Lecture Breakers Podcast: 5 Ways to Help Students Succeed in Online Courses

In this episode of Lecture Breakers, a podcast devoted to helping educators teach in more engaging ways, Holly Owens (Assistant Director of Online Education at Touro College) shares 5 ways to help students succeed in online courses. Holly discusses course design strategies to increase student engagement and ways to leverage technology tools to improve learning.

Check out more episodes at the Lecture Breakers website!

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Seven Reasons Why Online Courses Are the Future of Education

The following is a guest post by Richard Van Hooijdonk, a futurist and international keynote speaker. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

  1. Online learning offers convenience and flexibility
  2. High-quality student-tutor interactions
  3. Studying online is affordable for many people
  4. All age groups benefit from online learning
  5. More students can be enrolled
  6. There’s a vast amount of online learning resources
  7. Web-based learning will grow in popularity

High quality education can make all the difference in people’s lives. It helps individuals escape poverty, earn a promotion, or find better paid jobs. But getting a university degree or a training certificate often costs a lot of money, and strict class schedules clash with work shifts, preventing people from enrolling in educational programs. Fortunately, online courses are providing a viable alternative for millions of people. And as a part of the thriving e-learning industry that will grow to $325 billion by 2025, they’re no longer a fringe idea. Instead, online courses are becoming increasingly popular, and there are many reasons why they’re the future of education

Online learning offers convenience and flexibility

Flexibility is one of the key reasons behind the growing demand for web-based learning. According to survey results published by the university ranking website Best Colleges, 59% of students who enroll in online education programs have children and 50% of them are employed. They highly value the opportunity to study when they can, as lectures are typically archived for later reference, making compulsory campus attendance a thing of the past. Also, they can work faster or slower on course material, depending on their current needs and understanding of the subject matter.

High-quality student-tutor interactions

Another advantage of online education is improved communication between students and tutors. A study by California State University in San Bernardino found that although people who study online absorb knowledge equally well as those who go to class, they’re more active in discussions and enjoy a better interaction with instructors. Technologies such as video conferencing and VOIP calls make it easy to communicate with people across the world. Online students also benefit from more frequent assessments, with professors able to spot knowledge gaps faster and provide suggestions on how to move forward.

Studying online is affordable for many people

Students also find that studying online is often much cheaper than attending traditional universities. There are no commuting expenses nor visa fees for international students, and accommodation costs are avoided, too. Some universities also offer reduced tuition fees for web-based learning. As a result of these advantages, people have to take on less student loan debt and won’t spend many years after graduation paying it off. And online programs allow students to work full-time, so they can earn money and a degree at the same time.

All age groups benefit from online learning

And far from serving only university students and adults, online courses are well suited for all age groups. Sure, undergraduate and postgraduate online degree programs might be some of the most popular ones, but digital learning is beneficial even at the kindergarten and elementary school level. Children can benefit from online learning programs that are more efficient than home-schooling. This can be of great help for parents who are looking for ways to help their loved ones explore additional topics beyond regular school content.

More students can be enrolled

Apart from serving all age groups, online courses can also take on more students than traditional educational institutions. There are no physical constraints such as classroom size, although tutors might still want to limit the number of students if they plan on providing one-on-one instructions or grading open-ended questions. Otherwise, the fact that most lessons are automatically delivered and students learn using their computers means that there’s almost no upper enrolment limit. The software reduces teachers’ workload and they can spend more time devising better and more engaging content.

There’s a vast amount of online learning resources

And apart from the course materials provided by professors, students can also explore a huge amount of online educational resources such as e-books, video and audio files, studies, databases, and much more. Valuable content is easily available and students can always find up-to-date information. And multimedia content is more engaging and better suited for today’s students than printed books. Also, by looking for content online, students will improve their digital research skills that are crucial for today’s job market.

Web-based learning will grow in popularity

Whether it’s about earning a bachelor’s degree or upskilling at work, online courses help people achieve their educational and career goals. Web-based learning ensures that even people with full-time jobs or disabilities can attend a course. And this can make all the difference in one’s life, as education remains an effective way to get a better salary and escape poverty. Online courses are thus likely to evolve and gain popularity as the underlying technology and the quality of instructions keep improving.

