Implementing Effective E-learning

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Implementation is the actual delivery of the e-learning experience. In synchronous e-learning, implementation will refer to the actions of the facilitator leading the online collaborative instruction. In asynchronous e-learning, implementation is the functionality of the online learning experience. Either way, implementation must coordinate four components of online instruction: participants, the facilitator, the course design, and technology supports. Strong implementation addresses all four components. The course should be designed to connect the ability of the facilitator with the needs of the participants. Everyone has knowledge of and access to the necessary technologies. And if necessary, technological support is easily available.

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Implementation is not just instruction. It is the moment at which the elements of effective instruction meet. These can be broken down into four core areas that compose an e-learning system:

  • Participants
  • The facilitator
  • The course design
  • Technology supports

The demands of each area will differ depending on the type of e-learning system being implemented. For example, an asynchronous e-learning program might not include facilitator guidance. On the other hand, an experienced classroom instructor implementing a webinar will need to make a number of adjustments in his/her teaching style.

It’s important to get a sense of the people who are actually going to use the course.

Specifically, why is this training important to them?  How will it improve their performance?  If possible, schedule some time to meet with the end users of the course. It’s always a good idea to get them involved in the course design so that courses meet their real needs.  When implementing a course, pay particular attention to: 

  • How tech-savvy are participants? 
  • Are they experienced e-learners?  
  • Where are participants?  In what environment are they receiving the e-learning? 
  • Have they collaborated in the organization’s decision to implement e-learning? 

These questions must be answered on a case-by-case basis.  However, common to all participants engaged in e-learning are considerations of access to technologies and receptiveness to e-learning instruction.  So long as those two elements are in place, a well-designed e-learning program can be delivered to any audience. 

Facilitators implementing synchronous e-learning programs, such as webinars and teleconferencing sessions, must make adjustments to accommodate the unique demands of electronic platforms.

Facilitators with classroom-based instruction backgrounds must learn to utilize a whole new set of sensory information with participants. The cues they have grown accustomed to simply no longer exist in many e-learning contexts. It is not enough for an instructor to be an expert on the content and rely on instincts to survive its implementation.

Click to open interactivity Adjusting to Online Implementation

Adjusting to Online Implementation

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