I love the live interaction of text chats.
I hate live chats because I type so slow, but I really like discussions forums.
I dislike the class discussions, but I really like the online readings and activities.
Each student and instructor has unique learning and teachig styles. One distinct advantage of online courses is the ability to address individual needs. In a face-to-face classroom it can be difficult to get to know each student. Online courses can offer a variety of learning materials on-demand and opportunities for interaction to fit the needs of each learner.
It's often difficult for people to attend live library events. An increasing number of people prefer the ability to participate in virtual activities that aren't time and place dependent. The key to success is determining the specific interests and needs of patrons and matching these to virtual opportunities.
I'd like to learn more about genealogy, but I'm not interested in taking a formal college course. I'd like to explore the possibilities for online mini-courses and online tutorials that I can do on my own. For instance, Allen County Public Library provides online tutorials for Getting Started in Genealogy including The Mystery of Your Family History and Beginning Genealogy.
Course and program designers
- must be aware of learner needs
- design courses that are flexible enough to meet varied learning styles.
Unfortunately, online courses can be uncomfortable for some people who prefer a more traditional approach to learning. It's important for advisors to carefully match students with courses. There's a need to accommodate the wide range of needs.
Read the following pages as you consider the needs and interests of distance learners:
- Distance Learning Survey
- Learning Styles
- Multiple Intelligences (1 page checklist of tools)
- Motivation and Engagement (flow)
- Self-Regulation - Time-Management, Persistance
What kind of learner are you?
What do you look for in online courses?
What types of virtual library programming appeals to you?
How do you think you're like and unlike the typical end user?
Compare your ideas with others.