4 Levels of Interactivity in E-Learning Courses

E-Learning is a vast area and the types of content being developed are also diverse – as per the needs of the learners. As developers of custom e-learning, one aspect of e-learning is very critical – the level of an e-learning course. The level of an e-learning course is the measure of interactivity built into…

E-Learning is a vast area and the types of content being developed are also diverse – as per the needs of the learners. As developers of custom e-learning, one aspect of e-learning is very critical – the level of an e-learning course. The level of an e-learning course is the measure of interactivity built into it. For any e-learning services company, to create the right amount of interactivity in e-courses is very important.

It is often a misconception that interactivity in e-courses takes up too much time, effort and moneys. On the contrary it offers learners with a chance to engage with the content more and learn effectively. Developers can also choose to create interactive courses with rapid authoring tools – to create interactivity in an e-course.

There are four levels of interactivity in e-learning, in the increasing order of sophistication and type of learning delivery. Courses of Level 1 have very little interactions and are termed page turners. They are suitable for information heavy courses. Courses with Level 2 interaction are developed the most for corporate training. From slide transitions to simple animations, a lot can be done within this level to enthrall the audiences. Courses of Level 3 offer more experiential learning, with multiple scenarios and outcomes. Level 4 offers the highest interactivity that e-learning has to offer – games and virtual environments are part of this level which can deliver hands-in learning for varied audiences.

How much interactivity should be inserted in a course depends on a number of factors –

• The learners should be able to utilize and appreciate the built-in interactions. If the course is too interactive, the learner will lose focus. If it has very little opportunities of interaction, it will be bland and not capture the interest of the learners effectively. The right balance has to be found by understanding the needs of the learner.

• Not all content needs interactivity for it to be effective. Some courses have to rely heavily on text and graphics only. These are instructional courses, which have a lot of information to share. The learners too realize that they need to retain a lot. So for these kinds of courses, a lot of interactivity fails to make an impact. In fact, forced interactivity is not only a waste of money and time but it also hampers the effectiveness of learning.

• Developers should also keep in mind the available technological infrastructure at the learners' end. E-Courses are useless if they fail to render well on user devices. If the learners do not have the specific hosting environments and technological support for high-end interactions, the course will not have the uniform effect.

• Finally, available budgets should also be considered when deciding the level of interactivity in e-learning. Interactivities like simple animations, roll-over effects and slide transitions can be built in with readily available tools like MS PowerPoint. But experiential courses with high end interactivities definitely cost more. So make sure that the training budget has the provisions for the level of interactivity to be built in an e-course.

It is a wise idea to make sure the interaction built into an e-course is aligned to the above factors – only then can the e-course be really effective for the intended audiences.

How Online Students Can Develop Social Intelligence

With online learning the focus is often placed on what technological tools can be utilized, along with the qualities or characteristics that students need in order to be successful in this environment. The use of technology helps to create a setting necessary for learning to occur but it is the human element that brings the…

With online learning the focus is often placed on what technological tools can be utilized, along with the qualities or characteristics that students need in order to be successful in this environment. The use of technology helps to create a setting necessary for learning to occur but it is the human element that brings the classroom environment to life and sustains it. For online classes, students have to learn to focus on their methods of written communication; however, there is another skill they must learn in order to improve their interactions and working relationships.

That critical skill is social intelligence and it is an ability to engage in productive communication with or interact with someone else in a well-behaved manner, and this includes students and instructors. It works in conjunction with emotional intelligence, which is an ability to recognize and manage a person's emotions. However, social intelligence is more focused on the quality of getting along with others and for a technologically enabled environment that must be adapted – just as the process of learning has been adapted for this online environment.

The Online Classroom

For someone who has never worked in an online classroom setting they may not understand that developing relationships with others requires a more concerted effort. Without the benefit of visual cues and an opportunity to clarify what has been communicated, messages or discussion posts are subject to interpretation based upon perceptual factors that was collected from the written words. Once a message has been posted or an email has been sent, there is no going back as it is now a permanent record.

If the message was misinterpreted it is illegally the other person will respond to you or if they do it may be done in an incomprehensible manner. If you are not physically present to explain the context of the message it can cause repercussions. If another student feels attacked, talked down to, or is provoked in some way, that relationship will likely suffer. If it is an instructor who has received your communication to be improper there may be further consequences. At the very basis of all social interactions it is a written message that promotes or weakens your relationships with others.

Student to Student Interactions

The relationships you develop with other students takes time and occurs through a series of interactions that create a sense of connection and familiarity. If you can develop productive relationships with others you will find that your communication with each other in class is a little more relaxed because you are at ease to some degree with each other. In other words, being sociable with one another does not need to feel forced and if there is a potential misunderstanding you will be more likely to contact each other for further clarification.

For those students you do not know very well, or you have not yet established a connection with them, acting social may feel more forced at times or done and it careful manner – and that that is how interactions should take place in a perfect online classroom environment . A problem that comes up for some students is that they are used to very casual communication through technological means – such as text messaging and participation in social networking websites. It seems to be more common to read about fights that have occurred through sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and that is a perfect example of a need for social intelligence and most likely emotional intelligence as well.

Student to Instructor Interactions

One of the most important relationships that a student can have is the one they develop with their instructors. That relationship begins immediately once class starts and the anticipation for both is that they will have respectful interactions and communication. At a minimum students need to maintain that respect and communicate in a matter that demonstrates an attitude of being receptive and open to two-way communication – and that includes being open to constructive criticism. In order to accomplish that goal highly developed social intelligence is required.

Unfortunately as an online educator I have seen a growing trend among students – a will disregard of social etiquette. I've read students' posts that have demonstrated an uncaring, uncooperative, and even aggressive attitude. I've also read emails from students that lacked basic social skills and had no intention on developing productive interactions. With that type of communication there is a belief on the part of the students that there will be no repercussions as they are either justified in their position or they have paid for their classes and are owed something, such as a particular grade. This lack of social intelligence only results in damaged relationships and never produces a positive income for the student.

Developing Social Intelligence

There are steps any student can take to develop or further refine their social intelligence. Here are the top five methods that any online student can follow, which I have found are useful for my experience working with students.

# 1. Develop Productive Communication – With an online class you are represented by the words you choose to post or send by email. Follow the basic guidelines for communication and consider the words you choose and how the tone of your message may be received and interpreted – before you send or post it.

# 2. Remember Relationships Matter – As an online student you are not seeking to win a popularity contest or make friends with everyone. However, you are in a learning environment and collaborating with others through your discussions. What you want to develop are productive working relationships, which means that for the duration of the course you want to interact well with them.

# 3. Interact with Respect – Everyone in your class is owed a basic level of respect. You may not like each and every person you are required to interact with but you do have to work with them in some manner. Disrespect, or intentional communication that is not courteous, can cause negative feelings and disrupt the class if left unchecked. If you find you have clashed with someone you must learn to stop and repair the damage.

# 4. Mind Your Manners – This speaks to the purpose of being composed and knowing how to interact with others in social settings. It may be easier to do if you were face-to-face as you can not see other students in an online class – and that means you must adapt your physical presence so that it translates to virtual manners. Treat what you post or send by email as if the receiver was there in person with you.

