Designing an online learning environment
Designing an online learning environment requires appropriate and relevant strategies to enhance successful learning. The learning environment must consist of clearly and comprehensively articulated learning objectives as well as the ultimate expectations. Since learning has to be conducted online, it is vital to come up with a website which is easily navigable.
Collaborative learning has to be enhanced through a learning structure that advocates for team work studies (Szuchman, 2005). Collaborative learning can also be enhanced through activities and assignments which tend to facilitate communication as well as participation among students. There is also need for computer facilitated elements through appropriate use of technology to enhance learning (Szuchman, 2005).
There are various factors which need to be considered when designing a learning environment that incorporates both self instructional model and computer facilitated elements. One of these factors is known as learner motivation. For self instructional purposes, learners need to be subjected to a motivating learning environment.
Learner motivation is important since it encourages students to work hard and also boosts their morale or self-esteem. Strategies which can be used for learner motivation include; recognition of hard working students through issuing certificates, presents and other prizes.
Learners can also be motivated through setting up a reward system for those registering improved performances. Poor performing students can also be encouraged to work hard through setting up motivation and discussion groups for academic improvement (Trudy, 1997).
For successful learning, resources have to be available and easily accessible. Learning resources can be made available and accessible through setting up online libraries and giving guidelines to students on how hey can access the learning materials that are available.
Some of the resources that should be made available for learning include books, stationary, web links and lecture notes. Students should also be allowed to access the internet for research purposes. In order to access the internet, computers need to be installed and connected to the internet (Stephen, 1992).
The learning environment should also consider learning by collaboration in groups. This is achieved through putting students in groups and giving them guidelines on how they can work collectively.
Working in groups is beneficial because it helps students to learn new ideas from other and at the same time help one another to solve various academic problems. Learning by collaboration in groups also enhances the relationship between students by facilitating respect and discipline (Trudy, 1997).
Maintenance is another factor that needs to be considered when designing an online learning environment. Since learning is a continual process, all the learning resources, facilities, equipments and computers need to be maintained and sustained for future generation of students.
Proper control strategies must be put in place to ensure that resources are not wasted. Damaged stationeries, computers and other facilities need to be repaired for re-use by students (Stephen, 1992).
In order to create a productive learning environment, it is important to ensure that students are satisfied. Student satisfaction in an online learning environment entirely depends on the courses offered and their respective content. It is important to ensure that various students are enrolled for relevant courses that can be beneficial to them in future.
The course content also needs to cover each and every aspect as required by the course standards. This will help students acquire adequate and relevant knowledge to enable them become competitive in the business and job market (Szuchman, 2005).
The online learning environment should also be made virtual. A virtual learning environment will enable students to deliver and acquire learning materials from the internet, and make use of technology to come up with productive technological projects that are beneficial to the society as a whole.
Virtual learning environment will also enable creation of hyperlinks to students so that they can access lessons and lectures during their own free time and for revision purposes (Stephen, 1992).
A rubric is also importance for an online learning program. A rubric is a tool used to access students’ performances in examinations, tests and assignments. Apart from checking the performance of students, a rubric is also used to check adherence and compliance of students to course requirements.
The tool needs to be made available for students enrolled in an online learning environment that they can comply with the course requirements for assessment purposes (Trudy, 1997).
An online learning environment should also address issues of gender, race, culture and student’s backgrounds. An online learning environment should provide a free and fair environment for students from all corners of the world.
The learning environment should not allow any form of discrimination especially in terms of gender, race and culture. Every student (both enrolled and applicants) should be subjected to equal opportunities in terms of education. The assessment systems should also be regularly checked to ensure that students are assessed equally and fairly (Szuchman, 2005).
In conclusion, creating a self instructional module can be achieved through generation of an effective plan to present instructions to students. The instructional strategy for an online learning environment must involve all the learning components, student groupings, content sequence and the delivery systems (Szuchman, 2005).
Stephen, M. (1992). How to Create Online Learning Environments Instructional Strategy.American Journal of Education, 101(1), 60–70.
Szuchman, L.T. (2005). Designing online learning courses. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Trudy, D. (1997). Instructional Design for Online Learning. Education Journal, 88(4), 653–673