Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tips to Foster a Creative Learning Environment

E-learners are often infamous for losing focus while taking online learning programs. So, how can this learning content be made more interesting and appealing? How can an online course creatively drive participation and engagement? Let’s look at a few low cost-effective ways to make most out of a remote learning experience:
Make use of kinaesthetic learning tools – Most learners have a kinaesthetic style of learning. (Also read learning styles) and for them, classroom trainers often set up a colourful classroom to help kinaesthetic learners better focus. Currently with online learning, the balance seems to shift to auditory and visual learning. It probably would be a good idea to equip online learners with a tangible stress-reducing toy to occupy their hands while they learn.

Foster a sense of community – A new group of people always feel a little more eased out with the help of icebreaker sessions. This fosters a sense of community in them. With social media in vogue, how about having a Twitter ice breaker – that is introducing yourselves in not more than 140 characters?

Participation and interaction tools – In a recent elearning program, I was asked to interact on a forum by introducing myself including why I was doing the course and speak about my hobbies and interests. Later on, we had to indulge in group conversations and questions and answers. This kind of learners’ participation enriches the program in itself.

Emotional content – Trainers often integrate stories and humor into their delivery. The stories and jokes are effective because they add emotional content and bring the lessons to life. They also relax the facilitator and the participants and contribute to a stress-free, learning-friendly environment.

Create additional visual stimuli - A way to offer supplemental visual stimulation during an online learning experience would be to provide some type of eye candy, something that doesn't require much focus or attention, like a spinning top or a mood ring. Tools such as these would function much like doodling, whereby they engage the subconscious mind in an activity that doesn't distract the conscious brain from the learning at hand.

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