Alexandria, VA (USA), August 2022 - More and more schools, colleges, and universities are adopting eLearning practices and including them in their curriculum and staff training programs. This article explains how online learning can be leveraged in education and covers actual stories of educational institutions that use eLearning technologies. Continue reading to see the results they achieved.
1. Teaching students
Many schools have included eLearning content in their curriculums for a long time. For example, students can take online courses or watch instructional videos with the new material before class, and spend the actual class time for active learning and applying new skills. Or, conversely, they can be introduced to new topics in the classroom and then reinforce that knowledge by performing interactive online tasks and quizzes at home.
As is known, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many schools to move all learning to an online format. For example, Daghøjskolen, an adult education school in Denmark, faced this challenge and had to embrace eLearning practices without proper preparation or expertise.
Initially, teachers were emailing materials and assignments back and forth, but this was very work intensive for them and was discouraging for their students. So, the school decided to move toward increased interactivity and got an eLearning authoring tool that allowed them to create online courses, build interactive quizzes, and record video lectures. In this way, they were able to create a number of Danish and mathematics courses, and launched eLearning that students enjoyed.
Online learning is also a great way to teach students around the world and make education accessible to low-income countries. For instance, with eLearning technologies, Ontario Virtual School, based in Canada, provides its students from different countries the ability to learn from home and still get a Canadian diploma. And the medical education company FYMCA trains doctors around the world on how to diagnose rare diseases and treat patients.
An added benefit is that eLearning allows doctors in less economically developed countries to receive valuable knowledge they can't get in their own institutions.
2. Training staff
School and college staff have to stay updated with the latest legislation and undergo compliance training on a regular basis. It can be quite challenging for administrators to train all the teachers and other employees in a classroom setting. The easiest way to keep the entire staff informed and not impact their schedule is to train them with online courses. And this is exactly what Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) does.
One of the major challenges the university faced a few years ago was the need to train 90% of its staff in information-security awareness within twelve months in order to comply with the audit requirements laid out by the executive board. The training required providing four courses to employees: Information Security Awareness, Secure Email Management, Freedom of Information, and Information Classification and Handling. Once they had decided on the courses, the L&D team started developing them with an authoring tool. As a result, the courses have been completed by over 1,500 staff members - representing 94% of the entire staff.
3. Making scientific information available to the public
The university staff members are not only teachers who provide students with knowledge, but also scientists who conduct a great deal of research and make significant discoveries. Some scientific information may be extremely useful for laypersons, so it's important to share it with them and do this in a format they can understand. This is another case when eLearning can help.
Tahiya Alam, a Junior eLearning Support Assistant at The University of Manchester, has done a significant amount of research on Alzheimer's disease and wanted to make this information available to anyone. One of Tahiya's main goals was to present this data in an accessible and engaging way, so she decided to create an interactive online Alzheimer's guide with an authoring tool and make it available on the relevant website. Overall, the project turned out to be successful - the guide let people immerse into the topic with ease and kept them engaged in the information.
eLearning in the academic sector is not a new notion, but it will definitely continue to grow and develop in this sphere. Moving learning online is a great opportunity to make the education process for students even more effective and engaging, train school and university staff on compliance topics, and make scientific information available to people in an accessible format.