# 5. Keep Your Attitude in Check – One of the most important relationships is the one you cultivate with your instructors. Approach those relationships by demonstrating a cooperative and respectful attitude. Be humble and willing to accept their feedback and guidance and you will find that it is possible to develop a meaningful connection throughout the class – as long as you maintain an attitude that you are willing to learn.

Maintaining Social Intelligence

Developing social intelligence takes practice and you will receive feedback through your interactions and exchanges – including those that occur smoothly and those you may find to be challenging. It is likely that with the start of each new class you will have to develop a mindset that you are starting over again because you likely have new classmates and a different instructor. Begin each new class from the perspective of being well-behaved and respectful – and make attempts to interact with others in a meaningful way. The discussion board provides a format for the development of connections that are more effective than a chat room because you are collaborating with others based upon a specific topic.

You will likely encounter personalities that do not mesh well with yours so be pleasant and professional in your communication at all times. Never use sarcasm or act as if you are competing with other students. You are all in this journey of learning and it is your unique perspectives that adds meaning. Always keep in mind that the words you choose to use represent you and establish an image of who you are – and even the values ​​you possess. Right or wrong, your posts demonstrate your social intelligence or lack thereof. As you learn and maintain this skill you will find it is transferable to your career. It involves much more than being social, it is being deliberate in your communication and interactions. If you learn to leverage it well you will produce positive outcomes.

Traditional Vs Modern Learning Solutions

Learning in the corporate scenario has always been necessary. Traditionally, the best way to learn in the workplace is by doing. The knowledge acquired while doing the job is well absorbed and retained for long. So, seasoned employees would take new recruits under their wings and teach the routes of the job. That is how…

Learning in the corporate scenario has always been necessary. Traditionally, the best way to learn in the workplace is by doing. The knowledge acquired while doing the job is well absorbed and retained for long. So, seasoned employees would take new recruits under their wings and teach the routes of the job. That is how learners perfected their roles for many years within the organization.

But with changing corporate needs and rapid globalization, the traditional way of learning with a 'mentor' and by actually doing the job is now a thing of the past. With the development of technology, learning solutions have been created by utilizing the advances in the field of technology. E-Learning software is being utilized to create e-learning courseware and learning management systems are being put up for learners to access the e-courseware. There are many benefits of this approach – compared to the traditional modes of instruction in the workplace

• Traditional learning solutions like classroom sessions are fast becoming a costly affair to arrange. For most organizations, costs and budgets are of serious concern. So instead, organizations prefer to invest in custom e-learning solutions that can be accessed by all employees – across the length and breath of the organization. This cuts the costs of arranging for a training session including travel, stay, equipment and many more.

• Planning for traditional trainings is also difficult as learners have very little tie available and classroom sessions entail taking out a huge chunk of time from their regular schedule. Good trainers are also difficult to arrange and are often not available when learners are! This lag in planning leads to unnecessary delays and a gap in training. E-Learning provides a solution that aligns to the time constants of the learners as most e-courses are self-paced.

• The time and effort of trainers can then be better utilized if a blended learning delivery is chosen. The part of the lesson that the learner can read himself can be self-paced. The discussions and deliberations on the subject can be then taken up in a classroom classroom session which is impactful and yet time-saving.

• E-learning solutions are effective due to the flexible nature of LMSs. Pre-existing trainings or learning content can be creatively transformed into an e-learning solution using rapid authoring tools. Modules can be quickly updated as and when required without spending additional moneys or extraordinary time on revisions.

• Contrary to traditional methods of learning, e-Learning solutions ensures that effectiveness of an e-course can be evaluated in real time using the reporting features of the LMS. Learning management systems (LMS) can give regular updates of the learner's progress through the course, the problem areas or even mark out a learner who is under-performing. Administrators and L & D managers can assess the skills and knowledge acquired by a learner. This helps them ascertain their capabilities and further helps them in assigning responsibilities.

The benefits of modern e-learning solutions are reverted by all forward thinking organizations, across the world. Many different industries, with different training needs have explored this platform of learning. E-Learning then benefits a varied set of audience. So, for the modern work environment and the new age corporate learners, e-learning is definitely the preferred way of learning.

Improve In English

How to improve in English language. (Note: This article is not written for associate purposes. Hello all! In today's' scenario it has become necessary to know English language. You do not have a choice to let it go. Either you love it or not, you have to learn it. And improve it. The most difficult…

How to improve in English language.

(Note: This article is not written for associate purposes.

Hello all!

In today's' scenario it has become necessary to know English language. You do not have a choice to let it go. Either you love it or not, you have to learn it. And improve it.

The most difficult thing that people find with a language is to keep themselves updated. For this, you do have to engage yourself in some activity based on that language so that you can learn from others as well as teach others what you already know.

The question that arises next is how to continue improve in it! Following are the steps you need to take:

1.) Aldaily.com
This is a very good website to keep yourself updated with the latest trends in writing articles. From this you will learn good quality words and expressions. You just have to make it a habit to check it periodically. The frequency may vary from person to person depending on her needs.

2.) Nytimes.com or mobile.nytimes.com
This is a news website which stands for the New York Times. This is one of the most prestigious news in the entire world. Not the whole, but you should at least read the sections from this newspaper which interest you. Just reading it and understanding what you have read will lead to amazing results within just weeks.

3.) e4a.co.in
This is one of the most growing websites in this regard. It helps you improve in this language in a way that suits you the most. It conducts online competitions based on English language which is great fun to participate in. It also lists the best English expressions in every month.

4.) Social Network sites
Most of you use social network sites like Facebook and twitter. Use them for your own good, not just for hanging out with friends. Find the communities relating English language or improving your vocabulary. In this way you will be improving in this language even in your leisure time and that too without having to go through even a little pain.

Last but not the least, improving depends entirely on you. If you want to go further, you can start reading good novels, literature, etc, watch Hollywood movies, English TV series, listen to English music, etc. It will evoke in you the love for this language, which is very much required to be adept in this very language.

Online Teaching As a Career: Advice From a Modern Educator

There is a gold rush going on now in the field of online learning and it is the pursuit of teaching online. There are new master's degree programs that are focused on teaching with technology, along with degree programs related to instructional design. There are authors that tout the seemingly endless opportunities available for teaching…

There is a gold rush going on now in the field of online learning and it is the pursuit of teaching online. There are new master's degree programs that are focused on teaching with technology, along with degree programs related to instructional design. There are authors that tout the seemingly endless opportunities available for teaching online courses, and one set of authors that want you to believe you can earn a six figure income as an adjunct online instructor.

There was a time not too long ago when online learning was gaining popularity, that there were plenty of opportunities available to teach online. But that time has changed, especially due to the increased number of schools that offer online classes. Potential students have a wealth of schools to choose from now when they want to earn a degree online. In addition, there has been a decline in enrollment for some of the for-profit schools because of intestine scrutiny by regulators and the student loan crisis. What is needed now more than ever is a realistic overview of online teaching, from someone who is been highly involved in the field as a Modern Educator.

