Online and hybrid learning is an effective technique of delivering content to students. However, it can be difficult to know whether your students are grasping the content and meeting the intended learning outcomes until it comes to assessment. In an online learning course, outlining realistic objectives is vital to keep learners engaged and committed to the course.
The following are some tips to help you to find out if intended learning outcomes are being met.
Try using webinars
Webinars are effective in knowing if learning outcomes are met because it increases interactivity and encourages engagement. When carrying out a webinar, students can watch you work out the problems live, and they could work alongside you at the same time. This way, you can answer questions as the students are working through the problem.
During a webinar, you can note what areas students are having the most problems with, which you can then focus on by providing more material to aid the understanding of this area. You can also note whether certain students are struggling more than others and offer them one-to-one support if needed.
For help on hosting webinar sessions, try this guide on using Microsoft Teams to host live sessions: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/03/31/teams-live-event-did-you-know/
To ensure that your webinar is accessible, try following some tips in this blog post: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/05/11/10-tips-for-inclusive-webinars/
Meaningful feedback is critical for deciding whether learning outcomes are being achieved. Encourage your students to tell you if they think that the way they are learning online is beneficial to them, and how it can be improved. This could be carried out using Microsoft Forms. For more information on creating a form in this way, try this guide: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2019/11/01/quick-tips-forms/
Feedback allows online learners to track their performance and ensures they do not drift from the set learning outcomes. Feedback will also assist you to evaluate the effectiveness of your learning materials and make any necessary adjustments. The following blog post shares tips and ideas on providing meaningful feedback: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/04/20/providing-meaningful-feedback/
It is difficult to know whether learners are meeting the learning objectives without assessment. You could add short quizzes into your module at the end of each week to test your student’s knowledge. These quizzes do not have to count towards your student’s final grade, but they may help you to pick up on any topics that your students are struggling with and therefore give you an insight on where more material needs to be provided.
There are a number of different ways to measure learning using assessment, but the following blog focuses on qualitative assessment: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/07/28/measure-learning-with-qualitative-assessments/
Encourage group work within the online setting and allow your students to learn concepts together. If online learners can ask each other questions, assess each other’s ideas and get feedback on their progress, it can result in deeper learning and understanding of outcomes.
You need to encourage your students to engage with each other and share knowledge. You could be a part of these groups to get to know the areas they find difficult or areas that need improvement. This will also indicate whether learning outcomes are being met based on how the groups progress through the work together.
Collaborating and using group work is also beneficial for the students in a more social and wellbeing sense, as this reduces feelings of isolation which are more likely to occur when learning online.
The Principles of Course Design for Hybrid Learning Toolkit can help you to design methods of collaboration in a hybrid learning format. The following link will direct you to the downloadable toolkit: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/learning-and-teaching/principles-of-course-design-for-hybrid-learning/
If you require any further support with this, please contact eLearning@tees.ac.uk