The Missing Link – Visual Cues in the Online Classroom

By December 17, 2013E-learning

Visual CuesWhat are some things we can do to incorporate technologically savvy lessons to make-up for the lack of visual cues in online classes?

The truth of the matter is that online classes have become more and more prevalent over the last several years. We have identified a lacking in online classes, and now our challenge becomes to find ways to overcome it or at least make-up for it.

From an educator stand-point, we are looking for the best means to help students in their learning. There are improved means of helping students overcome virtual learning barriers, via the use of learning technology advancements, which are becoming less costly every day. Taking advantage of developments in technology, combined with appropriate learning theory supports the suggestion that students should be exposed repeatedly to the topic through different delivery methods in order for them to digest the subject matter.

Perhaps video lectures may be a happy medium to allow students to take online classes but still maintain some aspect of the visual cues. Video lectures are a viable option for several reasons.

First, a student can watch a video lesson over and over again until he or she feels that the level of understand is adequate enough to move onto the next lesson. Essentially, there is no pressure to ‘keep up’ with the class at one standard pace. This permits a comfort level to the student that the on ground classroom may not allot them.

Second, video lectures help students to pace their learning. If a particularly difficult subject is presented, he or she can stop and start the lecture as many times as needed to do further research or take notes.

Thirdly, video lectures can reach an infinite amount of students worldwide who are on different time zones and in different geographical locations. It will be assured that they are all learning the same lesson at their own pace and in their own time.

The one downside is that video lectures could be costly, so price is something that needed to be considered before venturing into this option. It may not be the same as an on ground experience, but it can help students achieve a deeper level of understanding. With that being said, the platform of many online learning shells, such as Blackboard, allowing the educator to upload their own pieces, connect to YouTube (which is particularly common in math based courses), and develop their own resources based on both the projected and current needs of their students.

How do you feel about the online classroom experience? What is it missing that could allow students to better connect the dots? Let us know!