructors and learners adapt to new ways of interacting, patience is key. Work with stakeholders to find the best content delivery platforms, collaboration tools, and module sizes for your organization as a whole. Buy-in from the community, especially in this time of upheaval, will be paramount to your success.
Transition brings challenges, but holding on to these guiding principles can help you and your organization make smart, long-lasting choices. The end result may even leave you stronger than where you began.