What is online learning and how is it different from other types of learning?

This may seem like a silly question, most of us know that having a course online means more people are able to access your course at any time and in any place (as long as they have Internet access).  We’re talking 24 hours a day anywhere in the world.


There are great benefits to have a course or training online and there is more to it than posting a series of videos on your website and directing your traffic there.


A beautiful thing about online learning is that it encourages interaction from all the different people taking the course. Putting your course online means that you can facilitate discussions about topics. When people ask questions and share their knowledge by answering other people’s questions and supporting others, they gain a much deeper level of learning. It’s not just watching and doing, it’s a much fuller participation.


Discussions are a very simple way of engaging people. You can easily encourage participation by asking open ended questions stemming from your learning materials. This is also easy to set up but you may need to learn a few facilitation skills (remember negative answers might just be a frustrated learner).


There is an emerging trend for gamifying online learning. This can work with player interactions, making achievable aims and basically having fun. Check out Jane McGonigal on TED.


Being online allows you to use a lot of resources, the most common software are those that amalgamate slide shows, quizzes and other support systems (images, maps etc) into one easy to use course. These are often used for organisational and in-house training.


It is important you ask yourself what you want to achieve through your course and to encourage participant interactions.


*check out the original article by Rebecca OGM on  elearnhub.org  


TTT – Top Tech Trend: Zero Marginal Cost Education

Education is undergoing a ‘massive change’. How many times have you heard that?

This article on changing education HAS attracted my interest. It seems that Zero Marginal Cost Education IS one of the top ten tech trends that interests venture capitalists at the Churchill Club (a Silicon Valley group encouraging innovation & growth). How do we know this? It was voted on in a recent tech trends gathering – see link here.

It’s probably very self explanatory: high quality low cost education enables everyone who can’t attend a top tier university, whether financial, time constraints, distances etc, to easily access educational facilities.

There are a lot of books online and Wikipedia answers almost every question you might have, but education is about learning not just accessing information. Collaborating and interacting and working together through online spaces enables people to learn and can break through previous learning constraints and barriers. It’s great to see that education is being recognized as a major tech player.

Go Go Online Education!

Top Tech Trend Zero Marginal Cost Education


Check out this new MOOC website where you can go to find out more about the latest MOOC happenings.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, MOOC’s are a Massive Open Online Course, most of the time they are completely free – bonus!

What happens is, you sign up and get confirmation with links and support information, there are webinars and content each week followed by online discussions.

The biggest hurdle is transitioning from being a ‘lurker’ to an active participant.  I have spent a lot of time lurking through discussions looking for that place where I feel I fit in before participating.  Sometimes there can be a lot of contributors and so a lot of information to go through.  The best way to handle it is to find topics that interest you and respond to what people have written, contribute to a discussion.

Why do I like MOOC’s so much?  It’s because I get the chance to connect with like minded people and have meaningful discussions.  People can be anywhere in the world and we’ve got the opportunity to connect in a relevant learning space.

Take from it what you like, but give it a go.

MOOCers – everyone’s doing it!