Two Key Success Factors in Online Language Training
Motivation and collaboration are considered as key success factors during e-Learning experiences, particularly for language training. As a trainer, I understand that motivation and collaboration are crucial for not only online training but also in-class training. In this article, I would like to share about motivation and collaboration in online language training that help learners engage in.
To motivate learners, we need to use strategies that help enhance the competence, autonomy and relatedness needs of our learners:
Autonomy (a sense of being in control and having freedom)
- Allowing learners to make meaningful choices that have consequences,
- Providing learners with more than one way to reach their end goal,
- Encouraging learners to take risks and be creative during the e-Learning module/course.
Competence (a sense of being able to do something i.e. being competent)
- Making the rules and goals for learners clear and structured,
- Measuring learner performance in multiple ways,
- Increasing the difficulty as the learner progresses through the e-Learning module/course,
- Providing learners with constant and varied feedback and support.
Relatedness (a sense of being associated or connected to others).
- Providing space/areas for learner interaction and discussion e.g. forums
- Providing opportunities for learner collaboration e.g. a group quest or challenge
Collaboration helps learners build mental models through practice and application. Mental models help learners take what they have learnt to apply it in the real-time world.
Virtual classroom lessons should be more about learners working together collaboratively than lecture and PowerPoint.
Put into L&D terms, the former (learning in a vacuum) may allow learners to achieve the lower levels of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy: Remembering and Understanding. However, the latter (learning through collaboration) is what allows learners to achieve the higher levels: Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, or Creating.