Matt Gervais is a Project Coordinator at MRCC. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Westfield State University and is an experienced editor, writer, reporter, and blogger. Outside of work, Matt enjoys cooking, craft beer, and listening to music.
Emily Labrie is a Project Coordinator at MRCC. Emily holds a Bachelor’s in English, which was perpetuated by her insatiable love of reading. In addition, Emily has a unnatural knack for creating spreadsheets and enjoys seeing Broadway musicals, watching movies and TV shows, and doting on her cats Poe, Ella, and Watson — named as result of being a mega bookworm.
Changing teachers’ responsibilities is the key to encouraging student participation in online learning. The teacher’s role should be one of a mentor who possesses excellent presentation skills, is tech savvy, and is equipped with subject matter expertise. Teachers need to respond effectively to students’ queries during and after online sessions and juggle multiple tasks efficiently. Also, the importance of asynchronous learning and peer-to-peer interactions cannot be underestimated. Asynchronous learning environments will encourage reflective thinking and self-directed learning.
Students, on the other hand, need to change their mindsets and adapt self-learning disciplines to cope with changing education demands. Indulging in peer interactions, identifying tricks for quick and relevant searches, building lateral connections with industry mentors, and designing self-study plans are the traits of the motivated learner who will change educational policy in coming years.
In parallel with teachers’ and students’ endeavors, universities need to empower flexibility in scheduling courses and exams, designing efficient curricula, and defining policy advocacy to prepare themselves for 21st-century education challenges and expectations.
Online Education Going Social
In order for students to maintain a classroom feel in an online setting, the role of social media may play a part. A well-defined social media strategy can accelerate the level of student involvement in online programs and courses. There is an intrinsic need for online education to go social in order to build an online learning paradigm.
Social media allows students to align with emerging trends, network with academic communities, gain valuable advice from education industry leaders, and participate in enlightening debates and discussions. It can prove to be an important factor in renovating online education. Social media makes it simple for teachers to share information with students as an extension of a classroom lecture in the form of videos, PowerPoints, audio files, and embedded links to other resources. It boosts student participation by creating interactive lessons through forum discussions, Wikipedia-style collaboration, live chats, feedback sessions, online assessments, and other similar mutual platforms.
Keeping in mind the needs of a contemporary student who is passionate about social media and believes in digital interaction, online education providers need to consider social media a boon. Social media not only facilitates education effectively, but also inculcates the habit of teamwork, reflective thinking, and self-directed learning in the student.
How to Design Online Courses for Individual Educators
The challenges of eLearning providers, management institutions, and universities are mounting with the growing demand of quality online education. There is an intrinsic need to define a course development process that integrates quality assurance measures across all online courses.
In a typical traditional process, a faculty member designs the course without consulting with instructional designers, assessment experts, multimedia designers, software engineers, or programmers. This process is inadequate, as many aspects of instructional design and software implementation can be overlooked. The collaborative development model can overcome these breaches. In the collaborative development model, the team meets on a regular basis and has the opportunity to broaden their knowledge base through frequent information exchanges.
While implementing this model, additional faculty members should be trained as course developers and online instructors. More instructional designers should work in collaboration with course developers and design experts. Such group effort will ensure smooth functioning between instructional designers, subject matter experts, and multimedia and course developers. It avoids the gaps of insufficient instructional design, poor course quality, and course delivery delays.
Additionally, the concurrent course revision framework that enables the production team to efficiently measure the effectiveness of process framework needs to be incorporated. Flexible framework will make it possible to adapt to changes in technology, support scalability, and meet users’ ever-changing demands.
An online course designed with such a collaborative approach encourages contact between student and teacher, develops mutuality and cooperation, uses active learning techniques, gives prompt feedback, communicates expectations, and complements diverse talents and ways of learning.
Defining a more streamlined course development approach is all about realigning the development steps involved in planning, design and development, and course delivery with the collaboration mindset. In pursuit of an improved process, we have to build the efficient culture and implement these best practices.
Infographic: Personalized Course Development Techniques
This infographic illustrates various instructional design models. These approaches create more meaningful instructional experiences, which make the acquisition of knowledge more efficient, effective, and appealing. Kolb’s Learning Style, Gagne’s 9 Events, McCarthy’s 8 instructional events, the ADDIE model, and Prensky’s approach are pictorially depicted. These models facilitate a more experimental and meaningful learning environment.
Share your views about ways to enhance student participation in online learning. How do you think social media is changing the way students learn? Got any suggestion for an instructional design infographic you would like to see? Please leave your comments.
Arti Rajesh is QA Lead at MRCC. She blogs at http://endlessnetworking.blogspot.in/ and you can find her on Twitter at @arti_rajesh. This blog entry was originally published on endlessnetworking on April 3rd, 2013.
M&R Consultants Corporation (MRCC) of Billerica, MA recently acquired 75 percent of TechForza Corporation shares for an undisclosed amount to bolster its Oracle service offerings. This acquisition also expands MRCC geographical presence into both southern California and Chennai, India. “TechForza’s addition to MRCC will fuel its already rampant growth,” says Anil Shah, MRCC’s President/CEO.
MRCC has been providing its customers with a variety of software services since 1996 and has become one of the world’s largest custom eLearning courseware producers for all disciplines in corporate, K-12, and Higher education. TechForza, having been in business for more than 10 years with a solid portfolio and strong client base, completes MRCC’s database service offerings. With ERP software companies foraying into the Talent Management business with the acquisition of Taleo by Oracle, MRCC’s services around eLearning development and Talent Management products will allow for a complete solution.
MRCC is looking for new acquisitions in the coming year to aid their growth and to add members to its already strong technology team. MRCC is well prepared to tackle this unpredictable market with multi-directional growth in software, information technology and infrastructure, data warehousing, Oracle professional services and eLearning solutions.