Why Course Continuity Planning Matters So Much – 2021 Guide
There are all kinds of learning programs out there. In the past year, the pandemic has caused them to diversify like never before. Students at every level have had to adjust, as have the instructors who prepare the courses and teach them.
When you’re building a learning program from the ground up, continuity planning is one of the things that matters the most. Covid-19 has shown us that. If something disrupts your traditional training model, it’s best when you can maintain in adversity’s face.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can do that if you’re constructing learning programs for current and future use.
Remote Learning Environments
Many learning institutions, from grade school up to college, are moving away from strictly in-person lesson plans to various hybrid models. eThink is a company that offers online educational tools. They mention on their website that as you plan learning objectives, you should maintain “clear transitions for course continuity and consistent engagement.” That’s not always the easiest thing in the world to accomplish.
If you’re going to set up and use a remote learning method, you’ll need the bandwidth so that you and your students can manage real-time connectivity. You’ll also want to use a lesson plan that an experienced IT team and instructional designers created. You must try to leverage available solutions and tools if course continuity is your goal.
If you’re going from an in-person to an online format, you’ll probably utilize PDFs, lectures, and slideshow presentations. However, if you’re more innovative, you might try some more unconventional techniques.
If your remote learning plan is going to find success, and your students are going to retain what you’re attempting to teach them, you’re going to be entirely technology-reliant. You’ll only get as far as the tech allows you to advance.
Connectivity issues will be a significant challenge, especially if you’re trying to reach students in areas where broadband internet access is an iffy prospect. Your eLearning setup is also going to be backend process-reliant. If you want to deliver long term, modernized training processes, you’ll need a scalable, flexible platform to do that.
You’ll want a continuity plan in place because if the technology isn’t working as well as you envisioned, you’re going to leave some students out. You might run into technical issues that you have to troubleshoot. You’ll also need to manage updates, which can slow you down mid-lesson if you didn’t take care of them before the class began.
How Can You Get Past Technical Glitches?
Let’s assume that your remote learning platform is not always going to work as well as you think it’s going to. That’s almost unavoidable. What matters is the plan you have in place for when that occurs.
If you run into technical glitches, one thing you can do is to use asynchronous collaboration and learning opportunities. You can let your students know what to do beforehand if they can’t connect for one of your scheduled class sessions.
You can also use a mobile app rather than one that’s either laptop or desktop-specific. With a mobile app, it’s much more likely that you can engage learners and other instructors, regardless of where you are.
If you can communicate the technology disruption procedure to your students before it occurs, they can get the most from your classes even if there’s a disruption on a particular day or week. That’s one way to prevent a flood of anxious emails and text messages if the worst happens.
You should also talk to your students when you start the class about the technical and academic support differences. Make it clear when you tell them about the platform you’ll be using that they should contact you if they have a class question. They should contact the platform’s IT department if they’re having a technical issue.
Have an Onboarding Session
Another thing you can do to avoid too much disruption if your technology fails is to have a brief onboarding session when your students start the class. Any new workers that a company hires will go through something similar when they learn how to use the business’s proprietary computer network.
You can show your students some fundamental system interactions, and hopefully, they should pick it up without too much trouble. Having a simple, comprehensive system will help in this regard, so keep that in mind as you look at some of the ones on the market today.
How Can You Make the Experience as Engaging as Possible?
Keeping the students engaged is one more thing that we should address. It can be challenging when you have a remote learning setup, and the pupils aren’t sitting right there in front of you.
You’ll want to get yourself a remote learning management system that features the latest and best technology. For instance, look for one that has augmented or virtual reality features. That sort of immersive content can engage your students at any educational level.
You should also have a platform that features several different content delivery tools. Gamified lesson plans, written text, audio features, and video might be among them.
You also may want to come up with some fun, merit-based award systems. If you can encourage some friendly competition, that’s often helpful. Create challenges, merit badges, and things of that nature.
The bottom line is that without course continuity planning and the technology to back it up, your lessons probably will not be as successful as you’d like. That can frustrate you as a teacher, but it will probably upset your students even more.
Keep in mind that teaching may be your profession, but your students are trying to achieve specific goals, and they can’t get there without completing these classes. The further they fall behind, the more challenging catching up will be.
You can’t plan for every eventually, but you can have a basic fallback protocol your students can utilize when your technology has the occasional inevitable glitch.