An impressive 42 percent of organizations have seen their income rise after implementing e-learning, but what is it about this method that makes it so successful?
Among the many virtual classroom benefits, an informal, social approach is one of the key factors in improving learning outcomes. Here are a few ways to incorporate social learning into your virtual education and training environments to increase retention and learner satisfaction.
Use tools with social functionalities
Plenty of learning management systems have social capabilities to enhance student experiences. Among these are discussion boards, where students can meet and interact, discussing the course content like they would in an informal, in-person classroom setting.
You can also use third-party tools to bring a social component to your learning environment. Social media sites make it easy to create a private group for your students to discuss course content, get involved with hashtag discussions, and to see how people across the globe are engaging with your materials.
Encourage user-generated content
Another excellent social learning strategy is to have students teach each other. Have them research a specific topic covered in your course and share their findings in a way that encourages group participation.
This strategy challenges students, fosters retention, and strengthens the social dynamic of your virtual classroom. It makes students feel more comfortable in the course, boosting their ability to engage with and absorb the material.
Host live events
In addition to your course content, you can host live events through video or chat rooms. Have an expert join as a guest speaker and encourage students to discuss the topic and ask questions throughout the event.
With live-streaming tools, it’s easier than ever to invite professionals into your classroom from anywhere in the world. You can also opt for a chat-based Q&A session to offer a simple way for students to participate even if they can’t join a video call.
Use knowledge-sharing apps
There are plenty of applications and tools out there to help with virtual collaboration. Try knowledge-sharing apps like Google docs and Slack to encourage students to communicate and help one another.
These apps make it possible to work on group activities and projects, discuss ideas, and develop documents to showcase what they’ve learned. It’s an engaging way to incorporate a social dynamic while inviting students to put the skills they’re learning to use.
Organize gamified learning contests
Rewards and competitions are just as great for adult learning as they are for children. Many learning management systems have capabilities like points and leader boards to create healthy competition among students.
You can develop your own scoring system by awarding points, completion levels, or rewards for completing activities within a specific timeframe. Your students will have fun learning and enjoy the social element of competing against their colleagues or peers.
Putting the social into e-learning
The many benefits of virtual learning make it easier than ever to achieve a successful social dynamic, even when your students participate from around the world. Discover WCEA’s learning management system and content library today to incorporate a social component into your virtual classroom and help students get the most out of online learning.