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Online Learning Can Be So Much More than a Zoom Call - Here is a Great Example

Given COVID-19, many organizations are rapidly moving to put their training online and many schools, colleges and universities are also doing the same. In a situation, where there is not a lot of time for advanced planning, we are seeing a wide range of teaching methods and approaches to how both teachers and facilitators provide online learning. As over 1.8 billion kids were impacted globally with school closures happening in March 2020, the move to online learning has happened at a rapid pace!

Both of my kids are currently involved in online schooling given the pandemic. One of my children’s teachers is assigning weekly work and debriefs the work with the students, in a call twice during the week, so they can ask questions about the homework and to discuss any challenges they had. My other child is being assigned online homework, with little accountability for whether he turns it in and absolutely no interaction with the teacher who has assigned it. Two dramatically different approaches to online learning, and two dramatically different opinions on their online schooling experiences, given the circumstances.

Good learning is supposed to be developed by using sound pedagogy (pedagogy is the science of teaching) and instead, we have evolved into “panicgogy” where there is a panic to get curriculum online in whatever manner possible. The reality is online learning, can be a great experience with technology that enhances the learning, when there is time to plan, prepare and create (in fairness again to many teachers and educators, they have not had the opportunity to do this, given the current situation). I am a little fearful given this pandemic and how quickly organizations have had to pivot to online learning, that many people will assume Zoom Calls and Google Classroom are what “online learning” and “eLearning” is, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share a great example, of an organization doing some thoughtful and meaningful work, in the online learning and eLearning space.

Ryerson University is doing some amazing things. Pathways has previously worked with Leonora Zefi and her amazing team, at the Chang School of Continuing Education to develop online learning for foreign trained professionals. Ryerson has created a virtual simulation of various scenarios that could occur in a healthcare setting. Their work is a fantastic example of branching.

Branching in eLearning allows, participants to select from a menu of possible options in a “choose your own adventure” learning experience. At designated points within the online learning environment, learners are asked to select what they believe should be the next step(s) within the conversation. Feedback is provided based on the choices/decisions the learner selects. The advantage of branching scenarios is that it allows employees to apply what they have learned and receive feedback based on their choices. Students are more likely to apply this learning during real situations when they are able to draw on their previous ‘hands-on’ practice from a simulation of this nature.

In a time where “online learning” and “eLearning” are being thought of as Zoom Calls and Google Classroom, here is a great example of how with time and effort, eLearning and online learning can be so much more. Check out this amazing link below.

We love the use of gamification in this example as well. Statistics supporting the efficacy of gamification show that  learning games can produce a 9% higher overall retention of information, 11% higher knowledge of facts and 14% higher knowledge of procedures than a non-gamified approach. Great work Ryerson, this is a terrific example of what a meaningful and impactful online learning experience can be. #greatElearningexample, #onlineLearning, #RyersonOnlineLearning, #TorontoELearningCompany #ConvertingClassroomTrainingToOnline


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