There’s a common fear from the teachers and trainers to move from traditional learning to any form that implicates online learning.
First thing we have to understand is that the transition is not dramatic at all, and doesn’t really imply a change of paradigm. Whoever is a good teacher when the learners are in front will also be a good teacher when they’re learning across a screen. Whoever is a terrible teacher will still have problems transferring knowledge to its learners. E-learning is not going to change that.
E-learning will, however, give you a huge set of tools to publish, author and distribute your content, homework, exercises and media to your learners in the most convenient ways.
Activity 1: Ask the classroom: Do they usually engage their students with any learning environment? How?
The advantages of e-learning under a blended learning approach comes in its versatility. Traditionally you would create a lesson and teach it in your classroom. Sometimes you’d even share it with your learners to take it at home. In e-learning you do the same. But in e-learning you can complement this lesson with other resources: you can create a self-assessment quiz for the learner to evaluate their own knowledge, you can design the lesson as a branching game/serious game with ramifications and multiple paths, you can deliver the lesson as a video or a podcast or even as a videogame, you can deliver the lesson as a focus group through a communication tool (i.e. a forum). You have a plethora of tools to use and it’s up to you to deliver the course in the most dynamic way you think will be beneficial for your learners.
It’s an error to have an e-learning platform available and use it only to store files and links as if it were just a Dropbox folder. Maximize the use of activities, gamify your course through badges, user levels and points and engage your learners with collaborative tools. But do not fill your course with PDF and PowerPoint files and links to other websites. E-learning platforms have their own internal tools to create lessons, use them.