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The Online Learning Formula: Five Common Traits of Effective Online Training

Five Common Traits of Effective Online Training

In a new report, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has uncovered the key elements that make online vocational education and training (VET) delivery truly engaging. Titled “Effective Teaching Practices and Student Support Services in Online VET,” this study revolutionises how registered training organisations (RTOs) approach online learning, making it an exciting and interactive experience for your students.

The Five Common Traits of Engaging Online VET Learning

Drawing insights from a comprehensive survey involving 37 RTOs offering online VET programs, the research identifies five engaging elements you must incorporate to captivate learners and drive success in online VET delivery.

    • Simplicity, Clarity, and Consistency: In the online environment, where immediate two-way communication is often limited, creating a seamless learning experience relies on leveraging user-friendly technology, delivering relevant information, providing clear instructions, and offering task-oriented, concise, intuitive, and easily navigable learning materials. According to NCVER’s research, these factors foster an engaging and successful online learning experience by helping students understand course expectations, easily access resources, and effectively engage with the content.
    • Variety and Engaging Learning Materials: To keep students motivated and enthusiastic, online learning materials should incorporate a wide array of formats. Ranging from captivating videos to interactive quizzes and activities, these engaging elements add a sense of excitement and dynamism to the learning process.
      However, developing effective online materials presents unique considerations. These include compliance with training and industry expectations, addressing diverse learning styles and literacy levels, considering students’ digital literacy and access to technology, contextualising materials with workplace simulations, and providing bite-sized micro-learning opportunities. These considerations require a distinct approach in online delivery, emphasising the need for materials specifically tailored to the digital environment.
    • Communication and Engagement: Strong communication and engagement strategies were implemented to combat learner isolation in online delivery, with methods varying based on the delivery mode, whether synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous training utilised personal stories, regular phone calls, video meetings, and interactive elements to foster rapport and active student involvement.
      In self-paced courses, strategies included introductory phone calls, upfront course information, multi-channel information distribution, and targeted outreach to students showing low engagement. These approaches aimed to create an interactive and supportive learning environment, addressing learner isolation and meeting the unique requirements of synchronous and self-paced online training.
    • Flexibility: Flexibility is a key aspect of online delivery, offering students numerous benefits, as emphasised by the interviewees. Trainers highlighted various ways to ensure flexibility, including scheduling live training sessions to accommodate students’ work schedules and personal commitments, adjusting due dates to cater to individual needs, and providing in-person alternatives, where feasible, to address any challenges.
    • Proactive and personalised student support: The research stresses the significance of proactive and personalised support for online VET students. Trainers employ various methods to identify students needing additional support, such as questionnaires, the learning management system (LMS), live class observations, direct communication, and engagement with employers.
      The LMS serves as a valuable source of information for monitoring student progress. Best practice student support entails individualised and flexible assistance tailored to students’ unique needs, with proactive contact established through preferred communication channels. Training providers utilise diverse approaches, with larger institutions often having dedicated support officers or services, while smaller providers rely on trainers and occasional administrative assistance.

Creating Engaging and Rewarding Learning Experiences

These five engaging elements outlined in the report are poised to transform online VET delivery into a captivating and rewarding experience for learners across various qualifications. Educators and RTOs can revamp their online learning programs with this newfound knowledge, creating dynamic and interactive courses that stimulate engagement and maximise student outcomes.

The NCVER’s research report serves as a guiding light for educators venturing into the realm of online VET courses, providing them with the tools to develop engaging learning programs and support structures. By implementing the recommended strategies, educators can create an immersive and captivating online learning environment that empowers students to succeed in their VET journey.

As online learning continues to shape the future of education, the insights from this study pave the way for a new era of engaging online VET delivery, ensuring that learners receive a top-notch education while experiencing the thrill of interactive and immersive learning.

Download the report from the NCVER website to gain in-depth information about this research.

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