Converting to a Distance Learning Format

 

A trainer is having problems with his face-to-face course and is considering converting it to a blended learning course, one can begin the conversion process by evaluating the course negative and positive outcome to determine the next course of action. A formative evaluation will allow you to ask the question, “How can I make this better?” By examining the course to find out what works and what doesn’t, can help the instructor to identify a concerning problem with the course. “The instructor needs to consider the learning task, the instructional materials, and the teaching strategies, and also the role that the technology may have played in the instruction” (Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S., 2015).

Before converting a face-to-face course to a blended online course, there are a few things that need to be considered before starting this process. First, know your audience, what type of learner will you be teaching in a blended learning setting. Knowing your learners and their learning style will better prepare you for the type of training and learning materials to use in your course. Secondly, prepare your curriculum, decide which of your f2f materials will be used in the online portion of the course that will enhance the course and develop new learning. Because the trainer mentioned a concerning problem with the discussion porting of the course, here is where he may want to start modifying the course layout. Another way would be to providing a train the trainer workshop to help with the facilitating process of the blended learning course as stated by Dr. George Piskurich (Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.).

In an online environment, the trainer will now become the facilitator where he will begin best practices used to monitor and engage the learner with course activities and material that will motivate the learners.  As a facilitator in an online course, the training process is different of that of an f2f course. The facilitator will need to make certain that the materials used will be ready and available for the learner of a synchronous or asynchronous course and accessible to the students (p. 139). Facilitators should also encourage online communication of the students, suggesting that they provide time for course work, participate in the discussions that will allow you to share ideas and learn from one another. The trainer can also provide a rubric of the course expectation for the trainees that can be used as a guideline for the course. Engaging activities and discussion post participation from the trainer can provide a successful line of communication in a distance learning environment.

Reference

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.) Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Facilitating online learning [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

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