Tuning into our Students’ Learning Needs
Stephanie White, PsyD, PhD, LCSW, DCSW
Learning encompasses a variety of strategic mechanisms that allow for course facilitators to truly take the opportunity to make each online course a unique experience for students. If you think about it, instructors have the capacity to offer invaluable ways to not just teach, but deliver and communicate new energy and information to those eager to learn and apply the information. This is not just for those that attend face to face on ground courses, but for those living in the 'virtual' world of academia.
It is not just about opening a PowerPoint Presentation, or clicking on the electronic resources in the course syllabus, but, being able to make the content required for reading appealing. It may be as simple as a step by step video for the novice student, which could help to allay angst and reduce frustration in the virtual world. It is also about the instructor taking the initiative to share and involve students on using the resources and learning tools parlayed to make the experience fun! Empowering students goes a long way! Sometimes, it can mean going above and beyond to bring life and atmosphere to the classroom and to make these resources available to students. If instructors are opt to having them use these fun tools for assignments, students are likely to engage in the practice. For example, sharing extraordinary ways to demonstrate course content in a simple format through video or animated fashion touching on the various learning styles utilized, even preferred by students can be shared and snowball rather quickly. Doing so also helps to increase virtual interaction and engagement in the online classroom.
Students that see their instructors engage in use of helpful resources and best practices are more likely to adopt and engage in such practices when energy is focused on empowerment and engagement of strengths we have and can enhance.