As technological innovations continue, the variety of options we have in our daily lives has never been wider. Everything from our clothes to the food we eat, the television shows and books on our recommended list, and the podcasts we listen to can be customized. This is truly the era of customization.
The world is rapidly diverging in new and exciting directions, splintering off into narrow interest groups, each with specialized skills and interests. This type of individualization must also be reflected in our educational systems. Individuals’ ability to innovate and differentiate themselves from the crowd will determine their future success.
Throughout history, education has been viewed primarily as a uniform method of instruction in which all students were required to learn the same subjects, using the same tools and demonstrating their knowledge in the same manner. This method was effective because it established a form of discipline and required children to follow the rules. However, the flaw in this mass learning system is that some students fall behind while others never reach their full potential. Times are evolving, and education needs to become with it.
Online learning can bring world-class education to any location in the world, whether it is upgrading students’ certifications, teaching them the joy of a new skill or hobby, or assisting them in changing careers. Traditional classroom experiences, on the other hand, do not always translate well to engaging online learning. As a result, students may have a poor learning experience if the status quo is maintained.
The best online learning programs provide learners with the knowledge and skills they need to respond to real-world situations and the skills required to study individually. To assist learners in developing these skills, providers must offer an interactive learning program rather than an online presentation of course content.
Passively watching videos is unlikely to help anyone create the skills needed to deal with a real-world problem. Customized online learning programs that come alive with learning scenarios that challenge learners to respond to situations and test their knowledge are far more successful.
Quizzes, essay writing assignments, group feedback, and practical tests all help to challenge students and expand their learning potential. Providers must use their imagination to create interactive learning experiences that reflect the situations that students are likely to face in the real world. They must not be afraid to challenge students. When a course appears overly simplistic, many online course participants become bored. Setting tasks that challenge learners to apply their knowledge in new ways to deepen their understanding of their chosen topic is the most effective way to accomplish this.
Although the online environment provides students with numerous benefits, such as novel learning tools, the flexibility to learn, and new collaborative learning experiences, the transition can be difficult for teachers and students. On the one hand, teachers must exert extra effort to engage students effectively. When learning online, students must often try to remain engaged, especially given the distractions and interruptions at home. Therefore, delivering an engaging online learning experience is critical to student success because students learn better, understand the content more deeply, and retain the material for a longer time when actively engaged in the learning process.
How can online schools customize the learning experience to make it more engaging?
Engaging learners in your online learning program is one of the most important things you can do to ensure they learn effectively and get the most out of what they’re doing. Making it interactive is one of the most effective ways to increase learners’ engagement. Learners have no choice but to participate and take an active role in their learning with interactive online learning experiences. Here are some easy ways for providers to engage learners by making their online learning programs more interactive and personalized.
Any opportunity for learners to provide feedback is an excellent opportunity for interaction. Providers can respond to this feedback in meaningful ways by streamlining programs and making them more relevant.
Students constantly interact with videos, photos, graphs, infographics, and 3D models, but we don’t know if they fully comprehend them. These interactive elements guide learners and assist them in focusing their attention on essential material. Providers can add notes, links, or voice explanations directly to images to ensure students engage with the content.
Although online courses allow you to reach a much larger audience, many still do not take advantage of new ways to teach engagingly and interactively, which helps learners retain information. You can have students participate in an interactive environment without being physically present if you use storytelling as part of the course content.
They make online learning more engaging through storytelling, resulting in a shorter learning curve because students can associate your fascinating story with their learning skills.
We’re all social animals, although some people are more social than others. A good online learning community incorporates social learning into the equation. Students have a place to discuss course concepts, answer each other’s questions, and work together on assignments.
For online students, the community fosters a sense of accountability. They are no longer isolated individuals confined to their computer screens. Instead, they are a part of something much more significant.
You can introduce a new social element by going live with some of your lessons so students can interact with you and their peers in real time. Students receive immediate feedback, and their involvement directly impacts the class. Q&A sessions during live lessons become a powerful tool for both the virtual student and the teacher. When one student has a question, others may also have questions.
This degree program provides the comprehensive leadership and communication skills required to manage a high-tech, multi-disciplinary team. You cannot teach these skills if your program isn’t engaging. Opting for live lessons is especially important if the subject you teach requires students to practice in front of others and receive feedback in real-time, such as an online master’s in engineering management.
