Digital Learning in a Pandemic

The pandemic has transformed the way we teach and learn. With limited, if any, in-person contact, most education and training organizations have transitioned to some type of blended or hybrid learning. Using digital tools doesn’t have to be a burden; rather, use them to your advantage to teach more effectively and increase learner engagement.

In this post, we’ll walk through three simple ways you can use digital learning to improve your teaching and training methods.

a learning environment with computers and notebooks

Making Zoom Meetings More Engaging

Without visual cues of understanding, like head nods, and verbal check-ins with learners, it’s tough to gauge how much each student is understanding. 

Short knowledge checks can help teachers check in with their learners, while giving learners a reason to pay attention. Use a built-in poll feature in Zoom or Google Meets, or make a presentation in Mentimeter to increase interaction. 

At the end of a session, send short 5-8 question quiz based on the material you’ve taught. Once your learners have filled out the quiz, check the analytics for an understanding of what they do and do not understand. 

Did a sizable proportion miss a question? If so, you might consider reteaching that topic in the next session. Did the majority of students get a question correct? Great, then you can move on.

Wellness Checks

It’s no secret that these are difficult times. Your learners are stuck at home without the activities and socialization they love. There have been multiple studies on the negative effect of lockdowns on mental health (here’s one of those studies), particularly in young adults.

Virtual mental wellness checks give your learners a way to communicate without the pressure of in-person conversations. You can make them optional and anonymous for an even lower pressure check of how your learners are doing.

A few sample questions:

  • How are you feeling?
  • How are your sleeping habits? Are you getting enough sleep at night?
  • What can we, as instructors, be doing better to support your health and well-being?
  • How have the lockdowns affected your mental state? How can we help?
  • How do you feel about the remote learning methods? (Zoom classes, quizzes, etc.)

These questions give your students a voluntary, low pressure forum to discuss any issues they’ve been experiencing during the pandemic.

New Team Member Onboarding

Onboarding a new team member without in-person contact can be tough, but using microlearning principles, organizations can flatten the learning curve needed to get people up to speed on organizational knowledge and processes.

In businesses, trainers can create short lessons to highlight different areas of operation. Since the lessons each only take 5-7 minutes to complete, new hires can spread out their lessons and get up to speed faster.

Athletic programs can create short, interactive lessons to teach new players about the team and their plays. If players complete the lessons in advance of meetings, you can spend the time you have together addressing questions and diving deeper into the details.

woman learning at computer

A Better Way to Learn

Digital learning doesn’t have to be impersonal or burdensome. With the right modes of instruction, teachers can make their instruction more engaging than ever.

In what ways have you transformed your teaching and learning during the pandemic?

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