Whether you’re a professional teacher, a life coach, or a business professional, often times you will find yourself needing to teach others what you know. Whether that is teaching your contractors or employees how to do something, or teaching clients, you want to ensure that you do so in a way that is effective.
Today there are many choices of how to go about teaching others what you know – from email-based courses, to webinars, to information products. In fact the choices are endless. But, what type of learning will set your course apart from everyone else’s? The answer is interactive learning. Interactive learning involves using multiple techniques to help your students remember and apply what is being taught. Interactive learning keeps learners from getting bored.
Understand Your Technology
It’s important that you understand how the technology works, so your first order of business with any new course is a quick overview of how the learning technology works for students. The easier it is for your students to understand and use the interactive learning environment, the better.
Know Your Students
Your students are your target audience and it’s important to know exactly who they are, how they think, and what makes them tick. If you don’t know who you’re trying to teach, it can be difficult to create compelling lessons that bring students out of their comfort zones into real learners.
Develop Detailed Content
Most people start with an outline of what they want to teach the student, along with expected outcomes for the student. You’ll use text and images, PowerPoint, Multimedia, Interactive Media (tests, quizzes, etc..) as well as external resources to create detailed content for your course. You’ll want a course overview, the meat of the course, the assignments, as well as the proposed outcome before you even get started putting it all together.
Most people learn better when text is combined with a visual element. You can use infographics, graphs, slides, images, video and more to demonstrate the lessons in your course visually. When using text, remember to create whitespace because reading text online can be difficult if that hasn’t been taken into consideration.
Create Challenging Activities
Don’t stop with just giving the lessons. Instead, continue the learning process by asking students to perform what they’ve learned. If you are teaching students how to do something, then by the end of your course they should be able to demonstrate actually doing the task you have taught them.
Use Real World Examples
If you have access to case studies to use during your course, adding that to your material will make a huge impact on what your students retain. Sharing the story of someone that you’ve taught in the past can help. If you don’t have a live example yet, you can use an example from someone else who has done what you’re teaching. You can use yourself as an example too.
Encourage Student Interaction
Using chat features, or a discussion board, encourage students to share with each other. Some of your interactive exercises can involve everyone answering a question on a discussion board, or posing a question for others to answer. By letting students communicate about the assignments and the information they are learning, you’ll create a more satisfying experience for everyone.
Creating successful student-centered interactive learning experiences can be a long process, but one that is well worth it in the end. Once you create your course, it will be easy to keep it up to date and move on to creating other courses. You won’t have to recreate the wheel each time the course is taught, as the e-learning software will take care of most of the work. You’ll get to focus on the end result – the successful student who has learned what you taught them.