Maximizing the benefits of asynchronous elearning for K-12 students

Posted by Greten on 13 Feb 2023 under Tips

‚ÄćAsynchronous elearning is becoming increasingly popular in K to 12 education. The nice thing about this online learning modality is that students can access lessons and content whenever and wherever they want, making it super convenient. It's not like traditional real-time online learning, where the instructor and student interact in real-time. Instead, students can work at their own pace and schedule. This makes asynchronous elearning an excellent option for working students and students who prefer to learn independently.

You might think that asynchronous elearning is less engaging than synchronous online learning or traditional classroom because there seems to be no human interaction, but that's only sometimes the case. With proper design, asynchronous elearning can be just as engaging!

Benefits of asynchronous elearning for K-12 students

Asynchronous elearning provides several benefits for K to 12 students. For one, students can learn at their own pace, allowing them to develop essential skills like self-discipline and self-motivation, which are very useful when they enter college or the job market. Another advantage is that it gives students access to content that might otherwise be unavailable.

A boy in front of a computer in a dark room.

Also, even though there's no real-time human interaction, asynchronous elearning still provides ways for students to connect with classmates and instructors, like through direct messages or discussion boards. Finally, students struggling with specific concepts can also benefit from asynchronous elearning. They can take their time to review the materials, ask questions using the discussion boards or direct message if needed, and even access additional resources to help them understand better.

Challenges of implementing asynchronous elearning in K-12

Asynchronous elearning offers numerous advantages, but it also has certain drawbacks. One of the challenges is keeping pupils involved and motivated. This might be an issue for children who require more engagement and direction. Another challenge is gauging student performance and development without the instructor's direct supervision.

Two boys attending online class in a grassy open area.

In assessing performance, the online setup provides students with more opportunities to cheat. However, you can mitigate cheating by having students take quizzes in the classroom in a blended learning setting or by creating examinations in an open-book style emphasizing higher-order thinking abilities.

Finally, students who are new to the platform or are uncomfortable with technology may struggle. However, it can also be an advantage as it lets them prepare for technological innovations and a fast-paced environment that can come their way in the corporate setting when they become adults. Thus, preparing them before they begin their asynchronous elearning programs is critical.

Materials and content of asynchronous elearning modules for K-12

You must incorporate compelling and relevant information while developing asynchronous elearning programs. Check that the material matches the course's learning objectives and contains activities such as readings, videos, quizzes, conversations, and interactive exercises.

Include elements that keep the students interested and engaged. For example, adding multimedia elements such as videos, audio, images, and animations can make the modules more appealing. In addition, including interactive activities and exercises that challenge critical thinking and problem-solving skills can help the students retain the information.

Bronze or gold clock with several cogs.

You should also provide feedback and help for each task to enhance learning. Fortunately, asynchronous elearning allows you to automate some parts of this task. For example, you can set up an onscreen text explaining the correct answer or why your learner's selected answer is incorrect. However, it is more challenging to automate the feedback for more complicated exercises, such as essay writing. There's already an existing AI (artificial intelligence) technology for grading essays. However, it has yet to be widely adopted, and its validity still needs to be established.

Finally, incorporate exercises that involve critical thinking and problem-solving skills since they can assist students in developing their skills and knowledge in a meaningful way.

The objectives you want your students to accomplish should be kept in mind while you create asynchronous elearning modules. The modules should be interactive and enticing and include several sorts of material that support those objectives.

Necessary technologies for asynchronous elearning

Consider the technology you or your colleagues will employ to develop the modules while making decisions concerning technology. The modules must be simple for students and compatible with your selected platform. Make sure the modules are adaptable in case future adjustments are required.

You'll need a learning management system (LMS) that can manage all the details of developing, delivering, and maintaining online learning if you want to make it happen. Additionally, the LMS must be able to monitor student development and provide advice and assistance.

If you or your school can afford it, consider using elearning authoring tools like Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, or Lectora Inspire. Depending on the kinds of information you wish to incorporate, you might also need photo, audio, and video editing applications. However, even with a simple configuration, your elearning course could include static pages and assessment that runs from or through the LMS.

Consider accessibility for learners with disabilities

When selecting multimedia elements, ensure they fit the subject matter and learning goals and are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. Creating engaging elearning modules can be challenging, but using different content is a good start.

A blind child reading a Braille book.

Also, ensure that your modules are accessible to students with different disabilities. For example, include closed captions for audio narration for students with hearing impairments, or ensure that images have alternate text for students with visual impairments.

Finally, test the modules to ensure they work correctly with your chosen technology. This includes making sure interactions work on both desktops and mobile devices. If you find any limitations, mention them in the course introduction, so students know what to expect.

Conclusion

Asynchronous elearning may be an ideal choice for K-12 students who prefer to learn at their own pace and on their own terms. However, it provides certain challenges, such as keeping students involved and monitoring their progress. Consider the material, technology, and multimedia you'll use in your courses to get the most out of asynchronous elearning. It is also vital to ensure that the modules are understandable, interactive, and relevant to the students. With the proper methodology and resources, asynchronous elearning might be a fantastic way to give engaging courses to K-12 students.

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Last updated on 13 Feb 2023.

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Instructional design and educational technology for effective learning