January 1, 2018

A Common Pitfall in Online Courses, and What Element You Need to Fix it

Imagine This

You roll out of bed, scarf down a bowl of cereal, give your mom a kiss and head off to school.

You plop down in your seat for first period, and instead of a teacher, there’s a packet on your desk staring you in the face.

Instead of an open room where you can see your classmates, each one of you is imprisoned in their own little gray cubicle. If you need a break, maybe scroll through Facebook or Instagram for a bit. Need help? Don’t know how to solve a problem? Google is right in your pocket to answer any questions you may have.

But don’t worry, once you complete your packet you can pick up a “Good Job!” sticker from the front of the room. You don’t need actual encouragement if you can press a colorful sticker on your packet at the end of the day!

Would you rise out of bed each day if this scenario was waiting for you? Or would the gravity just seem so heavy that you can’t move?

Where online courses fall

Unfortunately, the made-up scenario described above is the case for many online courses.Students are left on their own in their learning journey.

Often with digital learning, there is an inevitable feeling of isolation and disconnectedness that tags along. Material is given, and it is your job to comprehend it and complete certain tasks. That’s it.

If students are put in a solitary learning environment, individual idiosyncrasies and unique learning styles are not accounted for. Concerns about lack of focus and motivation cannot be addressed. Information is not brought to life, but is rather thrown at you in a mundane manner.

How are students supposed to develop a passion for a subject? What do students look to if there is no familiar face to ease their troubles? What is the point of gaining information if it does not seem applicable or does not help you grow?

What can happen if you integrate human interaction with online courses

Human interaction helps nullify the isolation that can come with online learning.

If an online course can make it appear that someone is there guiding you, it feels less likepresented material, and more like a one-on-one tutoring session. Human interaction combined with online learning can spark feelings of interest and can instill support and care that students often need.

More than that, human interaction provides an external motivating factor for completion ofmaterial that normal online platforms can’t provide.

How we incorporate human interaction

myQuest is different than many e-learning platforms because it addresses the common flaws in online learning. Students who take on a Quest are not alone while they navigate through levels and complete missions.

  1. myQuest users are surrounded by others who can provide support, tips, and accountability through our community interface. With this interface, students can post their comments, concerns, and can praise one another as they move forward.
  2. While physically alone, users are constantly being monitored by mentors who have the ability to see the activity and written content of their students. Mentors have the capacity to personally evaluate each and every students’ progress and struggles.
  3. Information is not just given to students. Rather, students are guided through material by the mentor’s friendly face and have to interact with myQuest’s AI system. After each mission completed, myQuest’s platform allows for mentors to ask questions that they can post to the community or keep to themselves. This is to hold users responsible for completion and to close the feedback loop.

In Conclusion

Online courses need human interaction. Without it, students are left fending for themselves with little to no motivation to complete tasks.

myQuest provides that individualized, interactive feel that students need to succeed. That is why our mentors experience great success, users stay engaged and end up triumphant in their learning and goal seeking experience.

P.S. – If you’re not using myQuest, what can you do?

If you’re a myQuest user, STICK AROUND A READ THIS BRIEF SECTION. There are ideas and tips that could help you with your quest-building process.

While we recommend that you sign up with us, there are ways to liven up your online coursematerial so it can be less dull and more of an exciting, two-way endeavor.

  • Even if you are not actually there and writing content to a wide audience, use language that is friendly and personal. Use words and phrases that you would use if you were there teaching each person one-on- one. While it may seem childish or frivolous, it makes a difference.
  • At the beginning of an information section, say ‘Get ready to….!”
  • If you want to retain people’s attention use silly language or differentcolors/font to keep them from getting bored.
  • At the end of a task, congratulate and encourage your students.
  • Give students tasks that are fun and self-rewarding, even if it may be off topic. You’recreating an online course that teaches people a certain coding language. Before givingthem a quiz or questions to answer, instruct them to get up and do 20 jumpjacks, take a 30 minute nap, etc. Then, explain why it is important that they do so.
  • Reach out to your students via email and give them the option of reaching out to you bygiving them your email. Send helpful tips, reminders, let them know about other courses, etc. The key here is to let your students know there is a person behind the online course. Being accessible and showing you care is a huge motivator for completion.

If you have any questions, or need any help creating your online course, contact us at support@myquest.co!

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