You’ve probably heard the term “eLearning” thrown about over the last number of years, but do you really know what it is? In short, eLearning is learning that is conducted using electronic media such as the internet or an application. It comes in many forms including, but not limited to:
- Research tools
- Class management resources
- Creativity enablers
- Shared learning tools
Skoolbo is an eLearning program based on skill-building and below we take a quick look at some of the components that make an effective eLearning program:
1. Fun and engaging, but not distracting
What better way to engage people in something than by making it fun? This is especially true for children, where fun is pretty much the number one thing on their minds! There’s a delicate balancing act between making an eLearning program fun and keeping learning to the forefront, as the program could potentially turn into a full-blown game with some learning thrown in. With this in mind, it’s imperative that the “fun” element engages the child but doesn’t distract from the overall goal of learning!
2. Simple to use
Don’t overcomplicate it, nobody wants to spend hours trying to understand something and children are even more susceptible to this! Think about the last time you bought some flat-packed furniture, did you really enjoy going through the pages of instructions to put it together? No? Us neither! The same principle applies to eLearning in that it should be easy to pick up and use, but deliver a powerful end result (like a nice bedside table!). Apple are a great example of this, in that their devices are super-easy to work with but bring enormous satisfaction!
3. Motivating reward systems
What’s the point in putting time and effort into something if you have nothing to show for it at the end? A rewards system is a great way to motivate a child to use the program in short bursts over a long period of time, where the key here is to make sure the child doesn’t become either addicted to, or sick of it! Any genuine effort should be rewarded, but the reward must also be something that the child wants!
4. Opportunity to make mistakes
At Skoolbo we believe in the old adage of “learning from your mistakes”, so we try to create an environment where the child feels comfortable with making mistakes but ultimately wants to rectify them so they can learn and move forward. At least 50% of eLearning programs have no opportunity to make mistakes, which often causes the child to click randomly through answers and is counter-productive to actually learning what the right one is!
5. Learn by doing
An old Chinese proverb says “tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”. Letting a child become more hands-on and actually attempt a task rather than simply explaining it to them helps keep them engaged and interested, as they are being encouraged to think and interact. Nobody likes to sit there being told what to do and we believe that practice absolutely makes perfect when it comes to eLearning.
6. Teachable moments – Immediate feedback and support
Every parent and teacher knows that there are certain moments when a child is most receptive to feedback and support, and a good eLearning program will get involved at exactly those moments! Immediate feedback and support facilitates self-learning, the most effective type of learning there is. It also helps when the support system is designed in such a way that it becomes less apparent as the child grows less reliant on it!
We’ve only touched on some of the key components that promote effective eLearning with this post and we’d love to hear what works best for you, so feel free to drop us a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
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