According to GoConqr’s Online Learning Report – which analyzes the online learning behavior of more than 2.5 million students and teachers – each region of the world has its own trends in online education. The U.S., for example, houses the most variety of e-learning tools, while the UAE leads in learning via a mobile device.
However, one factor that is consistent among online learning platforms in every country is the lack of a human element. Too often, e-learning platforms and MOOCs tend to stay aligned with their technology-based roots – it’s a technology platform, so why not let technology be the focus?
At OpenClassrooms, we’re quite the opposite. We’re big believers in weaving a human element into all we do to help our students succeed, including through our programs, mentorship and in connecting peers through our online community.
In recent years, academic studies and surveys have found students tend to be most interested in having engaging, interactive online courses that enable active learning.
The GoConqr study mentioned above even found a strong trend towards active learning and visually engaging material, an area in which “the offline world simply cannot compete with the online one.”
Each of our courses is handcrafted by our network of teachers, field experts and/or educational designers to give students a unique experience. A course is made up of one or more sections that includes either text or visual assets such as images (including diagrams, photographs, etc.) and short videos to create a more dynamic and efficient learning experience.
One ingredient in OpenClassrooms’ secret sauce is our mentors who serve as passionate and qualified resources for our students.
Studies show that students who interact with mentors through online learning typically feel more engaged, satisfied and motivated – similar to traditional, in-person learning environments – than if they solely engaged in online learning through the average MOOC.
In fact, the annual Gallup-Purdue Index found the odds of being engaged at work are nearly two times higher if students had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams.
That’s why we provide our students with weekly, one-on-one access to a mentor to help establish and build a professional relationship.
Mentors can adapt training to meet student needs, provide guidance and support via hour-long video chats that motivate students to meet their goals.
Learning from your Peers
Studies also focus on the value and importance of social learning – the capability for students to interact with each other – in both online and traditional learning models.
Social learning, also called ‘peer learning’ or ‘collaborative learning’, is projected to be a big focus for businesses, with 73% of companies surveyed by the Brandon Hall Group expected to prioritize this in the near term.
At OpenClassrooms, we link you with a community of peers via Facebook’s Workplace platform to chat with fellow students within your learning path to collaborate, motivate, get feedback and brainstorm all things related to your future career.
Workplace also gives you the opportunity to interact with mentors and student advisors via the collaborative work space and chat system.
Some assignments are also reviewed by your peers. This practice corresponds with academic research that shows peer-to-peer evaluations can be a very effective way to learn. Through these evaluations students deepen their knowledge of the curriculum as well as develop the soft skill of delivering feedback.
The benefits of the human element in online learning is not something that should be ignored. Achievement and motivation is tied to accountability and community.
Prioritizing the human element will be increasingly important to keep in mind for the success of individuals and businesses alike. And at OpenClassrooms, we look to develop more innovative ways to articulate our high touch online learning experience for all our students.