How To Use Online Learning Systems For Students
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Using Online Learning Systems For Students

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid and impressive transition from in-person to online learning, with schools, colleges, and universities across the globe being forced to shut in order to slow the spread of the virus. With some establishments being closed for months on end, offering zero educational resources was simply not an option. Students still needed to continue to learn even in the face of the pandemic.

The good news is, technology has made this possible and both new and existing portals were quickly utilized to ensure teachers and lecturers could get in touch with students and send them over the relevant learning materials.

The only problem is, education isn't just about reading through worksheets; it’s about getting support from teachers, working with your peers, and socializing with your friends. As such, more needed to be done to offer the best possible experience to students who were now working from their homes.

Below, we’ll take a look at how you can create a full student experience using virtual/online learning systems to achieve this.

Run Live Classes So You Can Get Some Face Time

If you are able to, you should run live classes so that students can feel as if they're right there in the room with you. This can be particularly important if your students are new or you haven't spent much time getting to know them yet. You could even run one lesson where everyone just gets to know a bit more about the modules that will be covered, your teaching style, and how their work will be conducted/supported virtually.

This can be done using tools such as Google Classroom, where you can stream a live video conference for them to watch and engage with. Alternatively, platforms like Zoom can be useful for smaller classes or lectures and allow the students to not only see the teacher but also see and interact with their classmates.

Interact With Students As They Work

This might depend on the number of students you're teaching and may require a calendar system, but you should try to interact with students as they work. For example, using Microsoft 360, you can comment on Word documents as the student works to give them feedback or pointers. Of course, you can always do this afterward and send the document back to them with the comments on but by commenting as they write, they can feel like they’ve got more support and that you're working with them in real time.

Create Exciting And Interesting Resources And Lesson Plans

One of the best ways to keep students engaged and ensure the best possible experience is to create interesting learning resources. There are a number of eLearning platforms you can use to do this. For example, Elucidat is a platform that offers a built-in page template editor and makes it easy for you to create learning resources. Similarly, Shift is designed to help you produce learning resources quickly and efficiently. The best thing about these platforms and many others like them is that users don’t need any programming or design experience to create great resources.

Alternatively, if you already use Microsoft 360, you can use PowerPoint to create great presentations which you can save and share with students. This also means they can go online and access these resources whenever they need to—but more on this below.

Make All Lessons And Resources Easily Accessible

Whether you're running live lectures, setting homework, or emailing worksheets and briefs over to students, it’s vital that there is a single place where they can access all these resources easily. This could be an online education portal set up for your school, college, or university specifically, or you could use tools like the aforementioned Google Classrooms which gives you a place to store any Word documents, presentations, audio and video files.

Encourage The Use Of Forums And Discussion Groups

Online class discussion forums are a great way for students to interact. They can pose questions to their teachers and their peers, as well as discuss the work at hand. This also gives them a chance to share their experiences of working from home with one another. This can be great for building relationships and can also be a genuinely helpful support system for those that might be struggling to adjust to virtual learning.

There are a number of approaches you can take. Social media has made it easier for people to connect online. Setting up class Facebook groups can be a quick and easy way for everyone to connect and for teachers to be able to answer important questions or offer any additional support. There are lots of apps that will help students learn on their own and there are also popular forums out there such as The Student Room that can be utilized by classmates looking to connect and chat with one another.

Getting the whole class as well as the teacher to interact with one another can really help them feel connected and keep them engaged with virtual lessons and eLearning resources.

Keep In Regular Contact

It might feel hard, especially if you're teaching a large number of students, but it’s vital that you're keeping in touch regularly. It could be helpful to set up a dedicated question hour or even day each week where students can come forward with any challenges they might be facing—via email, phone call, or private messages. After all, not everyone learns the same and some might not feel comfortable speaking up over live lessons or group forums.

Seek Out Feedback And Apply It

Lastly, though it’s not strictly a learning platform, there are some online tools you can utilize to help you collect feedback from your students. This way you can quickly find out which aspects of your virtual learning style they're enjoying and which they aren't. This helps you put positive changes in place and ensure you're offering the very best experience. You could put together a simple Word document with a few questions on there or use online platforms like Survey Gizmo to create digital surveys which you can send out to students online. They can then fill these in and submit them before you pull and analyze the results.

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