A Perspective about Students

I have been involved in the field of online learning now as a Modern Educator for over nine years. I have taught online courses for traditional colleges as well as for-profit universities. My perspective is not limited to just one school and I have also worked with online faculty development and online curriculum development. There are a few generalities I can make based upon this experience and the first is about the online student base. With the for-profits there generally is not an entrance exam or evaluation made of the skill sets that potential students may have (or do not have) and that means the doors are wide open. With for-profits they have to compete for new enrollments and as a result they will accept those who are not well-qualified for this environment and those who are grossly academically underprepared. To get students enrolled the value of a degree as to be sold and it is often over-sold with highly creative ads. And the real indicator of the underlying problem for online learning is the retention rate, which is 30% on an average for undergraduate students.

A Perspective about Faculty

Several years ago, when there were numerous adjunct opportunities, a master's degree was accepted as a minimum qualification for teaching undergraduate students. Now there is a large pool of adjunct instructors, a significant number of people who want to teach online, and many who are seeking a degree so they could teach online – with fewer job opportunities available. Now it is not uncommon to see a job listing with a doctor degree prescribed as the preferred minimum credential, even for undergraduate courses. In addition, when a job opening is listed there will likely be hundreds of resumes sent.

Once you are lucky enough to get on board as an adjunct there are never any guarantees made about your continued employment. You could be a long-term employee and without notice find yourself let go as departmental priorities change. There've been some full-time positions teaching online, but those jobs are even fewer and very difficult to obtain. Preference may be given to internal employees and current adjuncts may have to compete with external candidates. And then there is the issue of salary. Some full-time positions may require advanced degrees and pay a marginally acceptable rate. Some for-profits also prefer to hire instructors with minimal experience, simply to keep the cost of salaries down.

Managing Your Expectations

It may seem that I have painted a very bleak picture of the industry I am in – and that is not my point. What I want to do is to help manage the expectations about teaching online. If you are student now and have little to no teaching experience, and believe you will gain a full-time job earning a six figure income right out of school, you have very unrealistic expectations. If you want to teach online because it sounds easy or reasonably fun, you believe it will provide steady income, or you teach well now in a traditional classroom setting, you will still need to manage and possibly adjust your expectations.

Online teaching requires a significant investment of time if you want to be good at it, and it requires a specialized skill set to teach in a technologically enabling environment. If you want to teach online because you are interested in helping others learn, and you are willing to learn and adapt, you will be more successful if you accept to working without future guarantees. The key to successfully teaching online is to make a commitment to your ongoing professional development and building a resume that demonstrates your interest in and capacity for online teaching.

Strategies to Build a Career

– Continue Your Professional Development: Earning a graduate degree is an important step taken for your career. However, as an educator you know the value of ongoing development and the need to keep your knowledge base current. Your commitment to the field of education means that you need to continuously update your skills and strategies. While some schools have mandatory professional development requirements, you can make it a regular practice. For example, many online associations offer webinars at little or no cost. The point is to stay current in the field of online learning.

– Develop an Engaging Online Presence: If you are an educator you can transform into a Modern Educator. This means you teach online and you can engage with a much clearer academic community online. There are several options available for establishing an online presence. LinkedIn allows you to join professional groups. Twitter is a helpful networking resource that allows you to connect with the global academic group and share resources. Whatever options you choose, be certain to carefully manage your image and be aware of the digital footprint left behind with everything you post.

– Become Published with Articles, a Blog, or E-Books: The traditional route for a college professor is to conduct research and publish articles in scholarly journals. As a Modern Educator my primary focus is publishing work that can immediately reach other educators and students – and I have done this through a blog, online articles, and e-books. I recommend you take the same approach and find a platform to share your knowledge and expertise, whether you offer it for free or you monetize it.

– Develop a Professional CV with Impact: If you are going to apply for online teaching jobs then you should know there will be strong competition. This means your CV will not only represent you, it needs to provide a clear indication that you are highly qualified. Make sure that it is well-edited, well-formatted, well-written, and demonstrates your commitment to the field of online learning through associations, professional development, and sources of your work as a published author.

– Acquire Teaching or Training Experience: There was a time when a master's degree and a little experience was all someone needed to secure an online teaching job. Now that the number of jobs available is in short supply, and the number of applicants as increased, every aspect of your background will count. You will need some experience either in teaching or training so look for opportunities to do this. For example, look for opportunities to teach a class at your local community college. Or sometimes there is a local association that would allow you to conduct training classes. The purpose is to demonstrate that you are capable of teaching adults how to learn.

Demand for Modern Educators

I have worked for a variety of institutions that offer online classes. Some treat their employees well and offer regular classes to teach and others treat their adjuncts as disposable instructors and keep them sidelined until they need them. It is understandable that enrollment numbers are going to fluctuate and so too will be your teaching assignments. However, the lack of consistency and appreciation for good instructors is an ongoing problem for some institutions. I have been competent to work for online schools that value their faculty, including their adjunct instructors. And I worked hard to establish myself as a highly engaged instructor. The point of this is that when you are able to gain an adjunct position you want to make sure that you have the time necessary to meet and exceed the facilitation requirements. If you are provided with an opportunity to take on leadership roles or faculty development, do so as it can help bolster your CV.

Is online teaching a lucrative career? As an adjunct it is possible that over time you will develop more options for your career, especially with ongoing professional development, but you will not always have complete job security or regular benefits. If you are able to secure a full-time teaching position you will likely gain a better degree of job certyty. The best advice I can offer is to develop your interest in online teaching as a career strategy and carefully manage the development of your role as a Modern Educator. With time and professional development you will likely be able to get your break. Just be sure you manage expectations and establish a realistic purpose for this type of work as a career choice.

10 Best UK Sites for Online Tuition

In today's academic climate, there is no time to waste. Parents want access to the best tutors, at the best prices and at times and in locations that suit them and their family's school planner. With the drawbacks associated with receiving private tutors into ones home on weekday evenings and during the holidays, online tuition…

In today's academic climate, there is no time to waste. Parents want access to the best tutors, at the best prices and at times and in locations that suit them and their family's school planner.

With the drawbacks associated with receiving private tutors into ones home on weekday evenings and during the holidays, online tuition has emerged as an unofficially runner for parents overwhelmed with the burden of increasingly busy lifestyles.

Online tuition is fast, efficient, there is no waiting around for tutors stuck in traffic, it is refreshingly affordable and students can take their lessons anywhere in the world, whether that be skiing in the Alps or sun seeking in Dubai. Yes the world has changed and according to flight operators in Emerites, it will not be long before people are able to have lessons aboard their flights too.

So with online tuition gaining more popularity and clearly offering parents flexibility, performance and importantly great savings, we thought we better review our top 5 choices for current UK based agencies offering online tuition.

In no particular order here are our top 10 UK agencies for online tuition.

Owl tutors

Owl tutors is a London based agency that has been operating since 2011. It is the vision of tutor Lawrence Drew, who wanted to provide a service that was both professional and far reaching on a global scale. The agency now boasts pupils in countries as far as Japan, Australia and Brazil.

Hourly rate rate: £ 69.60

Registration and Members fee: Free

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering 21 subjects across 13 different qualification categories.

Pros: Organically grown agency, approachable CEO, offering a wide variety of services including the esteemed STEP Mathematics and a consultancy and assessment package.

