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The Secret to Online Learning Success

Online learning is here to stay. Educators had better figure out how to incorporate affective learning to enable effective learning.
Huh? Say that again? Is CaZ speaking in tongues? Not really. Just using a term you might not have heard before. Let’s find out what that bit of seeming double-talk means and specifically, what it means to you as an adult learner.

There is a lot of research trying to measure the efficacy of the online learning experience. And it seems that there are as many controversies as there are studies. However, agreement is clear in one area.

Any adult, no matter their preferred learning style, can be a successful learner via the online format.

Affective learning is an academic term used to group together and define the attitudes and feelings that students have about themselves during the learning process. Still confusing? Think about it this way. Do you remember your first day of classes in grade school? High school? College? At the Library’s free basic computers class?

Be honest. While your anxiety level was probably not a 10, you certainly had an emotional reaction and feelings about how successful you were likely to be. Affective learning considers the student’s attitudes and feelings during the learning process and how these attitudes affect the success or failure (effectiveness) of the learning.

If you are not comfortable in how the learning opportunity—the class—is presented, then you will not learn as much as you are capable of learning.

Adult learners today have largely come out of the traditional education style of Instructor lecture, rote memorization, long courses and classes as well as time-consuming effort. The online learning style is dramatically different. Here is a quick comparison of the two styles.

Traditional

  • Professional curriculum design
  • Instructor led classes
  • Volumes of reading materials
  • Rote memorization of course materials
  • Testing and grading system
  • Courses lasting 6-9 months
  • Expensive tuition and book fees
  • Huge time commitment

Online

  • Professional curriculum design
  • Instructor moderated classes
  • Multimedia learning materials
  • Memorize only the core concepts
  • Self assessment preferred to tests
  • Courses delivered at your pace
  • Low membership cost and no book fees
  • Time commitment is flexible and self-controlled

The traditional methodology works. Except that it is not flexible and it cannot quickly adapt to change. For adults who crave a continuing education experience without the formality of the college experience, online education is a perfect match.

Adult learners entering the online education world gain sense of the freedom the environment brings to learning. We also understand that most adult learners have complex lives that make it difficult to commit to an inflexible learning schedule. And we understand that there is an underlying trepidation (I did not use the Fear word) about using a computer for many adults.

I am a teacher, by nature. If I know it, I teach it. My brothers used to call me bossy, but truly I just needed to tell what I learned, what I knew. That’s why no matter what aspect my professional and business life takes, there’s always an element of learning, shared knowledge, and instruction. Can’t help it, folks. I’ve created SchoolingBytes to serve this need and offer online, tutorial-type training.

There is a very old joke that asks how you eat an elephant. Of course the response is one bite at a time. And the very reason that old joke can still evoke a smile is why SchoolingBytes presents classes meant to be consumed one bite at a time. All of our classes are designed for you gain the essential concepts of each lesson in 30 minutes.

Do you have 30 minutes? Three minutes or 30, take time to learn. Whether with us at SchoolingBytes or somewhere else, learning keeps us young and involved.

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