Online courses are fundamentally broken. Here’s how to fix them

by | 14.06.2022

The world of work is changing rapidly due to AI, automation and generational shifts. Learning new skills to keep up with the pace is becoming increasingly important. The McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that 375 million people have to switch jobs or acquire new skills by 2030.

Out of this demand, platforms have risen to offer vast libraries of content to be consumed by learners. Anything from programming to cooking can be learned online.

The amount of content on offer is amazing – but there are some issues as well. Studying individually online can be a rocky path. Sure, online courses offer a lot of flexibility as they aren’t tied to a time or place. The flipside is that everyone’s responsible for finding the motivation and setting aside the time to study. Pushing through can be difficult without social encouragement. This leaves many unable to finish their studies. Creating more engaging e-learning might solve part of this problem: better learning experience design, more variation in activities, more media and interactivity.

It is also hard to relate to the content without additional conversations. How does this relate to the other concepts I know? How do I apply this knowledge in my own context? What to do if I get stuck?

What if we could bring the best parts of participatory group work to online courses.

In Learning Groups you embark on a discovery journey together with a small group of peers. You study expertly crafted material online empowered by your group to keep up the pace. At regular intervals you get together to discuss your key findings and share ideas and questions. The benefits of learning together in groups are huge:

  • Exercise completion can be attached to meetup sessions so that there is a shared social motivation to show up with the tasks done.
  • There is more structure to guide learners through the class
  • Talking the topic out helps students solidify the lessons learned
  • When questions arise there is always a peer to help guide you through
  • Diverse ideas and viewpoints can bring added value to the static online content

Note that this is not instructor-led education. Running a thriving Learning Group needs a skilled facilitator, not a lecturer or content authority. This is to maximize peer interaction which has been proven to improve learning outcomes, especially for novel problems.

MinnaLearn is offering its courses together with Learning Group services to individuals and organizations. Reach out and find out how MinnaLearn can help your organization

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