Distance education has been around for quite some time, with “correspondence” education eventually being surpassed by elearning and blended learning.
Since the introduction of technology, delivering distance learning courses has been available to anyone, but how can you get started?
Most elearning courses are now delivered via specialist LMS systems (Learning management systems). These systems allow educators to design and deliver courses using a combination of elements such as video lessons, downloadable resources, quizzes and assessments.
Platforms can be free or paid for on a subscription basis. Popular platforms include Moodle and Adobe Captivate..
A simpler way to start could be offering standard classes via video conferencing platforms such as Skype or Facebook Live. Facebook Live or Webinar software allow comments during the broadcast so could offer more interactivity than a standard video conferencing call.
One of the key challenges of delivering elearning is keeping students and learners engaged. Students learning remotely will be around distractions that are not present in the classroom. Making the classes interactive is key to keeping engagement levels high.
Another challenge faced by students working in isolation can be the lack of communication with other learners. Setting up forums or social media groups can be a good way of ensuring that learners can communicate and keep a sense of community.
This can be done using technology that most students have in their pockets such as WhatsApp group messaging or private Facebook groups.