Why eLearning Needs To Focus On Individuals
Elearning has become a tool to teach a lot of people with little effort. Too many online courses focus on getting a lot of students through the system, and the effort spend on creating educational content is hard to see.Many online courses are built around low quality video lecture shot on a web camera in some professor’s office or simply a screen recording of a badly designed slideshow. That combined with often scripted voice overs talking about distant academic content seems unambitious for any educational institution that gives a damn about the individual student.I believe that education is a personal thing that should spark creativity and curiosity. Education should move people in new directions, give them useful skills and a deeper understanding of the world they live in.How often do you go to the cinema to watch a professor stand in front of a blackboard reading aloud the same old lecture he has always done? How often do you remember the key points of a lecture after clicking a few buttons in a multiple choice test? And how often do you learn new skills by reading and writing academic papers about them without getting any real experience within the subject?Each and every student countsIt is time to rethink elearning. And it is time to put all focus on the individual student.Too many online courses are focusing on general lectures, boring multiple choice tests and very little interaction between the educator and the students. It seems that all the opportunities in elearning are being lost in an attempt to safe time and money by teaching as many students as possible with a little an effort as possible.But eLearning is a wonderful way to tailor each course to the individual students. With personalized exercises, individual feedback via email and Skype and with a real interest in each student’s progress online courses can revolutionize the way that we look at education. Teachers shouldn’t need to teach huge groups of students with no eye for the individual’s way of learning, progress and existing skills. They should be able to use new technology to focus more on individuals, and by doing so making sure that all students get the most out of a course or lecture. At Developing Stories we try to individualize every single course to the students that enroll with us. We have a chat with each one before starting the course and we stay in touch throughout the course. Our students feel seen as individuals and they can work on the things they are interested in by simply letting their educator know.I teach our course in Basic Journalism and I would rather spend 30 minutes more on each student knowing he or she really learns something useful that might help change a career than teaching a huge group of people where most never really get good at journalism.Quality is king
By personalizing exercises, by giving feedback via email and Skype, and by producing high quality content in video lectures, teachers can still teach people around the world and they can see their knowledge spreading more clearly than by teaching big crowds online with no interaction.In every other aspect of life quality is king. When we browse social media we demand high quality content before we click it. When we buy a new car we demand high comfort, safety and beautiful design. And when we go to a café we demand personal and heartfelt service from a real life waiter with an interest in our comfort. Why are we allowing online courses to be of so low production quality and with so little personal involvement from the educator.Let us rethink eLearning and put the individual student in focus instead of aiming for bigger crowds, bad content and useless multiple choice tests. Education is about learning something new and moving your understanding of the world forward. Let us focus on high quality and personal feedback to ensure that each and every online student gets more from eLearning than from classrooms.