The human element is imperative to any eLearning course. That’s why we include personality quizzes, interactive dialogues, and informative lectures. The online course should be designed to be interactive, flexible, and engaging. The content should keep learners engaged throughout the entire experience.
Video is the most engaging channel that can be used to create an online course. This channel allows learners to see what’s happening in the video while seeing the video’s script at the same time to help them understand better. Any online program you want to create, the most important thing is to add the human element to it.
Here’s a few ideas on how to include a human touch in your online courses: talk to people as a friend instead of a lecturer, promote and implement forums as a way for learners to interact with each other and feel less alone.
One way I find effective is to keep in contact with the learner either by sending them little bits of information that will either supplement what they are learning or gently nudge them closer to their goal. Apart from this, it’s also beneficial to ask the learner questions and offer assistance if they need it. This can be done through online platforms if they have a messaging feature, emails, or the phone.
One way to encourage engagement is to design your course so that learners have a good opportunity to interact with other learners. These can be attained through group projects, activities that see them team up with one other learner, assignments that are reviewed by peers and open-ended questions that cause them to apply material and argue about it in discussions.
One way to make your e-learning more interactive and personal is by assigning its participants tasks that they have to execute face-to-face with people who are not a part of the course. For example, they could be asked to interview a real professional in a field of expertise relevant to the training or go and shadow someone who does this for a living. This has been proven to be effective in some courses.
This is a difficult topic to get a handle on. Without knowing the level of engagement from learners, it’s hard to get an idea of how committed they are. In many cases learners are part of a fast-paced, demanding organization and take your class as a requirement. It is not always a decision they make out of choice.
Time management is another common problem for many professionals. This challenge will be reminding ourselves to “be here now” as opposed to worrying about the future or the past. If there is no competency testing after the class, anyone with little to no time could take it as an excuse for others not to interrupt their meeting so they can get other work done.
I have already mentioned, engagement and group activities as a tool. But you need to set the stage from the very beginning. Use people’s names randomly through your introductions, consider making what you write look less like a formal essay or school paper – this will indicate to people that they are not in school, but are instead a professional person. It is important to use words like “you John will be able to identify… this…at the end of this section” instead of the generic words “you all” or “everyone”. This way, you can give people a sense that they are useful in your organisation.
In order to get a certain % of people to participate you need to introduce this as the expectation before the activity starts. This way, if your participation rates are really low, you know that you have not set the right expectations beforehand.
Studies indicated that there are a several things that are important to people and can vary. But mostly are things such as money, health, sense of security, power, religion, family…, whatever: if you can tie your objectives, any analogies, or examples on how the information being relayed will make a positive difference in what is important to them you will find yourself at the centre of their attention especially if your information is reputable and undeniably accurate.
Anyway, most importantly- be yourself. If you are faking being personable or approachable, you may not be in the right role.
In addition, you can start off your course by doing some icebreakers so that your team get to know each other a little before they dive into the subject matter. The early stages of online courses are important because it allow you to create a bond between the people in your group. For instance, asking them what they want to get out of the course allows you to make sure that expectations are clear. So, they see that they have a chance to influence how things evolve for them.
However, I’m focusing on how functionality might add the human element. But there are a lot of different opinions when it comes to the impact of human elements. Some experienced coaches believe the greatest impact is achieved by subject experts. In their views, if subject experts don’t embrace the need for the human element, there’s not much else that can be done “downstream.” However, if they understand and embrace it, then other people can do their job effectively.
So, this is it for now. I hope you find it useful and good luck with your course development! If you need more help, you can always contact me by email.
Have a good day.