The Best Use of E-Learning Requires a Real-Time Teacher Experience and Social Learning

from Eric Matas

Objective: This lesson aims to help you understand the advantages of self-paced e-learning along with its failings, identify the crucial validation of a real-time teacher experience, and recognize the role of social learning tools in enhancing online learning experiences, leading to increased effectiveness and success in e-learning environments.

The Convenience of Self-Paced, Online Learning

E-learning offers us the advantage of learning at our own pace, in our own time, and according to our own needs. It presents us the opportunity to pause, reflect, and absorb new information without the pressure of keeping up with others or feeling left behind. The accessibility, flexibility, and convenience that e-learning provides make it an invaluable tool in our fast-paced, digitally connected world.

However, we need to understand how e-learning is failing. Completion rates are the only evidence we need. Current learning marketplaces show a less than 20% completion rate. You can research the data yourself, and I hope you do because some completion rates are even lower, sometimes as low as 5%-8%. Suffice to say, if only 5%-20% of learners finish, then e-learning alone doesn’t work. 

A well-made, self-paced, online course can lay out all the information, which theoretically should satisfy the learners, but that is not happening. Many online courses include hours and hours of video and so many lessons that it is not surprising that up to 95% of people give up. 

Self-serve e-learning fails most learners. So, what’s missing?

The Importance of a Real-Time Teacher Experience

Learners need to be engaged by a real-time teacher experience. You may be wondering, “Why is this so important in a self-paced learning environment?”

The answer is validation.

When we learn something new, we seek validation of our understanding. We crave real-time interaction, where we can ask, “So I read the assignment, and I think it means this, right?” It’s at this junction that a teacher or a mentor steps in to provide that much-needed reassurance or to correct misconceptions.

A real teacher experience can’t happen if learners only have access to their teacher’s profile description and social media links. Learners need to interact while they are learning, in real time. This doesn’t mean every online educator needs to meet in-person with their learners. While in-person meetings can provide rich experiences, they’re not always feasible or necessary, thanks to the rise of remote engagement tools.

Remember, an engaged learner is an empowered learner. Learners stay engaged when the teacher experience is real-time.

The Role of Social Learning 

Another crucial component of the modern e-learning experience is social learning. 

As social beings, we thrive on interaction, collaboration, and shared experiences. Our learning experiences should reflect that. Even if we read the assignment and meet with the teacher, we might not fully get it until a friend explains it! Message boards, online communities, activity feeds, and access to online tutors and advisors are tools we can use to foster digital social learning. 

When we share our thoughts, ideas, and interpretations in a social learning environment, we open ourselves up to different perspectives and a richer understanding of the material. We contribute to the collective knowledge of our community while refining our own comprehension.

Even the simple act of posting our learning progress to our friends and followers and getting some likes and comments can provide the support and encouragement to stick with it. Thumbsup Muscle

In Summary 

E-learning is more than just consuming information on a screen. It’s about engaging with the material, seeking validation for our understanding, and immersing ourselves in a thriving community of learners.

Let’s harness the power of modern e-learning by emphasizing the value of a real-time teacher experience and championing social learning. The magic happens when we combine the convenience of e-learning with the authenticity of human connection and the dynamic nature of social engagement.

Thank you all for viewing this lesson. I look forward to seeing you in our vibrant, connected learning community. Remember, we’re all lifelong learners, and we’re all in this together. 

Teacher Message

Hi, I’m Eric Matas. I am a co-founder and COO of JazzJune. I’ve dedicated my career to advancing the educational possibilities of e-learning. I’ve experienced the power of learning from multiple perspectives – as a teacher, a trainer, an e-learning designer, and as a lifelong learner myself. I believe deeply in the power of continuous learning and giving back by teaching others, and it’s my hope that this lesson will inspire you to explore the world of e-learning more deeply, and understand how we can best leverage it for our personal and professional growth. If you want a teacher experience with this lesson, connect with me here on JazzJune and we can be life-long learner friends.