Whether you’re seeking training for your business, school or organization, e-learning via a learning management system can greatly reduce the necessary costs and time you’ll spend on training. However, you shouldn’t expect your students to have more than minimal previous experience with online learning. Therefore, one crucial factor to student success (and ultimately, if you have a business, employee success) is early guidance for students beginning an online training program. During the first month, you should expect to help students through their first experiences in your virtual training environment.
The methodology behind this guidance varies, depending on your needs and resources. You may opt to hire a training advisor who answers any student questions via email, discussion boards, or phone. This training advisor might remain for the entirety of the course or be there only for orientation. Otherwise, students can be led through an online orientation to be completed on their own. This may include sample activities and practice sessions introducing students to the different course features.
In your online training orientation, you can also help teach trainees how to navigate the course with the use of video tours. Video tours are a fun and simple way to quickly teach LMS students important information before the course begins. Presenting this information in a visually interesting way will help ensure that students are digesting it properly.
Studies show that students who are required to take an online orientation before beginning their online course are far more likely to be successful in the course, and remember the business processes they are taught. A typical orientation in a learning management system course might be as short as 30 minutes, or as long as two hours or more. Regardless of the length, the important factor is its actual completion before onset of the online course, so that problems are prevented down the road. Students should feel 100% comfortable navigating the course and performing the types of tasks expected of them.
Learning Management System training orientations should answer a few questions a student might have before beginning the online training or educational course. Some of these questions are obvious, while others are less so.
First of all, you should answer the question: what is online learning, and why is this course being delivered online? The explanation may include a variety of factors, depending on your organization or company. Are you outsourcing certain business processes and your employees are living in different locations in the country or world? Briefly explain some of the most important benefits of online education as they correspond to your school, business or organization.
Second of all, what technical knowledge is expected? Can students complete the course without any knowledge or skills?
Third, what actual technology is needed? Using an LMS, all that is typically required is a computer with internet, with no extra programs or hardware necessary. However, some online education tools require certain programs or hardware such as headphones, microphone, etc.
Fourth, will the online training course have an interactive element, such as a student discussion forum or other space? If so, how exactly will that work? Will there be a moderator for the student forum who will grade students on their participation, and if so, how will students be graded? Describe in minute detail what happens when students miss an assignment or a class (if there are classes,) as well as how exactly students will be graded, and any other bits of critical information.
Fifth, how is the course structured? Students should know exactly what to expect. Sixth: What is a typical online session or activity like? Provide a practice activity, lesson, or session.
Lastly, how can students contact someone for help? Is feedback a feature of the online course, and if so, in what form?
It’s best to understand what students can expect from a course as early on as possible. In your orientation, emphasize the importance of familiarizing oneself with the LMS and exploring all the different features. Students should know where all the different content can be found in each section of the e-learning course. In addition, let trainees know they should check the learning management system regularly for announcements and training updates, as well as new assignments.
The most well-prepared students are the most successful students, and ultimately, the best employees. Whether they are vocational students, outsourced service providers, or other learners, a good training orientation starts your students off on the right foot.
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