Cons: Expensive at £ 70 per hour. That is about 4-5 times the cost of agencies offering a similar service outside London.

Keynote tutors

Keystone tutors is a London based agency that was set up in 2007, by its founder Will Orr-Ewing, to provide quality private tutoring by encouraging students rather than simply providing a crutch for their grades.

Daily rate rate: £ 40 per hour

Registration and Members fee: Free

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering a wide range of subjects (30+) across 5 major school qualifications.

Pros: Tutors must undertake an Oxbridge style interview and asked to commit to the agency for a min of 2 years. Agency has strong ties to Harrow school, for boys taking common entrance.

Cons: Online tuition is charged at the same rate as face to face tuition, which seems to miss the point about online tuition.

Maths Fix

Maths Fix is ​​an online agency providing solely Maths tuition to students in the global market place. It markets itself as a no frills website where students can quickly arrange tuition and receive it anywhere in the world.

Daily rate: £ 35 GCSE & £ 40 A-Level

Registration and Members fee: Free

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering Maths for GCSE and C1-4 and M1 for A-levels.

Pros: A simple website to use and they offer a 48 hour refund for any lesson that is not satisfactory.

Cons: No information about the owners of Mathsfix and company policy means that you can not choose which tutor you are going to get.

First Tutors

First Tutors is a training agency based in Preston. Set up in 2005, it has won a number of awards, has been recommended by 'The Good School Guide' and regularly features in regional and national press releases. It stresses values ​​of choice, affordability and being judged on its merits alone.

Website: http://www.firsttutors.com/uk/

Hourly rate rate: from £ 18 per hour

Introduction fee: £ 5 – £ 20 per new tutor.

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently most subjects across all major UK qualifications.

Pros: Large database of prospective tutors at affordable prices.

Cons: No power to intervene if a student is not happy with the service a tutor is delivering as they do not manage the after relationship after the initial introduction.

Tutortutor

Tutortutor is a Tunbridge Wells based agency that was set up in 2007 by its co-founder Ryder Gourdeaux to provide affordable online tuition using mostly young and erudite graduate and undergraduate tutors from the top UK universities.

Website: http://www.tutortutor.co.uk

Daily rate: £ 15 GCSE & £ 21 A-Level

Registration and Members fee: Free

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering 15 subjects across 7 major school qualification, including STEP Mathematics and first year university exams.

Pros: Affordable online tuition with a mix of experience and youth and one of the few agencies that certainly does not use an intrusive web cam in its virtual classroom.

Cons: Credit can be purchased online at the website, but bookings and resephations still need to be made by email or over the phone.

My Tutor Web

MyTutorWeb is a London based agency that was set up in 2014 by parents frustrated with trying to locate good, affordable and suitable tutors for their children. They use exclusively undergraduates and graduations that have received top grades themselves.

Daily rate: £ 16 GCSE & £ 20 A-Level

Registration and Members fee: Free

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering 30+ subjects across 5 major school qualification, including Further Mathematics and Arabic

Pros: Affordable tuition with wide selection of subjects and levels available.

Cons: The website introduces tutors to pupils, but unlike other agencies does not open offer a refund if a dispute arises. It just says that it will arbitrate if the client is dissatisfied with the service and come to a decision about a course of action to be taken.

Maths Doctor

Maths Doctor is a Brighton based agency that was set up in 2008 by founder Simon Walsh which was acquainted by Macmillan Science and Education in 2012. Maths Doctor looks at the strength and weaknesses of a candidate and tries to match students to their perfect tutor.

Hourly rate rate: £ 25 per hour

Registration and Members fee: Free

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering a wide range of subjects across 5 major school qualification, including Further Mathematics and STEP MATHEMATICS

Pros: Well designed website and large pool of tutors.

Cons: Now that it is part of a corporate identity, its new aggressive advertising campaigns may cause some parents to question the underwriting motivations of this agency.

Adrien Beckett

Adrian Beckett tutors is a London based agency that was set up by its founder Adrian Beckett to help students across 4 major exams: QTS, 11 +, GCSE and A-levels. The agency uses a combination of face to face classes and online tuition

Daily rate: £ 35

Finders fee: £ 40

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering Maths and English across 4 major school qualification, including QTS.

Pros: Tutors go through a rigorous 3 stage selection process to ensure that you will be getting someone that you would like to enter into your home.

School Success

School Success is a Bristol based agency that was set up by its founder Bob Foster to help students in years 7 -11 until their GCSEs. Mr Foster uses a combination of face to face classes and online tuition

Hourly online rate: £ 25

Finders fee: FREE

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering Mathematics and Science through years 7-11 and up to GCSEs.

Pros: Personalized service with care and attention given to each pupil.

Cons: Limited amount of subjects and tutors offered.

Tutorme

TutorMe is an online agency agency that was set up by a passionate team of educational specialists in 2011 with a vision of how teaching could be implemented using modern technology.

Hourly online rate: £ 25

Finders fee: FREE

Subjects and Qualifications: Currently offering most subjects at GCSE level using a large pool of experienced tutors.

Pros: Easy to use website and a clear vision. Offers tuition for university and post graduate level.

Cons: Not available to students in years below the GCSE years.

Can Your Organization Benefit From Mobile Learning? Part 2

A Mobile Workforce: As the 'mobile workforce' becomes the norm rather than the exception, organizations find it hard to provide their employees with successful training. Employees often miss out on classroom training sessions or online training because they are not present at the training location or because they have no internet access. Enter mobile learning.…

A Mobile Workforce: As the 'mobile workforce' becomes the norm rather than the exception, organizations find it hard to provide their employees with successful training. Employees often miss out on classroom training sessions or online training because they are not present at the training location or because they have no internet access. Enter mobile learning. Mobile learning is all about being able to access learning on any mobile device – be it a smartphone, netbook, tablet – and in some cases even on a very basic cellphone.

The problem of low bandwidth and / or no internet connectivity is negated because it is possible to download training in the online mode and viewed at a later time in the offline mode. Tests and assignments can be completed offline and uploaded when the employee has access to the internet.

A Mobile-Savvy Workforce: A majority of today's workforce belongs to gen Y. Accessing information on mobile devices is not rocket science to this generation. The gen Y employee is adept at using the mobile phone and has a history of gleaning information through his personal device. In short, mobile learning makes use of technology that he is familiar with.

It also provides him with instant gratification (another important factor for this gen Y), by providing him with instant access to answers that he seeks outs. Instant and up-to-date knowledge is always available at his fingertips.

A Shortened Attention Span: Apart from being a mobile-savvy workflow, today's workflow sufferers from a shortened attention span. This could be attributed to a variety of reasons. While the reason is not important, it is important that training reaches out to these employees in a way that maximizes retention and keeps its attention alive.

Unlike classroom training and online learning, the courses that are provided via mLearning are short, crisp and concise. Short bits of information are provided to the learner at regular intervals. Because these are small snippets of information, learners are able to absorb this matter and retain the information, then overcoming the problem of a short attention span that is a universal problem among the Gen Y employees. Mobile learning provides just in time learning. This allows employees to access information when they need it – instantly, so they do not have to worry about retaining loads of information all the time.

