Here at Siminars, we believe student-centered learning is the best way to deliver your online course. Why? Because it targets the interests of the student, and personalizes the learning experience. The three aspects we’ve incorporated into student-centered learning are:
Together, they create a learning experience that immerses students in your idea so they come away from it changed.
This is the third blog in a series of three that focuses on student-centered learning. In it we’re going to look at how socialization plays a role in your Siminar.
First, let’s define socialization, then we’ll talk about why it’s important. Socialization means involving an individual in a community. In the case of an online course, it’s removing the feeling of isolation that can accompany staring at a computer screen by connecting students with people like themselves, or in your case, people they admire. The importance of this can’t be overstated. Without socialization in learning, your students become unengaged, and could end up abandoning your course.
Social media sites have successfully turned the virtual world into welcoming communities. Why not take a page from their book, and do the same with your course? Here’s how:
Your students have come to you for help with a problem of some kind. That quest for a solution binds them to you and the other students taking your course. Help them understand they’re a part of the same community for that very reason. Show them you understand their plight, and are there to help solve it.
Throughout the course, ask questions soliciting comments from your students about a task they’ve just completed, a challenge they’ve just faced, or a concept they’ve been introduced to. By doing so, you encourage them to think for themselves and share their ideas.
Guide the Conversation
Providing a clear sense of direction engages students, promoting their trust. Give them many opportunities to interact with one another by providing areas where they get to provide feedback. Encourage honesty, and provide feedback yourself. Ask them to share their feelings on various social media platforms, and encourage them to invite more members to the community.
Provide a Forum
An effective way to encourage students to voice an opinion is to invite them to participate in polls. The exercise allows them to sort out where they stand on a subject or issue. It also shows them where members of their community stand on it. As a result, they get an idea of their position within their community.
When you think like a social media site it’s easy to make socialization a part of your students’ learning experience. Providing empathy, triggering discussion, guiding the conversation, and providing a forum for expressing opinions fosters trust and engagement. Your students will feel comfortable in your hands, and within the community you’ve created for them, allowing them to realize the full benefit of everything you have to offer.
See how Deepak Chopra fostered a community around his content on reversing the aging process in the first of his six Siminars, called “Changing Perceptions”. Enroll here for free, and in the first step of content you’ll see hundreds of comments in the discussion section.