It’s hard to make a personal relationship in an eLearning setting because we all are not present in one place. But the good news now is that regardless of geography, context, or personal ambitions, you can always give your online learners a feeling of connection and belongingness with the help of an online learning community. Online learning community can be defined as groups where the learners generally come together to achieve learning.
While corporate trainers and skilled instructors plan and provide training guidance using a structured methodology or procedure, online group learning can be viewed as a way for people to learn in a social, informal environment. The ultimate aim of establishing an online group of learners is to ensure that learning occurs outside of the formal corporate learning climate.
Why do we need an Online Learning Community?
A sole individual can accomplish no milestone in an organization; it requires working individuals who come together for this purpose. Online Learning Community is essential because of the following reason:
- Learning is a group thing where one can influence others, leading to a better understanding.
- Creating an online group of like-minded learners gives you more freedom and the liberty to all the learners to participate and advance the cause of learning.
- Corporations could further “loosen up” the learning culture by promoting online communities for their employees. Group members also add a sense of fun to the social learning within the communities.
How to Start an Online Learning Community?
There go several methods and techniques to start an Online Learning Community. Some of which are:
Create the Environment
If you want your online learning group to succeed, you’ll need good moderation. Moderators should strive to promote maximum participation from all members. It would help if you made the recruits feel welcomed in the community, allow long-time attendees to lend their support (or voice) on specific issues, and provide constructive feedback or criticism on current topics.
Select the Most Appropriate Online Collaboration Platform
There are many online communication sites to choose from, but only a few can suit your requirements. Some of the choices include social media sites, websites, online forums, and project management software. Closed groups and accounts are available on many social media sites. Consider how much coordination your online learners will need and which eLearning exercises you’ll need.
Initiate Personal Connection for Engaging
Every individual in your community has a distinct personality, set of experiences, and preferences. They are devoting time from their busy schedules to join the online learning network. As a result, you should spend time getting to know everyone, and you should inspire your peers to do so as well. This helps in creating a perfect environment where each other can communicate freely. Encourage online participants to speak to comments and engage in constructive interactions with their peers. Communication is the best way to keep them engaged.
Appoint Online Community Leaders
Members of online learning communities keep the group in order and inspire the other participants. As a result, they must be enthusiastic about the subject and eager to help others. These people should also keep an eye on the online forums and make sure everything is on track. They must hold daily meetings to support online learners updated and obtain direct, allow input. It takes time, effort, and determination to become a leader, so it should be done voluntarily.
Understanding learner’s needs
The online learning community must adapt to the unique and specific needs of your learners to be successful. Before preparing and constructing the solution, use online surveys or research questions to determine what the learners are looking for and what they want to be addressed.
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Provide Shareable eLearning Content
Sharing helpful knowledge, like tips and online tools, is among the most potent order to expand online learning communities. The majority of video-sharing websites have social media sharing buttons that make the process fast and straightforward. In almost all of your eLearning blogs and articles, provide links to the online learning community page. Giving a free eBook or document that guides participants to your online forum and blog is another choice.
Liberty to Learners to Ask Questions
Learners need to have the independence and liberty to question you. They should have all the perfect mediums to ask you questions and when they want, either directly to the instructor via email (as personal communication) or through a discussion site (publicly). But the drawback of using email is that the learner must rely solely on the teacher for details. Setting up a Q&A discussion forum for the entirety of the online course is also recommended.
An online learning community, which works as a social learning platform, allows individuals to pursue their education outside of controlled business or learning periods. A sole individual can accomplish no milestone in an organization; it requires, allows working individuals who come together for this purpose. Even the poorest or the slow learners in the group may be inspired and motivated to enhance their performance and efficiency through shared online learning community standards.