Engaging students in online learning programs is critical
Online learning programs are increasingly popular. Teaching many online students and trying to engage them is not an easy task.
Engagement in online learning is promoted when learning is problem-centric or case-based and supported with simple-to-understand explanations of procedures or concepts, when the course staff is accessible and shows passion in teaching the course, when active learning is emphasized and supported, when peer interaction is promoted and course resources are used to address participants’ diverse learning preferences.
These are the learning points of research by Khe Foon Hew, an associate professor of Information and Technology Studies at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. (Khe Foon Hew. (2016). Promoting engagement in online courses: What strategies can we learn from three highly rated MOOCS. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(2), 320–341.)
Case-based learning is helping to engage students in online learning programs
This implies an important role for instructors, course resources and pedagogic practices that focus on providing problem-centric and active learning play in engaging online students.
Our learning program is designed as case-based or problem-centric. It’s a problem-centric online learning program for Business Central. A realistic implementation story is driving the learning journey and is build around realistic problem-centric cases that resemble real life implementation tasks. These real life scenario’s and tasks engage our students to learn how to do things in real life Business Central practice.
“I thought it was great how the full course is tailored around the consultants role, basically starting from the ground up. Also, at the end of each section you’re giving assignments to complete which really aids your development as it puts theory into practice.” –BusinessCentralBooster Student testimonial
Having course staff accessible is another driver for engagement. Participants need to find support, need to be encouraged and motivated by the instructor-student dialogue. In Business Central Booster all instructors are in contact with their students. Participants can easily start the conversation and are encouraged to do so. The Business Central Booster instructors and staff are committed to provide prompt feedback
“Finally, the course instructors are extremely helpful with any queries you may have in relation to the course and assignments, I had a response within a couple hours in most cases. Highly recommended for anyone working with Business Central.” – BusinessCentralBooster Student testimonial
Peer learning is also encouraged in Business Central Booster with discussion boards. We’ve setup discussion boards around all functional domains of Business Central where students can help each other.
The findings of this study also corroborate with five of the seven principles of effective teaching suggested by Chickering and Gamson (1987), namely student–faculty contact, student–student contact, active learning, prompt feedback and respect for students’ diverse talents and ways of learning.
The Business Central Booster problem-centric online learning program really engages students in their online training.