The trainer’s role is critical to learning, whether in the face-to-face classroom or online. It is well known that trainer-to-student, and student-to-student (social presence) interactions are a critical component of learning. They are also an important factor in learner satisfaction, which results in learning effectiveness, higher retention and completion rates.
To drive engagements and retention of student, the following quick wins can be taken by trainer:
- Personalized Instructor Feedback and Interactions with Online Students .Every assessment must have trainer feedback. Spend time reaching out to students on an individual basis.
- Respond to student support and questions within 24 hours.
- Participate in the online course discussion threads. If a trainer is not participating in the threaded discussions, the course becomes a correspondence event rather than an online learning experience.
- Use announcement forums or news board [within your lms] to communicate with students collectively throughout each week – this helps maintain the focus on learning objectives.
The Trainer’s role in building a learning community:
It’s important to build community in an online course. Students may become disengaged if they feel isolated or if they don’t get to interact with their trainer and fellow students. Foster community in your online course and overcome social barriers to student engagement with the following strategies:
a) Make first contact before the course begins. Send an email message to introduce the organisation and the trainer and provide instructions on how to get started. Add a personal touch by including a short video message relaying the same information so students can get a sense of the trainers personality.
b) Create an introductory activity using the social course stream. Connect your students with each other and make them feel like they’re part of a community. Create a simple thread on the course stream welcoming students and ask student to upload a picture to their profiles
c) Provide opportunities for learner interaction. Create an introductory activities is a great ways to promote student interaction. You can also create online study groups where students meet through Google Hangouts or chats function or other collaborative functions within your LMS
d) Encourage sharing. Social media can be used to engage students in your content. Students can share resources related to the course informally through the course steam functionality.
By introducing some of the above tips into your organisation will see a positive outcome in improving student retention and satisfaction.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email Caroline Brock at firstname.lastname@example.org
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