4 problems with e-learning (and how to guard against them)

1. Social isolation

  1. Wherever possible and appropriate, incorporate live interactive learning modules with real instructors and co-learners.
  2. Consider providing online forums to allow knowledge sharing and engagement on a class-wide level, and chat rooms for private one-on-one conversations.
  3. Include processes to request and incorporate learner feedback to make them feel heard, and therefore more engaged.

2. Dependency on self-motivation

  1. Put realistic, but finite, time limits on course completion — indefinite limits can result in slackness at the beginning of the course from which the learner may not recover.
  2. Factor in speed of module completion as part of assessment criteria. This could be either bonus points for early completion or a penalty for delay.
  3. Work with industry experts to create content that’s interesting and relevant. The more engaging the content, the more likely that the learner will stick with the course. You can consider incorporating gamification or game-based learning for better results.

3. Risk of malpractice

  1. Consider assessment through rapid fire quizzes, giving the learner very little time to search for the answer or ask a friend.
  2. Micro-assessments are another mode of assessment, which are psychologically less susceptible to cheating — each assessment contributes so little to the final score that it doesn’t feel worth the effort to cheat!
  3. A number of specialized and easy-to-use software plugins exist to reduce the risk of malpractice to nearly zero.

4. Theory-orientation

  1. Prepare content that focuses on realistic practical examples, case studies and implementation exercises. Orientation towards realistic scenarios helps learners understand and apply theoretical concepts in practical settings.
  2. By using microlearning, learning outcomes — especially retention — can be significantly improved. This is true of theoretical as well as practical course content.
  3. Incorporate simulation as well as augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) into learning content to give learners a truly hands-on experience, to learn by doing.



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