Twenty years ago when people said they were going to school, they literally meant they were going to school. That required getting up early, getting into a vehicle and traveling miles to a school building just to circle around the parking lot trying to find a spot before dashing inside at the last minute to spend the next few hours doodling on a piece of paper as the instructor droned on and on in front of the classroom.
Thankfully those days are over.
Online learning has revolutionized education. Being able to connect at home, work, the beach or wherever and for that matter – whenever – has made a huge impact in how people learn new skills, prepare for a career and increase their knowledge.
When you think about it, online learning management systems, such as SharePoint LMS, incorporates many benefits for learners. Not only can they manage their time better, but they can manage study plans. They can share their questions, frustrations and challenges with classmates, connect in a meaningful way with instructors and share their work, goals and achievements with counselors and employers. They can determine learning goals that work for them and then celebrate their progress by creating an ePortfolio that outlines their academic, career and personal successes and achievements.
Some people unfamiliar with e-learning still cling to the idea that it is isolating, involving a singular person sitting alone at a computer terminal. In fact, that is not the case at all.
On the contrary, online learning encourages collaboration and promotes creativity through the frequent sharing of ideas, resources and skills. Discussion boards bring conversations to life as if students were in sitting and talking face-to-face. The best part is as learners are more exposed to a diversity of thoughts and perspectives that differ than their own, they often develop complex solutions and introduce innovative ideas.
The instructor can monitor the conversation and use these interactive discussion boards as the basis for future class discussions. In addition, the instructor may ask an open-ended question in order to initiate discussion about a specific topic or to assist students with preparing for an upcoming exam. This creates a dynamic learning environment unmatched by any other format.
With the advantages of SharePoint Learning Suite, instructors have complete control over the course content. They can post photos and links to other Websites that provide an additional dimension to the concepts being presented. They can record lectures so students who need additional help or who benefit from reviewing the information again can do so at their own pace so no facts are missed.
After all, when instructors, individual learners and groups of students share in the online learning experience together, the end result benefits all.
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