Low Shelf Life of Information: In the first part of this series, we talked about how information changes at the speed of light. By the time a course is designed, created, approved and rolled out, chances are that it is outdated. In this second part of the series, we look at how mobile learning can make sure learners get up-to-date knowledge all the time, every time.

As mentioned above, the information provided via online learning is short, crisp and concise. Matter can be easily fed in, edited or completely replaced in a short span of time. As a result, keeping courses up to date is quick and easy.

Inconsistency in Training: With organizations going global, employees are dispersed across various locations around the world. Customers too are present globally. How does an organization succeed in successfully providing uniform training to all its employees and customers? Mobile learning. Mobile learning can take care of all the problems that organizations face with a globally dispersed classroom, the inconsistencies caused by different trainers, lack of trainers, etc.

While consistent training is necessary, it is also necessary to keep in mind that content has to be localized to some extent to meet the needs of various regions. Localization and translation of courses that are provided via mobile learning is easier to do via this method of training than via online courses.

A very few organizations recognize and address these training challenges that organizations and employees face.

Effective Use of Simulations in Custom Elearning Development – How, and When?

Online learning solutions have to take into account that corporate audiences are now tech-savvy and want their learning to be also aligned to the technology that they access everyday. That is why traditional custom e-learning courses have to deliver more than just information which is electronically available. Interactivity and motivation for learners are thus high…

Online learning solutions have to take into account that corporate audiences are now tech-savvy and want their learning to be also aligned to the technology that they access everyday. That is why traditional custom e-learning courses have to deliver more than just information which is electronically available. Interactivity and motivation for learners are thus high priority in the e-learning industry.

It is a fact that we gather and process information using our senses but it is through 'doing' that we actually learn. Simulation-based e-learning a mode of training can provide the learners an opportunity to 'do' in the virtual world. But e-learning developers are often unsure about how and when to create simulations for learning. We share a few examples to show Simulations can be utilized to create impactful learning solutions:

  • To create a training module on Software or process trainings, simulations can be very useful. Learners can learn about different features of the software or process through a simulation. They can try out the workings and change or tweak responses if they get it wrong- giving them an opportunity to practice their skills as well as learn from their mistakes. Different levels of interactivity can be built in to provide more excitation as well as increase the proficiency of the learners as per the demand of their work.
  • Simulations can also provide the learners with scenarios and encourage them to intervene to determine the further course of action. This increases their critical thinking skills. Each decision is crucial for getting to the final income and through multiple tries the learners observe the consequences of their actions. These simulation creases the cognitive skills too – as the learners are forced to think about a situation and are accountable for the consequences. This is how it happens in real life as well – so the learning truly its home! The learners listen, view or read about a scenario, often describing a conflict among individuals. Even when the learner chooses his or her own path and is responsible for the final outcome, it is important to stress that even the undesired consequences are not 'wrong'. The consequences of these to provide a learning opportunity.
  • Microworlds can also be created to present the learners with a virtual representation of a real environment. Simulations within the microworld provide learners the opportunity to physically interact with the elements of the virtual environment and learn from their experiences. Through 3D environment the virtual world can be made to look real and life-like. Interactivities within this world like 'click and drop' or 'placing' objects can build physical as well as cognitive skills. In addition it also builds the confidence of the learners. Although the virtual world might be initially unfamiliar for the learners, they are able to quickly adapt to the training. The worth of practical expertise the simulations provide the 'push' that they need for learning through a virtual learning space.

Simulations are extremely successful in the world of corporate training and are now being utilized to cater to the training needs of a variety of learners with diverse learning needs.

Trends In Educational Website Design

The need for every school, college, and university to have a professionally designed website is ever-growing. Even when it comes to educational websites, first impressions count. Since these can often be the primary point of interaction for increasingly tech-savvy students, website experience is more important than ever. Surveys indicate that it can even make or…

The need for every school, college, and university to have a professionally designed website is ever-growing. Even when it comes to educational websites, first impressions count. Since these can often be the primary point of interaction for increasingly tech-savvy students, website experience is more important than ever. Surveys indicate that it can even make or break a prospective student's consideration of a school!

A well-designed website can help attract more attention to any educational institution, and be an important part of its brand building efforts. Of course, it must also provide all special features and functionality to facilitate the interaction between students, parents, applicants, alumni and donors. There is, additionally, a trend of segmentation of the information to better cater to the needs of different categories of visitors.

Traditionally, educational institutions use three main colors: blue, black and white. The newest trends in educational website design made use of brighter colors like orange, red, or yellow as well, at least in some sections of the website. These are still used scarcely, primarily in order to make certain parts stand out. Bright colors are best suited for kindergartens, art schools, dance academies, and the like.

Content is more important than ever: it has to both engage the visitors, and attract the search engines in order to increase the visibility of the educational institution. The use of “brand stories” – feature articles and news, reflecting the brand promise – is a strong trend among educational websites.

Social media activities and video content on one hand, and responsive design elements and optimization for mobile on the other hand, must be part of any website these days. There is a trend of big images everywhere, and educational websites have not stayed immune to that trend yet. When it comes to educational institutions, it seems that they are moving away from standard photo galleries and to a 360 degree view presentation covering the entire infrastructure. The use of interactive elements is also trending.

An educational website must have a strong call-to-action: most likely, the goal of an educational website is for a visitor to visit the institution. That goal must be supported with the ease and intuitiveness of using the website's navigation and internal search, in order to reduce bounce rates as much as possible. Of course, the exact design and structure of any educational website is determined in the first place by the level of that educational institution and its main purpose.

Online Students and Course Outcomes: Responsibility and Accountability

There is no question that the work of an online student can be challenging at times. There are deadlines to meet and expectations that must be accomplished in a manner that may or may not be easy to do. Part of the challenge is trying to determine what each instructor expects and that can feel…

There is no question that the work of an online student can be challenging at times. There are deadlines to meet and expectations that must be accomplished in a manner that may or may not be easy to do. Part of the challenge is trying to determine what each instructor expects and that can feel frustrating at times. As the class progresses students know where they stand with regard to their cumulative grade, and by the end of class the final outcome of their work is reflected in the course grade.

This perspective of how the class is conducted, and the manner in which grades are determined, is not entirely correct and the reason why many students are unhappy with the final course outcome. Students should understand what it means to be involved in the learning process and that the grade they receive is the grade they have earned. Grades are not assigned without justification and students are responsible for the received receipt. What needs to be established for each and every student is an understanding and acceptance that they are accountable for every aspect of their performance in class.

Expectations: Realistic, Unrealistic

When students are new to a college environment they have an expectation about the learning process based upon their mandatory education that began in elementary school. This condition them to a belief that learning occurs in one manner and therefore it takes time to change that view, especially since traditional college classes are still instructor-led. When students first start a college course their perception meets the reality of an environment that is different and students must learn to adapt or they will struggle through that class. With online learning the classroom does not feel “real” at first and this too takes time to become acclimated to it.