Author’s Bio: Trendwatcher, futurist and international keynote speaker Richard van Hooijdonk takes you to an inspiring future that will dramatically change the way we live, work and do business. His inspiration sessions have been attended by over 420,000 people. Richard is a regular guest at radio and television programs. With his international research team, he investigates tech trends like robotics, drone technology, autonomous transport systems, Internet of Things, virtual reality, biotech, nanotech, neurotech, blockchain, 3D and 4D printing and of course augmented and virtual reality and their impact on various industries. Findings are published weekly in the form of compelling articles, e-books and white papers.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

8 Surprising Facts About Online Learners [INFOGRAPHIC]

The following is a guest post by Shristi Patni, content writer and Chief Content Officer at Raletta and PR Bulls. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

 

As online learning becomes more mainstream, we gathered some information about the online learner. Through this infographic, we bring you eight surprising facts about online learners.

This infographic was made by Navrajvir Singh, content creator at Technology Moon.

 

Author’s Bio: Shristi is the Chief Content Officer at Raletta (Digital Marketing Agency), and PR Bulls (Content Marketing Agency). She enjoys writing about food, fitness, finance and everything in between.

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

9 eLearning Stats Every Student Should Know in 2019

The following is a guest post written by Hugh Beaulac, blogger, social media manager, and content strategist. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

The rise of modern technologies affects our lives, so it’s no wonder it has an impact on traditional teaching methods. Living in the digital era, eLearning isn’t a new concept even though many students are afraid of giving it a try: lack of control, social isolation, and low motivation are just a few reasons why students don’t want to study online.

However, learning online can be a great idea to obtain knowledge without spending time on attending lectures. If you’re doubting whether eLearning can suit your needs and wants, you’re welcome to look through the list of statistics that prove it is the future of education.

Here are 9 eLearning stats every student should know in 2019.

#1. Around one half of all classes are done online.

Elearning gives many opportunities for both teachers and students. Moreover, it’s important to keep up with the trends, so eLearning is getting more and more popular. One in two lessons is done online which means students can expect even more online lectures in the nearest future.

#2. eLearning increases knowledge retention by 25% to 60%.

Humans are visually-oriented creatures, so it’s no wonder we perceive visual information better. When you study online, you work with various visual content  – presentations, videos, infographics. As a result, knowledge retention is increasing.

#3. eLearning is generally shorter than classroom training on the same subject by up to 25-60%.

When you study online, you save a considerable amount of time as the educational process is focused on providing the right information to the right person at the right time which means obtaining knowledge faster.

#4. 60% of people say that online courses fit their personal schedule/lifestyle better.

The best thing about online learning is an opportunity to do it in your spare time. Whether you learn new material, do your homework, or communicate with a mentor, it’s you who decides when to do it, so eLearning can suit any lifestyle.

#5. 81% of college students agree that digital learning technology helps to improve their grades.

With a variety of online educational organizations, it’s easy to pick a course to get a deeper understanding of any subject. Moreover, it’s a proven way to get additional knowledge, and therefore improve grades.

#6. 52% of people use m-learning in bed after waking up.

Nowadays the educational process is about comfort and time optimization. It’s enough to have access to the internet to do your course wherever you are.

#7. 90% of students believe online learning is better than traditional classroom experience.

For the majority of students, eLearning gives many opportunities to make the educational process more interactive and creative. As a result, they are more engaged.

#8. VR/AR educational software is predicted to get $300 million in revenue by 2020.

No matter what your major subject is, it’s important to ensure you get an engaging learning experience in order to be interested in the educational process. With the rise of VR/AR, students have an opportunity to be engaged in the process.

#9. The global mobile learning market is estimated to be $37.6 billion by 2022.

Nowadays more and more people own a smartphone, and it’s not just a way to connect with people – it’s also a way to obtain knowledge on the go. There are many apps and mobile-friendly educational websites that allow people to improve skills wherever they are.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why eLearning is just the future of education. The above-mentioned statistics facts prove that people love learning online and eLearning gives many benefits to modern learners. Thus, it’s important to get rid of your worries and give online education a try.

Author’s Bio:Hugh Beaulac is a blogger, social media manager, and content strategist who helps people fall in love with STEM disciplines. He writes for different websites to share his knowledge, so follow him on Twitter to stay tuned for more.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

How to Improve Learner Experience with Mobile Messaging

The following is a guest post written by Anastasia Sviridenko, content marketing manager at TextMagicIf you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

Mastering virtual communication is really essential to running a successful online course. Did you know that one of the biggest challenges to online courses is student engagement? Without the pressure of face-to-face teacher and classmate competition, many students lack follow-through. Mobile messaging through apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, and SMS messaging can create those important connections and ensure a better learner experience.

Mobile messaging has a lot of benefits as a communication tool between teacher and student, and even among students. First, more and more people are comfortable using messaging platforms. Though some may think that mobile messaging is only for millennials, a study by AARP showed that 88 percent of adults aged 50+ use their mobile for IMS. And with a variety of apps to choose from, you can choose the one that is most popular among your virtual students.

