e-Learning Management Style Guide: Better eLearning for Employees and Students
There is a variety of things to take into consideration when determining which eLearning management style you will use, such as the learner’s skill sets, knowledge base, and the nature of the topic being taught.
However, one thing remains constant: eLearning managers must be able to utilize many different eLearning management styles in order to achieve the best learning results. By varying your eLearning management styles, you will gain the capacity to keep learners motivated about learning, and insure that every individual has the opportunity to fully grasp and absorb the materials.
This eLearning Management Style Guide is going to delve into three core eLearning management styles, so that you can put them to good use when designing eLearning courses and/or carrying out eLearning instruction. The most effective eLearning management strategies can be broken down into three key types of eLearning groups: Explaining, Engaging, and Empowering. Here is an in-depth look at what each of the 3 eLearning Management Styles entail and how you can implement it into your eLearning management strategy.
eLearning Management Strategies: Explaining, Engaging, Empowering
- The Explaining eLearning Management Style
Under this eLearning management style the eLearning manager will walk the student or employee through the education process by telling them what needs to be accomplished and how they can accomplish it.
The eLearning manager provides the student or employee with information either in written or verbal form. If the information is written, remember to give learners the proper amount of time to read the instructions. The eLearning manager is charged with clarifying the issue or problem, assessing the options, and making the ultimate decision based upon known data. The learners, in turn, are able to see how to effectively examine problems, assess alternative solutions, and make decisions based upon the example set by the eLearning manager. The eLearning manager to become more effective, may also give a scenario and show the learners the best way to deal with a situation. For example, how to handle a dissatisfied customer. There is typically no feedback involved, and the only communication taking place on the part of the learners is the confirmation whether they have grasped the information being offered or not.
Suggestions for using the Explaining eLearning Management Style
Move from the general to the specific. Offer the learner a look at the overall picture (the entire problem) before providing them with details. Then, be very specific about what you would like to be accomplished and how they can go about accomplishing it. Set clear deadlines and clear expectations for the learner, and let them know how they will benefit from the eLearning process. Be direct when creating the explanation (not verbose or vague) and communicate with them. Also, do not forget to include all important details step by step to avoid confusion. Do not forget that you should Praise the employee or student when a process is carried out correctly or when they have followed the direction you have provided.
- The Engaging eLearning Management Style
In this style of eLearning instruction, eLearning managers will encourage their learners to acquire information via critical thinking and participation in online discussion. Typically, eLearning managers ask questions about the subject matter expert, and moderate the ensuing online discussion to insure that the process is both productive and educational.
Both the eLearning manager and the learner will engage in a lively online discussion in which the learner will be asked questions and the answers will be carefully assessed by the eLearning manager. There may be follow-up questions that are used to get to the root of assumptions made by the student/employee and their line of reasoning. In this fashion, learners must gather their own opinions and learn how to substantiate them with hard data. The eLearning manager generally asks the learners questions that make them assess their own performance or progress. For example, you may ask the learner if “there are any ways for you to improve your processes next time?” The eLearning manager and learners work together in order to arrive to a conclusion or solution. The learner gathers information by answering the questions being posed and by providing their own input.
Suggestions for using the Engaging eLearning Management Style
Begin with grasping the learners’ attention. You can do that by making questions. Prefer generalized questions rather than targeted ones. Once the learner has answered these all-encompassing questions, you can begin asking more specific ones. Give the proper amount of time for learners to critically think and participate and then, offer your own input. Be strategic about when you ask them (to let the online discussion happen organically) and only ask one at a time. Make sure that all learners are allowed to participate in the process, not just one or two who are more dominant or knowledgeable about the material. You can do this by posing an online question to each learner or by allowing each learner the opportunity to discuss their opinions for thirty seconds. The learner should be praised and offered recognition for their efforts when they gain the capacity to express their opinions clearly and concisely, as well as for coming up with creative ideas and making insightful observations.
A very effective (and amusing) way to ensure participation is the following: make a question. The learner who has raised his/her “virtual” hand to answer the question will choose the 2nd learner that will answer your 2nd question. The 2nd learner will choose the 3rd learner that will answer your 3rd question. Those who have answered are not allowed to play (or should I say participate) until each learner has participated in the conversation.
- The Empowering eLearning Management Style
The eLearning manager will give the students or employees online assignments that they must work on individually or in a group setting. The eLearning manager will not provide detailed instructions and coaching. This enables the learners to find their own ways to deal with a situation, to arrive at their own conclusions and to become more independent learners.
This eLearning style requires that the eLearning manager give a specific task to the learner that they must handle on their own or in a group. The learner listen and collaborate with one another (if in a group setting) and are encouraged to ask questions that will enable them to fully understand what is expected of them. Ideally, each group or individual could have a different task to complete, and when the task is competed each individual/ group could present the challenges faced and the conclusions arose. The learners are encouraged to self-coach and assess their own progress and/or performance. This allows them to be more confidence and self sufficient learners. The employees/students are asked to establish plans and goals, so that they might then work through problems without the aid of the eLearning manager.
Suggestions for using the Empowering eLearning Management Style
eLearning Managers should provide their learners with tasks that are challenging but not daunting. You should be clear when delegating tasks and insure that the learners know exactly what is expected of them and how they will benefit from the process. Also, be certain to set appropriate time schedules, self-assessment reports and deadlines along the way so that you can ensure that the learner is progressing. The learner becomes an active participant in their own learning process and they should be praised when they do so effectively.
Ultimately, the eLearning management style that you utilize greatly depends upon the learner and the subject matter expert. While you may prefer one particular eLearning management style, it's important to have a firm grasp of all types of eLearning management styles so that you can ensure the success of your diverse group of students or employees.
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