What can be even more challenging are the expectations that students often hold or what they expect to receive as a result of their involvement in the learning process. Some students expect that hard work serves a good grade. Some students expect that if they earn an “A” in a prior class, then that should be the same out in this new class. Another expectation for some students involves the way they write. If they have never been challenged to write differently, then they wonder why they should change now just because one instructor indicates that they should. The problem with many expectations like this is that it gets in the way of learning, leads to a mindset that becomes inflexible, and can cause them to develop a negative attitude towards their instructor.

The Process of Learning

While going to school can be challenging, ask yourself this question: is not that the point of learning? You decided to go to college because you want to acquire knowledge – perhaps for a specific job or career. This means you do not currently possess the knowledge or skills that you need. The next question is this: how can you learn if you are not challenged in some way? If you were given discussion questions to answer, how else could an instructor interact with you and guide the development of your thoughts about a topic? The same is true for written assignments – that is your opportunity to share what you know and demonstrate your ability to use skills that include critical thinking and proper academic writing. You do not start a degree program in the same place you will end. You will be transformed as you acquire knowledge, develop various academic skills, and achieve completion of your goals. To learn is to be directly involved in a productive and meaningful manner.

What Your Instructors Expect

The first expectation your instructors hold is that their students want to be involved and engaged in their classes, and willing to be responsible for their performance in class. This is not what students always believe about themselves though. Students may wait until they can determine what their instructor is like before they become fully involved. There is a belief by some that each instructor makes up their own class, which includes the rules, standards, policies, and procedures – and in reality that is rarely the case. Online instructors usually work with a pre-built course and policies that they can not change. What will vary among instructors is their teaching style. Many instructors will be very detailed in their involvement with the class and the feedback provided, and others not so much. Regardless of the level of engagement by the instructor, students are expected (as a general rule) to think for themselves, be responsible for meeting the requirements and deadlines, and take full acceptance of (or be held accountable for) the situations received through the class. Every student is fully responsible for their grade whether or not they are happy with it.

Develop a Mindset of Responsibility

# 1. Know the Rules, Read the Guidelines – Are you familiar with the saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”? The same applies for your work as a student. Visit the school website and read everything you can find out about student responsibilities, which typically includes a code of conduct. When you are in your class, read the course syllabus and everything posted by your instructor so that you are informed.

# 2. Ask Questions Any Time You Are Unsure – Do not make assumptions about what is expected of you as a student. If you are certain or feel that you are unclear, now is the time to ask questions. You do not want to wait until the end of class to ask your instructor for clarification. Waiting to seek assistance and cause you to experience unnecessary anxiety or negative feelings because it may mean you have to re-adjust your beliefs and personal productivity habits.

# 3. Read and Re-Read All of the Feedback Received – Instructors spend a significant amount of time developing feedback and for those who are very detailed in their approach they invest even more time – and it is all done for your benefit and focused on your developmental needs . Their evaluation of your work can help you to transform and grow as a student. It is one resource you need to always take advantage of in every class you take.

# 4. Make the Time to Do Your Very Best – If you want to wait until the last minute to work on an assignment, what do you believe the income will be? It will likely be different than the arrival received for an assignment that was carefully planned for and worked on in advance. You can not perform at your peak if you are in a hurry and unable to pay attention to the details. By the end of the course, your grade will be a direct reflection of the time and effort you have put into your class.

# 5. Keep Your Attitude in Check – If you receive feedback or a grade you did not expect, what do you do? Do you approach your instructor and demand a better outcome or express your disappointment in an aggressive manner? The answer is no because it does not serve you well. Instead, approach your instructor with an attitude you want to learn, and ask questions that are relevant to what you can do to improve your performance. Your attitude can either help to establish a productive working relationship or it can get in the way – and you are in control of it.

Holding Yourself Accountable

Being a responsible student is a fairly easy concept for most students to understand, even though they may expect of latitude based upon their personal circumstances and situation. But it is accountability that is even more challenging to accept as a student. I've worked with students who often believe that grades “happen” to them, which means they have little control about the outcome. This is a misconception based upon a lack of awareness about being held accountable for every work product (discussion questions and written assignments) posted or submitted. Another misconception is that students can speak to their instructor in any way and without any consequences. Once again, students are accountable for all of their actions and those actions produce outcomes.

Students must decide early on that they accept their results whether or not it was to their liking – and regardless of how they feel about their instructor. The best possible approach is to maintain an attitude of responsibility and work with your instructor to achieve the best possible exit. That places you in a position of control. You are always in control but you give away your power when you decide to feel helpless and unwilling to change. The process of learning can be very enjoyable and rewarding even when it stretches you beyond your current comfort level. Enjoy that uneasy feeling because it is only a temporary indicator of change. As you develop new skills and acquire new knowledge you will discover you are capable of completing any goal that you set for yourself. Learning requires you to be responsible for your performance and held accountable for the results or outcomes.

Points to Be Considered While Implementing Online Training Software Within an Organization

Learning Management Systems are now part of all organizations that take training and learning seriously. The success of a LMS in an organization depends on groups of learners within an organization find worth in it. However, there is yet another factor that affects the popularity of a it- how well it is marketed among the…

Learning Management Systems are now part of all organizations that take training and learning seriously. The success of a LMS in an organization depends on groups of learners within an organization find worth in it. However, there is yet another factor that affects the popularity of a it- how well it is marketed among the target audiences. There are many ways to achieve the same:

  • Even if setting up the LMS and creating relevant content takes up reasonable time and budgets, the job in not complete toill invest some more in educating the training learners. These trainings should include sessions on the working of the learning software and the ways that they can best extract learning out of it. Training sessions and workshops can be held to train managers as well as learners on the workings of the software. Key features of the LMS can be pointed out in these sessions and the learners can be encouraged to try them out.
  • A support-line can be put up for learners to get quick assistance in the early days of using the LMS. The learners can call up to register their problem and he turn-around time of the response should be within a pre-determined and agreed upon limit
  • As long as learners perceive that the learning will beneficial to the needs of their job, learning to work a new system like a training training program will not be an unwanted task. Showing the benefits of the online training software is so very important for its success. Explain how by increased flow of information, the learners will now be able to access pertinent training material – as per their convenience. They will be free to choose their pace and refresh learning anytime they deem fit. This increased knowledge transfer will improve their work standards.

Highlight that learning efforts will be best recognized by insightful reports churned by the system.

  • Managers and department heads across the organization should consistently uphold the idea of ​​the new learning software and the benefits of technology-aide learning on the whole. This will encourage other learners to change their archaic attitudes towards e-learning and open their minds up to its vast possibilities. Over time, with the occupied efforts of the managers and department heads, the entire organization will have a changed view of approaching modern learning platforms and thus have better access to impactful learning.
  • By instilling a sense of competition the Learning Management System can be introduces as a part of a game. Here could be levels of learning, which the learners achieve by completing a certain number of courses. Learners can earn a badge or collect rewards. Or they can collect rewards – and exchange them for actual prizes. By running contests or pitting one department with another, we can increase the level of competition and secure a greater acceptance of the new system.
  • Interactive dashboards can be utilized to display the departments which have the highest learning uptake or even individual learners who have earned the highest number of badges or rewards. This provides the necessary push to learning and the learners feel greatly encouraged to try out different features of the Learning Management System – consume more and learn more. By making achievements public, the high performing learners get their due recognition. Their peers are also suitably encouraged to try better and aspire for the same recognition.
  • Other ways of sharing achievements is through the organization blog, website, intranet or even a special achievement logo on the learners official mail signature.