While younger people are abandoning email and voice calls, the trend towards texting has been gaining ground with all demographics. That means that using mobile messaging will allow you to reach the largest number of your students effectively.

Also, it’s convenient. Many online course students are currently employed or have other commitments that keep them busy. By allowing mobile communication, students don’t have to wait until they’re at their desktop to send a question.

They might even forget the question by then anyway! Instead, as they’re messaging colleagues on WhatsApp or responding to a message on Facebook Messenger, they can shoot off a question to you as they come up, increasing engagement and facilitating learning.

It also allows the teacher to answer faster, giving the student a timely response that they might need in order to finish an assignment.

Here are some benefits of mobile messaging for both online teachers and students.

Allows Students Easy Access to Teachers

Students may struggle with a number of challenges in an online course. As mentioned above, engagement is a big issue. By allowing students easy access to the teacher through mobile messaging platforms that they already use, it enhances engagement and stimulates more active participation. It also gives teachers a convenient platform to offer explanations and encouragement.

Great for Communicating Reminders and Changes

If there are any last-minute changes in course material, deadlines or online sessions, mobile messaging is a great way to let people know. Text is particularly effective since it’s immediate and has nearly 100 percent open rates. That means if you send out a text, you’re nearly guaranteed that your students will read the message. It also doesn’t depend on an internet connection for student to be able to receive it.

For that reason, it’s also good to remind students of upcoming exams and assignments. Everyone gets busy and it can be hard to stay on top of schedules and deadlines while juggling other life events. A little reminder can help students be prepared and make it easier for them to succeed in your course.

Group Discussions Help Build Community

Students taking online courses may miss the community that comes with on-site courses. Apps like WhatsApp and Slack can help create that necessary community. Groups have so many benefits:

  • They stimulate discussion, giving students a wider range of information on the subject they’re studying
  • They help students answer each other’s questions, relieving the pressure on the teacher as the only point of reference
  • They allow students to increase their network, a valuable benefit to students
  • They allow the teacher to observe what areas are most challenging and which themes are most interesting to students, helping with the planning of future courses

Collect Feedback Through Mobile Polls

Mobile messaging isn’t just a great tool to use during a course. It can also be of use after a course is already finished. Why not send out a quick poll to students after the course is over? It’s easy and convenient to respond to a mobile poll message while on the go, so students will be more likely to respond.

Keep the poll simple, with just a few key questions to increase participation. Finishing the course experience with a feedback poll is very important for many reasons.

It allows you to see what areas you did well in and what areas need improvement. This will help you organize your next course to better meet expectations.

It gives students a place to voice criticisms in a productive way. If you get negative feedback, address it proactively by responding to the student individually, offering to remedy any complaints they had. It could have been a misunderstanding or miscommunication that caused the trouble. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a negative experience and turn it into something positive, improving a student’s overall experience with your course.

Let Them Know About Related Courses

Many students will appreciate learning about similar related courses that would help them hone a skill they’ve been developing. Continuing your relationship with the student by letting them know about upcoming courses through a mobile message can strengthen their relationship to your course and enhance their overall learning satisfaction.

Online educators can use mobile messaging to improve the overall learning experience. By giving students a convenient platform where they can communicate with the teacher and other learners, you enhance community and open the doors for greater exchange.

 

Author’s Bio: 

Anastasia Sviridenko is a content marketing manager at TextMagic. She’s always on the lookout for new ways to create exciting content. When she’s not working, you can find her at home curling up with a book.

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Should We Incorporate Social Media Into Online Education?

The following is a guest post written by Emily Johnson, freelance blogger and content writer. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

Let’s be honest: online teaching and learning is not easy. Both instructors as well as students need to deal with a number of problems that arise from the limitations of virtual education. Thus, online instruction requires novel, creative methods, which would help students acquire new knowledge and make them feel less isolated.

Does social media have the power to improve virtual education? Can it solve most of the problems both online educators as well as online students strive to overcome each and every day? Would incorporating it into virtual teaching and learning make a difference? Keep on reading to find out.

The Challenges of Online Education and How Social Media Can Help To Overcome Them

Whether you’re a teacher who considers conducting online courses or a student who got enchanted by an idea of getting a degree online and wants to try, chances are that you think there’s nothing complicated about it:

  • As an online tutor, all you’ll have to do is to prepare materials, upload them on a site, and then, check the progress of your students and provide them with feedback.
  • As an online student, all you’ll have to do is download materials from a website, study them at home, and then, do the homework and upload it on a site.

