We’ll be back in the near future with more on our short series of social media tips. For now, let’s talk about synchronous eLearning.
Synchronous eLearning (Distance Learning) was a hot topic at 2011’s DevLearn conference. Today, I want to talk about how to actually design synchronous e-learning courses. There are many elements of course design that need to be taken into consideration for synchronous e-learning. However, here are just a few questions to consider:
- Is there someone who can act as a “host” on the session and manage technical issues and questions?
- Is the technology that we’re using stable and robust enough to allow for interaction?
- Is the technology intuitive enough that it is a help and not a distraction to facilitators or participants?
- Are the facilitators comfortable using the technology?
- Can the facilitators offer feedback to participants on activities in real time?
- Are facilitators willing to take the additional time needed to practice and prepare for a synchronous e-learning course?
- Do facilitators have clear instructions on how to facilitate the activity? Below is an example of a duel facilitator guide we created for a client recently. In this situation, the course will be taught both face to face and online. Facilitators make the choice on how to facilitate based on their situation.
- Have participants been given enough time to practice using the technology?
- Are participants given opportunities to interact with each other, not just with the facilitator?
- Have I avoided the temptation to make synchronous e-Learning more about lecture than exploration? While it can seem “easier” to take this route, in reality synchronous e-learning requires MORE interaction and opportunities to ensure that participants are engaged.
- Is the course chunked into management bites? As much as possible, shorter modules are preferable in synchronous e-learning to avoid the dreaded multitasking of participants!
- Is the course designer/writer familiar with the technology? Has she/he ensured that what is written is actually feasible?
What do you think of my list? What’s missing that you always consider when developing synchronous e-learning?