It is to the best interest of organizations who want their learning endeavors to be successful to have appropriate marketing strategies for selling an LMS. If this job is done well, the success of online training software is assured.

Create Interactive E-Learning With The Best Tools

To meet the increasing requirements of learning and training, it becomes important that companies should get the best eLearning development tools, so that the huge time taken for organizing such sessions can be great reduced. With a view to save on the cost and time, nowdays, rapid authoring systems are available and these are created…

To meet the increasing requirements of learning and training, it becomes important that companies should get the best eLearning development tools, so that the huge time taken for organizing such sessions can be great reduced. With a view to save on the cost and time, nowdays, rapid authoring systems are available and these are created by developers, who look to provide the best and customized eLearning solutions. After its introduction, this is turning out to be a trend among organizations these days. Not only quality products like Lectora eLearning development and articulate storyline development, there are professional companies, who are ready to provide customized e-learning tools for businesses seeking their help. The great thing about these two systems is that they act as the best authoring tools, and so they will be of great help to developers in creating the best e-learning solutions. When rapid authoring tools are chosen, here are the benefits the organizations can get:

The biggest benefit is that a lot of the time, training budget and effort can be saved when this type of system is used. With these tools, it will be possible to create eLeraning solutions for different platforms and cross-platform functionalities work for all popular delivery devices like tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktop computers. Even users can get access to their studying tools easily and conveniently at their favorite time and from anywhere. So, both the developers and the users will enjoy a win-to-win situation when the best systems like Lectora eLearning development is used.

Also, those created with these tools will be ready for web delivery. Even, they can be accessed through popular mobile browsers, so people interested in learning on the go can be benefited. To provide greater interactivity and appeal, it now supports HTML 5.

With such a system, the online courses will automatically fit as per the screen resolution of the users. Without any additional coding or changes, features like navigation buttons, volume on / off, menu, seekbar and shell features are supported.

Also, those developed with systems like articulate storyline development are lightweight. So, they will not require much bandwidth and disk space on the device of the learners and so they can enjoy hassle free access to the courses online.

It will be possible for developers to develop many inter-activities without any extra efforts on their part. In addition, the current materials like graphics, images and content can be used as they are.

So, it becomes important for businesses and institutions which look for such tools to carefully choose a development company, who can provide the best solution.

How To Enhance The Career In BSB51107 Diploma Of Management

Education is the key to a better life, especially for those who love their careers. A career in management is one of the most popular and many people, therefore go for courses that are related to management. BSB51107 Diploma Of Management is one of the most popular when it comes to management. This is a…

Education is the key to a better life, especially for those who love their careers. A career in management is one of the most popular and many people, therefore go for courses that are related to management. BSB51107 Diploma Of Management is one of the most popular when it comes to management. This is a qualification which reviews management practices as far as adding value to the work is concerned. It could be a role that is played in any given organization or industry.

The individuals in such roles will usually have lots of experience within their respective voluntary areas or industries. They are successful by combining informed work perspective with managerial approaches that are excellent. This means, therefore that the diploma or qualification requires managerial competency and sound theoretical knowledge to plan and carry out as well as evaluate the work at an individual level or for a team.

The Course

The BSB51107 Diploma Of Management enhances your career in management by providing vital knowledge and understanding of organization, communication, marketing and management concepts. This makes the practices and the discipline of management training very exciting challenges, offering fresh opportunities, even for existing managers or supervisors from different backgrounds. The course is aimed at develop knowledge, management skills through the utilization of solid practices and the use of the logical approach method especially in defining and also achieving objectives.

This course also engenders an approach that is holistic to management discipline roles within an industry, business and also the society. It promotes ability to identify factors impacting on the success of management. It is suited for a range of professions as an effective management strategy, presenting exciting challenges for individuals who are ambitious. The key areas that are studied include value management, people management, risk management and decision making. It can be undertaken by those with existing careers to enhance their skills or for those seeking exciting career opportunities. It can also be taken as preparation for an anticipated transfer from one sector to the other.

Requirements and Job Roles

Fortunately, there are no prerequisites for entry into the qualification. It means, therefore that anyone interested in becoming a manager will find the diploma ideal. The possible and relevant qualification under the qualification is manager. The job roles and titles can, however vary from one sector to another.

What you will learn

The course is extensive, but some of the things that you will learn under this course include:

  • How to adopt communication guidelines effective, especially when handling important conversations for positive outcomes
  • How to apply communication tools that are key which helps in dealing with different kinds of situations
  • Develop credibility and ability to recognize behavioral styles which are key. You will gain the insight on how to use skills that are influencing in challenging situations
  • Develop emotional intelligence that is heightened so that you can easily deal with challenges that can arise in a working team. You will get to know about leadership in terms of when to direct, coach, support or even delegate

Self-Paced Online Revit Training: An Ideal Method for Diverse Learners

It is paramount for students pursuing formal courses in architecture, interior design, and construction engineering to stay relevant to the current workflows used by reputed AEC firms worldwide. The future work must be proficient in the traditional AutoCAD-based processes as well as the modern BIM-based workflows for design development and construction documentation to stay in…

It is paramount for students pursuing formal courses in architecture, interior design, and construction engineering to stay relevant to the current workflows used by reputed AEC firms worldwide. The future work must be proficient in the traditional AutoCAD-based processes as well as the modern BIM-based workflows for design development and construction documentation to stay in line with several well-known AEC firms that are adopting both the approaches in parallel. Given that Revit is gaining ground as a preferred tool to implement BIM, enrolling for Autodesk Revit online training courses is one of the many methods students can leverage to learn the key elements involved in the modern parametric approach.

Whilst fulfilling the theoretical and project requirements of their relevant curriculum is essential, keeping oneself updated about the widely accepted modern professional practices is equally imperative in this excessively competitive marketplace. Due to their asynchronous nature compared to other methods, such as classroom training or on-site training, online training conducted by Autodesk-certified institutes is immensely popular among several educational institutions, universities and large multilateral organizations. Neverheless, Autodesk Revit online training courses are ideal for the following groups of learners:

1. Novices Looking to Join the AEC Workforce
Online training in Revit benefits individuals who are just starting out in the field of building design and construction documentation. By successfully completing these courses, they build a strong foundation in elementary yet important skills required to work in a 3D parametric environment. These include knowing about Revit elements and families; exploiting different 2D / 3D views and object visibility; project setting up; importing external files; interlinking and coordinating different Revit files; using annotations and dimensions; adding and removing sources; and design development, among other aspects.

2. Users Proficient with AutoCAD Looking to Upgrade to Modern Approaches
For users who have spent years drafting in AutoCAD, learning Revit, or the concept of BIM as a whole, can be intimidating due to the vast difference in the approach to detailed design development and construction documentation that each tool uses. As a result, classroom training or on-site training is not always sufficient for this set of users to get them prepared to get used to the new mindset of collaboratively working on same files with other project stakeholders. Autodesk Revit online training courses help them understand the concept of workshop and project linking and gradually get to grips with the modern approach wherein any document ranging from a section drawing to a 3D perspective view can be extracted from the same model.