Customizing the experience
Now that we know online programs are engaging, what can providers do to make them more customized? Imagine a classroom with no one-size-fits-all approach to education to get a sense of personalized learning. The teacher does not teach the same lessons to all the students. Instead, they take each student on a unique journey. The what, when, where, and how of learning is customized to each student’s strengths, skills, needs, and interests.
Students may learn some skills at different rates, but helping them stay engaged with personal learning plans can keep them on track to meet the program’s standards. Due to busy schedules and large classes, most students do not experience this type of tailored help in a physical classroom. However, it is the ultimate goal of personalized learning.
What are some benefits of online learning, and how can programs be tailored to work for different people?
Learners spend a lot of time working toward milestones set by others, but they will be most motivated when working toward a personal goal that is important to them. Educators can find opportunities for learners to develop individual plans that keep them engaged with the material, even within larger frameworks.
Self-assessments facilitated and provided students with dedicated time to reflect on their learning progress. They can assist learners in developing self-awareness, understanding their learning styles, and identifying knowledge gaps. When used correctly, self-assessments can increase students’ autonomy and intrinsic motivation.
All students require various teaching methods that will push them to learn more. Before creating a personalized learning plan, however, a program must determine what the students already know and where they excel. Your program provider should provide an assessment that ideally covers your course’s prerequisites, providing tutors with insight into which topics you have already mastered.
Every student will have different learning styles. Some people, for example, may benefit from more complicated class structures and demonstrations, such as videos, illustrations, or labs. Other students, on the other hand, may wish to take notes and enjoy the option to have lessons recorded so they can always come back when reviewing for tests. Intimate seminar groups and conversations with peers are another popular learning style, so it depends on what works best for you. Researching different courses, modules, and institutions is always the best place to start when determining what is likely to suit your individual needs and interests.
Many students have been led to believe that they are not as academically capable as others simply because they have been unable to keep up with the typical class pace. Others may have become dissatisfied because the average class pace is too slow for them or does not stimulate their curiosity.
However, learning speed is not a predictor of learning ability, and courses can be adjusted to allow students to work at their own pace. Self-pacing is beneficial, and students who can learn at their own pace have demonstrated improved memory abilities. Online study, especially part-time, may be a great option for people who know it well like this.
Personalized online learning offers numerous advantages, whether used as a complete learning solution or a supplement to traditional classroom training. Here are some of the top benefits.
Online learning can improve knowledge retention by 25% to 60%. Shorter bite-sized modules and regular testing help people remember what they’ve learned. Following a classroom course with an online learning module can help learners retain information and further develop their skills on their own.
Learning at a suitable pace
The pace of learning is not constant for one student, let alone a classroom full of students. Each student has unique strengths and weaknesses. Some people can quickly grasp a math concept but struggle to learn grammar rules, and others may absorb science like a sponge but fail to understand history.
Allowing students to learn at their own pace will enable them to spend more time understanding where they excel and less time thinking about where they struggle. When students move at their own pace, the barriers between students of different skill levels are broken down. It is not uncommon in traditional classrooms for one group of gifted students to outpace the others, grow bored, and become distracted. Other students may have difficulty keeping up and feel overwhelmed.
Breeds intrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation occurs when a person is motivated to complete a task simply because they enjoy the job and the outcome. For example, making a painting because you want the craft is intrinsic motivation. When studensically motivated, the students are at their best and don’t require additional pushing. They are willing to go above and beyond to learn something new.
Students become intrinsically motivated to learn as a result of personalized learning. Instead of being told what to learn, they can choose their path from a menu of options. They are intrinsically motivated to succeed because what they desire is personally meaningful.
Personalized learning reduces the time it takes for learners to engage with and comprehend a new subject. It also removes content that is no longer relevant or would be redundant because of the learner’s experience level, saving time that would otherwise be spent learning concepts that will not benefit them.
Personalized learning is still not widely used, and certain aspects need further research. However, it can provide you with opportunities to develop self-advocacy skills. Online learning is a great tool for those who may not have enjoyed traditional learning experiences and are looking for a more tailored option for their personal needs. It is crucial to look at each course and institution carefully before applying to see if its approach and modules suit your learning goals.