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This is how your course is designed  


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Let's face it. Arguably, there is nothing that beats the flexibility of classroom training. However, the world is moving fast towards online learning.

I have been a trainer/teacher all along my editing career and love to see the "aha" moment in a face during training. When I decided that I would launch online courses, my only goal was how to evoke that feeling - how to reproduce that "aha" moment - while a person is learning, even though I cannot see it. Here are some of the strategies that I have incorporated into my courses to maximize the learning experience.

1. Instructor-paced training. We are so strongly wired with the idea that gratification should be immediate. An associated challenge is avoidance. When we find something difficult, we tend to avoid that, or the least procrastinate, telling ourselves that we will come back to it later. However, this nature may seriously affect learning. Therefore, most of the formative learning is instructor paced.

That is, the learning of new topics is structured in such a way that you cannot skip or jump topics.

You might have noticed that when you skip a topic or quiz, you will not be able to access the next page. Only on completing a topic will you be able to move forward.

An important note: Quizzes automatically recognize completion when you hit "Submit". However, the theory topics do not recognize completion automatically. You have to manually let the system know, by clicking on "Mark as complete".

(As an aside, I loved this piece on avoiding avoidance:

2. Baseline and final assessments. These two types of assessments are meant to test your knowledge before and after taking a lesson, respectively.

Do not panic if your score is less in the baseline quiz. Do not attempt to retake it - you will not be allowed to. The idea behind the baseline quiz is to understand how much you know about a concept before you take a lesson. Take the baseline assessment, complete the learning part, and take the final assessment. A comparison of your baseline and final assessment scores is an indicator of your learning.

3. Knowing what went wrong. Other than the baseline and final assessments, most other practice papers and quizzes come with explanations for questions. You should be able to check your answers either immediately after you answered a question or at the end, depending on how the quiz is defined.

4. Retaking quizzes. Let's say you have scored less in a quiz. The explanations would tell you what went wrong. At the end of the quiz, you may sometimes have an option to retake the test. I strongly recommend that you review the learning material before you retake a test.

5. Passing minimum. Other than the baseline assessments, all other quizzes have a passing minimum requirement. If you do not score enough, you need to retake the test in order to be able to access the next topic/quiz.

6. Learning support. One of the greatest advantages of classroom training is you can ask questions and get answers immediately. Technology has ensured that this advantage is carried forward to online courses as well.

Your forum will act as a virtual classroom. Ask any question you may have about a topic. Not just the trainer, but your peer learners will be there to answer your questions. I paraphrase this sentence: Any peer learner can answer a question; no need to wait for the instructor.

The more active a forum is, the more dynamic the learning environment will be. So I request you to actively take part in forum discussions.

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