3. Individuals Looking to Gain Professional Certification
Online Revit courses can also help individuals who already have mid-level proficiency in Revit to gain advanced know-how and apply for industry-reputed Autodesk certification. Given that such certificates are a living proof of your proficiency in Revit, users gain tremendous credibility in industry circles. Individuals can gain strengthen their knowledge in aspects, including monitoring linked projects; developing advanced components by modifying stock families; working with phase-based design; and creating photorealistic renderings.

What to Do When Online Teaching Becomes Challenging

Every educator and every student that teachers or takes an online class knows that it is not always an easy process and there are certain to be challenges along the way. From technology issues to time management, dealing with the basics requires a concentrated effort to complete what is required – and perform according to…

Every educator and every student that teachers or takes an online class knows that it is not always an easy process and there are certain to be challenges along the way. From technology issues to time management, dealing with the basics requires a concentrated effort to complete what is required – and perform according to the required expectations. And then there are times when the challenge of online learning goes beyond managing the requirements. For online educators it may involve addressing uncooperative students, students who do not review their feedback and are unreceptive to constructive criticism, and students who fail to communicate in a respectful tone. These are the issues that demand extra time and attention, and are often associated with feelings of frustration.

With an online class there are a wide variety of students so it is not possible to know how to facilitate a class in a manner that everyone is fully engaged and performing their very best. However, there are strategies you can use when situations arise that involve more than your typical instructional duties. But first it is important to understand both the perspective of the instructor and their students, and why online classes becomes challenging. There has been an influx in the number of people who are interested in teaching online, especially those that are graduating from degree programs that specialize in teaching with technology, so it is important to understand what to do when a class or a student does not perform as expected.

An Online Instructor's Workload

A majority of online classes are taught by adjunct instructors. That means those who are teaching most of these classes are maintaining other responsibilities, just like their students. And similar to their students, they have a specific amount of time devoted for involvement in their classes. When they are online and working there are specific tasks that must be accomplished. Every instructor hopes that students will be highly motivated, fully present when they are in class, and have a mindset that is open for learning. But as instructors know, it is not always that way. Whenever a student issue does arise it can take up valuable time and cause some other duties to be pushed back. What can save time is the development of a proactive plan for completing the required duties and establishing productive work habits. However, even with the best plans in place some students can be unpredictable and that is when an instructor and their facilitation methods are challenged.

The Online Student's Perspective

Students usually begin their classes from a positive perspective because it represents a fresh start. They hope that their new class is interesting and their new instructor is either the same as the last class, or different if their exit was not what they had expected. That underscores the reason why challenges arise – students have an expectation about their involvement in the learning process and believe that instructors must conform to it. As students work on the required tasks they will utilize the same work habits from the last class and continue to perform in their most current pattern of productivity. If students are open to feedback and constructive criticism, that work method and approach to formulating their posts and papers will be in flux – adapting when needed as a means of self-improvement. However, for those students who hold a belief that they know best how to perform, they are likely to feel challenged by anything their instructors have to say. How those students respond determines their involvement in class as it progresses, and they always have a choice – maintain appropriate control of their classroom behavior or become uncooperative.

How Online Classes Become Challenging

Online classes are inherently challenging for instructors because there is no visual and verbal connection. They must maintain a highly engaged presence if they are able to keep the class on track. Then there is the challenge of reading students' discussion question posts and developing substantive responses. Feedback is another demanding requirement that is directly aligned to students' progress and developmental needs. But those challenges are the same for every class and over time instructors to learn how to address them in an effective manner. But student issues are the challenges that become more difficult to address and resolve. It is very easy for a student to hide behind anonymity and believe they are free to say whatever they like.

It seems there is a growing trend among students – those who do not have a filter on their communication and become aggressive, hostile, uncooperative, and defensive. There was a time when a non-responsive student was my biggest challenge as an online educator. Now I find there are students who have no problem expressing their feelings in an unprofessional manner. I'm still surprised when that happens because I reflect upon the time when I was an online student (not that long ago) and I could not imagine speaking to an instructor in an unprofessional manner. But it sees that some students will establish their belief and expectation about learning and refused to change. It is a situation like this that requires a pre-planned strategy.

Strategies to Use When You Are Challenged

# 1. Unresponsive Students: If you are paying attention to your class and monitoring students' progress, you know when to intervene when you observe a student who is off track. You hope that with supportive outreach attempts you can get them back on the right course. But if they do not respond, what do you do? The answer is to not give up and encourage them to contact you through every option that you will allow or have established – including a phone call.

# 2. Uncooperative Students: This is the student who will not complain with any request that you have made. It does not matter how small or significant the request was, you had a reason for making it. If the student is uncooperative the best approach is to send a message to them and ask for a reply. In addition, ask for contact and express your interest in their development and progress in class. The purpose is to neutralize any emotions that may arise by you or your students.

# 3. Disengaged Students: This is the student who is falling off the radar, who is not showing up for discussions, and / or may not be completing their assignments. The best approach for this type of student is to maintain outreach contact attempts until they respond in some manner. The purpose of these outreach attempts is to show them that they are valued and you want to assist them.

# 4. Closed-Minded Students: This is the student who does not see the need to change and will not read or utilize the feedback provided in any form. One approach that you can take is to be very specific in the feedback provided and never change in your approach to using that method of feedback. Within that feedback you can ask questions and encourage a dialogue with them. Try to establish a connection so that they ever come to realize that the feedback provided is personalized and meant to help them.

# 5. Students with Unprofessional Communication: This is the student who can not interact with you without resorting to communication that is unproductive. It may involve a long string of back-and-forth emails as the student tries to win their point of view. What to do in this situation begins with a response that demonstrates a caring attitude and willingness to assist them. Offer a phone conversation so that a connection can be made without the use of email. If they refuse to contact you and continue with their inappropriate communication, remind them of the student code of conduct. You should also follow any protocol in place for contacting other individuals at your school as needed.

Maintain Standards of Excellence

This is the most important aspect of online teaching – instructors who maintain excellence in their style of facilitation, their interactions with students, and their expectations of students. As an instructor you can hold an expectation that students will provide substantive work, be willing to learn, and also meet the standards that have been established by the school. To accomplish this goal you must do more than facilitate a class and check off each requirement, you must also be open to creating conditions that are conducive to learning. And just as you expect of your students, you must be willing to receive constructive feedback and adapt your instructional methods as needed. When you have students who are challenging, even when you have done your best to create optimal class conditions, you must be prepared to address it quickly and in a receptive manner.

A challenging student is an indicator of a connection that was never fully established or has now been disrupted. And it does not matter that you have put in extra effort before with them or the class, you must do so now even more than ever. Every action you take must be done with the intent of establishing a new or renewed connection. This is not about what students will state on their end-of-course evaluations, it is about reaching out and getting through to a student who is stuck, withdrawn, or unable to be involved in the learning process with an open mind. It is up to you to demonstrate your willingness to support their progress. Will it always work? Probably not; however, if you have done your part and offered to assist them you will either see a gradual change or they will remain stuck and continue to struggle. No matter what, never give up your coaching attempts – even with the most challenging students.