When offering an online training, you are relying on the participants to take what you have placed in the course and learn from it. If participants’ needs are not being met by what you have designed, you will need to facilitate their learning by adding or changing the content of the course. This is why it is so important to gather feedback through some sort of process as participants work through and complete the course.
It is especially important in an online training to scaffold the instruction within the training. In some online trainings, content is released periodically so participants can take the time to complete the assignments and process the information that is provided. If you are opening all parts of the training at the same time, will participants want to rush through and finish the training without gaining a deeper understanding of the materials presented?
Other aspects of online learning are the teaching, social, and cognitive presence.
The teaching presence is the design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes toward the goal of meaningful learning outcomes. At the present time, a course is being developed to assist you to design online courses through the HDI Learning Center (https://www.hdilearning.org/). You can access a preview of this course by attending Trainers Institute 2019!
When you think about social presence, think in terms of how your participants would feel after the training was complete. Would they feel that you and the other participants were sensitive to their needs? Was the training informal enough to not scare them away? Did they feel that the training had a warm atmosphere where they were welcomed or cold where they did not want to come back?
You can also include trust and privacy when you think about social presence in an online training. As the facilitator of an online training, you must model respect for all participants to help build trust and protect privacy.
According to Wilcoxon, “Cognitive presence is the process of inquiry by the group.”1 How can you encourage participants to take the material you are sharing to build knowledge and skills in their daily work? This will take time for the participants to process the information and through trial and error see what does and does not work for them. Interaction with other participants can help them think through the process, see what might work, and/or share ideas of what changes need to be made.
On your ?Handout page 20, please answer the following questions: