Creating Effective, Measurable, Scalable Learning Products
Online learning has evolved from a nice to have, to an essential growth driver for institutions. With recent events, online learning has minimized the disruption in learning even when all other on-campus activities have halted. There is an urgency to move courses online at a pace that hasn’t previously been experienced. As we are now into prepping for Fall term, many schools are trying to shift towards a more sustained effort in this new world order.
As institutions prepare to scale, it’s critical to not lose sight of the importance of providing a great learning experience for their students and building a strong foundation to scale online learning around this vision. We have developed a successful approach to this we call Ease Learning Frameworks. This is the first in a series of blog posts dedicated to sharing how our Frameworks help to achieve true online learning.
Putting courses online is not the same as creating online learning
Students are consumers. They have choices in their learning journey and they are shopping for an experience that suits their needs. Uploading faculty materials to your LMS is not online learning. When you take your university or college online, you need to create a branded student experience that captures the essence of what makes your institution unique, and differentiates your programs over others. You need to develop a vision of who you want your institution to be in the online world of options that students can choose from. You need to support students along this journey. The journey is a blend of intentional pedagogy, technology and overall user experience. It also has an organizational component that supports the foundational elements that define your online offering. When deciding what the online experience should be for your students, you need to intentionally architect the pedagogy, technology and organizational structure. This is a Framework that will enable student success as well as your scalability over time.
The pedagogy includes identifying the persona of the learner, the experience your learner is expecting/needs, what type of assessments will drive the experience and how to ensure there is collaboration. This must all be student-, not instructor-centered and it should include multiple modes of learning.
Once pedagogy is defined, technology comes into play. Using technology, you need to determine how to manifest the student journey using the tools and tech stack that you have available. A critical element of technology is ensuring that there is equal access for all of your students. Technology also allows data insights for continuous improvement.
The final consideration is the organizational structure. You are now running a business with consumers (your students) who have very different needs than what is required in the face-to-face world. To run this business effectively, you need to develop an organization that emphasizes collaboration amongst the wide range of stakeholders that touch all parts of the student experience including admissions, enrollment, faculty, technology, onboarding and even your vendors. Although the stakeholders look familiar, their roles will evolve as the needs of the online learner are different than that of the on-campus student. The end result of developing your organizational structure for your online operations is that the student has a fluid experience and all groups are proactively supporting this effort. As you scale, it’s critical that you develop an organizational structure that will support your online growth.
And finally, there are many stakeholders that need to have a voice in the process and this will require some time to gather the necessary feedback and buy-in before making any significant move to the online environment. We have developed a timeline with phased approaches that address planning and Framework development, course design and production. We will provide greater detail on the timelines and other areas covered in this blog in subsequent postings in this series.
To learn more about Ease Learning Frameworks, set up a time with a team member by using this calendar link.
About the Ease Learning
Ease Learning provides fee-for-service Framework development and learning design services. In addition, Ease Learning also offers learner support services and a SaaS technology platform that enables course design and learning analytics at scale.
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Associate Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at Northeastern University
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Director, ReNEW & RN-BSN Completion Programs University of Wyoming
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SME at NOCE
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