Do all your online learners get the support they need to succeed? Are they comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with their peers? In this article, we’ll share 8 tips to get everyone involved by creating a more inclusive eLearning environment.
How To Create An Inclusive eLearning Environment
You never know who’s going to sign up for your eLearning course. Not everyone is ready to jump into the spotlight and mingle with their virtual peers. In fact, there may be some who prefer to do it alone and avoid online participation at all costs. Here are 8 tips to get more introverted or aloof online learners involved and foster a more inclusive eLearning environment.
1. Gamify Your eLearning Course
Game mechanics provide an added incentive, which may be enough to get introverts into the action. They can earn badges, points, and collectibles by participating in eLearning activities, as well as engaging in online discussions and sharing their feedback.
The secret is to find a reward that works best for your audience. For example, leaderboards may not be the ideal choice for withdrawn online learners, as it caters to more competitive natures.
In addition, emphasize how online learners can earn these incentives and why they should participate. For instance, they earn 5 points every time they take part in an online discussion or complete a group collaboration activity, which links to teamwork and interpersonal skills that they need in the workplace.
2. Add Group Collaboration Activities
Speaking of group collaboration activities, interacting with peers can help bring online learners out of their proverbial shell. They have the opportunity to exchange information and work together to solve common challenges. The key is to keep group sizes small so that they ease into the online collaboration process.
Assign each team a problem or assignment, such as creating an online presentation or task walkthrough. Provide them with a list of suitable tools or resources, including a project management platform or video conferencing tool that allows them to communicate from the far reaches of the globe.
3. Start A Closed Social Media Group
Launch a closed social media group and only invite a select few online learners. For example, a Facebook group exclusively for your digital marketing online course, or even online learners who have similar goals or personal interests. This allows introverted members of your audience to discuss ideas and express their opinions out of the public eye.
As such, they are more likely to open up and feel comfortable communicating with peers. You can also start a password-protected online discussion or eLearning blog.
4. Create A Mentorship Online Training Program
An online mentorship training program is a more personal approach that pairs aloof online learners with those who are more outgoing or experienced. They have the chance to focus on their areas for improvement without feeling judged by the entire group. For example, the mentor can help their mentee bridge a skill gap. Mentors may even be able to alleviate some of their worries of fears so that they can increase participation.
Try to pair online learners who share common interests or goals to break down the communication barriers. For instance, they both have a passion for the outdoors or are working toward a promotion in their respective fields.
5. Provide Self-Guided Support Tools
One of the most effective self-directed support tool is a microlearning online training library. This bite-sized online training repository features various modules, quizzes, and online training activities that are easily consumable and custom-tailored to online learners’ needs. You can also incorporate FAQs and online discussions that offer immediate guidance. For instance, a discussion board that features tips from past online learners.
In addition to self-guided support tools, you should also provide direct contact methods, such as email addresses for online instructors or facilitators. Introverted or aloof online learners can get the help they need when they need it the most. More importantly, they don’t have to enlist the aid of online instructors to bridge gaps, which helps to alleviate apprehension.
6. Improve Accessibility For Online Learners With Special Needs
Another group to consider is online learners with special needs. These individuals may not be reluctant, aloof, or introverts. However, certain impairments prevent them from fully engaging with the eLearning content. Improving accessibility creates an all-inclusive eLearning environment that caters to every member of your audience, even those who cannot read the text or listen to your narration. Include subtitles and audio captions to give them the same opportunities as their peers.
7. Create Personalized Learning Paths
Give online learners the power to pursue their own learning goals when it’s most convenient for them. Self-guided learning paths are ideally suited for introverts, as they’re able to work autonomously to achieve the learning objectives. They can also choose eLearning activities and resources that suit their personal preferences.
There are several ways to incorporate individualized learning paths, including online training contracts and clickable eLearning course maps. Survey your online learners beforehand to determine which strategy works best for their needs. Then incorporate a broad range of eLearning content that appeals to different learning preferences.
8. Set Ground Rules That Focus On Learner Diversity
One of the main reasons why online learners are aloof is that they are afraid of being judged or ridiculed. Especially those who’ve had negative eLearning experiences in the past. To establish an inclusive eLearning environment, it’s essential to set ground rules that honor learner diversity. For example, respecting everyone’s opinions and ideas, instead of making them feel out of place.
These guidelines apply to every aspect of the eLearning course, from online discussions to group collaboration training projects. In fact, you should pin the rules to your main eLearning course page and all relevant social media groups just in case online learners need to refresh their memory.
An inclusive eLearning environment offers everyone a warm welcome and makes them feel comfortable sharing their ideas. As a result, they receive the full benefits of your eLearning course, and their peers gain valuable unique insights and experiences that introverts bring to the table. You can use this article to extend your virtual hand to aloof online learners.
Are you looking for ways to keep your adult learners engaged during your eLearning course? Download the free eBook Designing eLearning Courses For Adult Learners: The Complete Guide to learn about the key elements every eLearning course targeting adult learners should have.
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