The problem with teaching a large group of people in a classroom or boardroom setting is that it’s hard for instructors to give individual attention. Some students or employees might require a more hands-on approach compared to others, but if there are dozens or even hundreds of people to deal with, personal instruction becomes a near impossibility.
However, with Learning Management Systems (or LMSs), trainees can learn at their own pace. They can learn what they need to know in a timely manner and upgrade their knowledge and skills.
Moreover, LMSs often have discussion forums built right into them. Trainees can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of discussions taking place if the forums aren’t managed well, but by putting some general guidelines in place, you can reduce unnecessary off-topic discussions and encourage trainees to connect in meaningful ways.
There are a variety of different ways to socialize your courses. Here are some tips and ideas on how you can boost the overall enjoyment level of your courses and increase trainee motivation in the process.
Do Your Courses Need To Be More Social?
If your goal is to encourage more teamwork and collaboration among your employees or students, then you may want to make your courses more social. Again, the social component also tends to be more important in situations where there are a large number of trainees.
On the other hand, in cases where your group is smaller, or if your overall objective is to upgrade individual skills, then you may not need to make your courses any more social than they already are.
Socializing Your Course Design
Being more social with your course design involves using your LMS not just as a content delivery system, but also as an online networking platform.
For instance, you could have multiple discussion forums, each serving a different purpose. These forums could be user-generated, and course creators could encourage trainees to share their reports or assignments in the forums. This could serve as a valuable feedback mechanism, allowing participants to comment on each other’s completed work.
This gives your LMS training course participants an opportunity to help each other, and learn from one another as they are completing their assignments. This type of transparency could also be helpful to those who might be feeling a little left out, or hesitant to join in on the conversations.
Share Supplemental Information on Social Networks
While you are doing research for your e-training program, you may have come across resources that are helpful and useful, but don’t necessarily connect with your training agenda. Or maybe there are some concepts that could have been explained better, and you’ve found a video that you’d like to share with course participants.
One way you can make the learning experience more social is by sharing blog posts, infographics, videos, and other types of content on one of your social networks; Facebook, for example. Not only is this a good way to continue to teach your trainees after they are done with the course, it’s also a good way to facilitate more engagement with the subject matter.
Poll or Survey Your Learners
Social networks like Google+ have polling features built right into them. On Facebook, you can simply ask questions and provide a few different answers to choose from (and enter into the comments), or you can also use one of the many apps that are out there to poll your learners.
Gathering feedback is a necessary and important part of building and improving courses. You can encourage more interaction by hosting feedback sessions on a popular social network.
As you’re probably starting to see, there are a lot of different ways to get social with your e-learning initiatives. The key is to promote more participation. Give your trainees a reason to interact, and allow them to comment on each other’s work.
A positive social experience can lead to more interaction among your course participants, which can also enhance their overall experience with your e-training programs.