Last week, we spoke about the six commandments essential for teaching in an online environment. This week, let us turn our attention to learners and shine the light on the rules for learning in an online education platform. These rules endeavour to guide you in online classroom etiquette, will help you engage better with your trainer and your classmates and get the best out of your online learning experience.
Thou Shall Invest Some Time In Getting To Know Thy Instructors and Classmates
Getting to know your instructor, his teaching goal and strategies will transform your online learning experience. Research has proven that students who engage with their instructors are less likely to become disillusioned and drop out. Similarly, getting to know your online classmates and establishing personal interaction with your peers will make your online learning experience much more enjoyable.
The best and most acceptable way to do this in an online forum is through the discussion boards and messaging options available on your LMS platform
Thou Shall Not Multitask When Learning
Over the past few years, cognitive psychologists have gathered experimental evidence of the insidious effect of multitasking on the learning process. Hence it is best to access you course when you can be assured of space and time. When doing a course on an online education platform set up your screen with an enlarged video to display your learning screen together with associated materials such as slides. Close all other windows that will distract you.
Thou Shall Ask For A Clarification When Needed
If you are unsure of what was said during a teaching session, or about the teachers instructions, do not sit in silence either misunderstanding the subject matter or feeling afraid to ask a question. Use the first available break in the teaching flow to clarify your doubts with your online teacher. This way, your online classroom teacher will appreciate your responsiveness and maturity.
Thou Shall Engage With Peers
It is often believed that one of the greatest disadvantages of online learning relates to its isolated and impersonal nature. In fact, newer structured approaches of online courses have discussion forums and other social tools that allow students to communicate with one other, sharing views, opinions and collaborating together to learn more. To get the most out of your online course instead of just lurking in the shadows, trying participating in the discussions, posting questions and commenting when possible.
Thou Shall Use Proper Language and Titles
In an online education platform, one must be very careful about their language, ensuring that you never you any slang or even profane words, even in jest. While is it important to address your classmates respectfully, it is also essential to address your trainer with respect, Unless you have otherwise been asked to, avoid calling your professor with his first name.
Thou Shall Always Focus On Using Effective Communication
When writing and communicating with your classmates online, develop a practice of writing thoughtfully. Cultivate the habit of reading and rereading before you respond. Define and restate your words when necessary. Also correct a misunderstanding right away, before it blows out of proportion because the chances are if one person feels a certain way about what you have said, others may do so as well. It is also important to follow basic netiquette rules such as not using caps lock when typing as it insinuates yelling, not using sms language (shortforms of words) or using emoticons while communicating with peers.