Six Incredibly Boring And Monstrous Mistakes In Digital Education

Head in Hands

The majority of online education is poorly designed and extremely boring.

We’ve all attended Webinars that make root canals seem more exciting!

Six Big Online Education Mistakes

University Professor Guillermo Ramirez, author of The Virtual Presenter, believes that online education is here to stay. Unfortunately, most organizations continue to deliver poor online education experiences.

Here are six online education mistakes most organizations make. These are modified from Ramirez’ recent PPT presentation Five Big Mistakes Of Virtual Education.

1. Believing that digital education equals massive education.

Technology is a multiplier but education is a one to one process. There is no limit to participants, materials, activities and links. But learning is not accumulation. Learning is assimilation. You don’t have one course with 250 students. You have 250 courses of one student.

A red flag should rise when you have an abandonment rate of 40% or more. Why? If you enrolled 1,000 students into an eight semester program, only 25 will be at graduation. One out of 40. Yet we don’t have any problems approving and providing online education that has that high of an abandonment rate. Something needs to change.

2. Believing that digital education is mysterious and complex.

There is no mystery in connecting someone that wants to learn with someone that wants to present. Give them the tools and they’ll do the magic.

There is a myth that a good presenter will not easily become a good digital presenter. False. A good presenter is a good presenter with any tool. Unless you think that a good digital presenter is a good actor.

What many organizations are discovering is that their “good presenters” are not actually good presenters, especially when it comes to online education. They really don’t have the skills to foster and nurture learning. They are just good lecturers and talking heads. They are good at information transfer not helping people learn.

3. Putting technology before andragogy (adult learning).

The education process should be as follows:
Technology is subordinate to the materials which is subordinate to the presenter which prepares everything using good adult learning principles for the learner.

Technology is the tool that helps presenters create the materials to share with learners. Technology should be the bridge that allows presenter and learner interaction.

Unfortunately, most digital education works like this:
Presenter is secondary to the technology which is subordinate to the materials to share with the learner.

Presenters become subordinates of technology which dictates the way they present. And those technology ways are not good for learning and retention.

4. Underestimating your presenters and learners.

Some organizations have developed digital education that is a closed system. It is closed to criticism, innovation and experimentation. Standardization and modularity are the dogma. Presenters cannot move freely outside of predetermined paths. Nor can learners. They are told what to say when and how to say it.

Learners receive predesigned objects, packages and modules, not courses. A package is the product of a designer. A course is an unpredictable and single event hosted by an educator or presenter. A module is predetermined. A course is contingent, like a river.

5. Taking the fun out of learning and education.

In some organizations, digital education and stress are synonymous. Education has been transformed into an industrial process. Controls, supervision, indicators and reports have replaced the freedom and flexibility originally promised in digital education. There is plenty of room in digital education for spontaneity and risk taking.

6. Repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.

Why is education a one to one process and not a one-to-many process? What are some things presenters can do to allow learners time to digest information during a Webinar?

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