That’s it, right? Unfortunately, in practice, it’s more complicated than that. Each step of the way only seems to be easy. In reality, problems arise. Problems, which can be hard to deal with and solve.

#1 Computer literacy.

Attending and creating an online course requires a person to develop new computer skills, and while professors may already have the knowledge on how to navigate the necessary systems and programs, many students don’t. Research shows that computer literacy of university graduates is low. Thus, we can assume that computer literacy of students who just begin their studies or are in the middle of them isn’t any better.

Now, to be able to fully participate in an online course, students need to learn to use LMS (i.e. Learning Management System), be able to operate such programs as MS Word or PowerPoint, and fix computer problems if they occur. Without any technological knowledge and skills, it can be a challenge too hard to deal with.

Also, although “Help Pages” and detailed FAQ sections may be of some help, finding the necessary information and following instruction can be time-consuming, problematic, and frustrating. Thus, here’s another idea:

To allow students to contact and chat with a computer expert via a social media platform. It’s fast and easy. Moreover, this way, students can quickly improve their computer skills and feel more supported in their studies.

#2 Communication problems and the lack of human contact.

Conducting as well as participating in an online course often results in communication problems and limits for both professors as well as students. Thus, exchanging thoughts, sharing ideas, asking questions, clarifying various issues, explaining the course material, or simply talking, may take some time and be difficult (especially if it can only happen in the LMS or via email). What’s more, distance learning means learning away from a campus and student dormitories, which can affect a person’s sense of belonging to a community of students and so, make them feel isolated.

Can we improve communication between online tutors and students, and help students make friendships, share their thoughts, and interact with their peers? Yes, we can. Social media is the answer.

By promoting the use of social media and creating special groups for students on such platforms as Facebook, we can help teachers contact their students (and vice versa) quickly from any device, and we provide students with a perfect place to talk to their peers, discuss problems, share various ideas or reviews, and form a community. In fact, in a recent study, 75% of students say they feel comfortable using social networking to discuss course work with other students and 58% use it to communicate with their classmates.

Now, since students find social media platforms useful for educational purposes as well as forming friendships, incorporating social media into online education can both improve communication between students and teachers, and make students feel less lonely.

#3 Boredom, self-motivation and time-management.

Although online courses work for a number of students, many fail an online class, especially at community colleges. Why? Well, in a study conducted in 2011, students provided a number of reasons why you may fail an online course, and so, drop out of college. Here are the causes:

  • Motivation (35%).
  • Study habits (17%).
  • Academic preparedness (12%).
  • External factors (11%).
  • Attitudes (11%).
  • Instruction (10%).
  • Relevancy issues (4%).

What also has a negative impact on online students is the fact that e-learning may sometimes feel like e-reading. Thus, online courses lack variety and can be simply boring. After all, not everyone find reading textbooks and other materials as the best way to learn. Some students acquire new knowledge by listening to lectures. Others prefer doing things in practice. There are also those who learn best by watching videos. So, variety in virtual education is a must to keep students engaged.

Now, since online students are not self-motivated to learn, find it hard to create and stick to their own learning schedules, and often get bored, is there anything we can do to help them? As a matter of fact, yes, there is. Social media gives us a possibility to solve a number of problems that online students face.

Here are several creative ideas on how educators can use social media platforms to support their students:

  • Create and post inspirational and motivational quotes on Facebook, and thus, help your students achieve their goals.
  • Send reminders about assignments and upcoming deadlines via online platforms.
  • Make competitions and contests (thus, you can encourage creative writing, help students improve their skills in a number of areas, and entertain them).
  • Instead of uploading another longish lecture on a website for your students to read, make a video lesson on YouTube.
  • Ask intriguing questions in posts and so, start an online discussion (let your students engage in a conversation with you as well as their peers).
  • Encourage your students to make posts or tweets on a given topic for extra credit.

As you can see, social media gives a number of possibilities to help students succeed in an online class.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why we should incorporate social media into online education. First of all, students are familiar with it, so they will have no problems with accessing materials on social media platforms or contacting their teachers. Also, social media platforms can help students to form and maintain interactions with others. Moreover, it allows online students to ask more questions and get answers fast.

For online teachers, social media gives a lot of new opportunities as well. Teachers can easily contact their students, have more possibilities to help them acquire new knowledge as well as engage them. Also, it’s much faster, easier, and convenient to give students feedback via a social media platform than an online system.

Thus, by incorporating social media into virtual education we’ve nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.

Author’s Bio: Emily Johnson is a college graduate who spends her free time writing thought-provoking blog posts about education, college life, blogging, and writing. Her articles that give career advice help and inspire people all over the Web. To find out more about Emily, check out her Twitter.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.