With the rise of the internet, the education industry has seen drastic changes. You needn't be physically present in the classroom to learn a subject.
You can take live classes through video conferencing software or enroll in online courses on various e-learning portals. Thus, the internet has ensured that everyone gets access to quality education whenever and wherever they want.
The laws of learning have entirely changed. But, some people still find it hard to accept that learning can even happen through the internet. The truth, however, is that online learning is the future of education, and it's here to stay.
The current pandemic has further fueled the growth of the online education industry. Due to long-term lockdowns, closure of schools and colleges, students across the country have been suffering in their studies.
Moreover, low-budget institutions and schools have found it difficult to survive in the pandemic, and many of them have closed, impacting the lives of both teachers and students.
Even though technology has come to the rescue, it is still unavailable to many students and teachers. To bridge this gap, many companies have taken the responsibility to democratize online education.
The Era of Online Learning
Online learning is a form of electronic learning where students and teachers connect virtually through online classrooms, webinars, digital exams, and many such options.
That said, a conventional classroom setup isn't needed to conduct the classes. However, the students and teachers are still getting used to the laws of learning in the online domain.
Edward Lee Thorndike, a professor of American Psychology and a disciple of William James, developed a series of laws of learning. These laws provide teachers with insights into the learning process that helps them provide an enriching learning experience to their students.
Ideally, the digital domain offers a lot of flexibility with rules and laws of learning. But there are certain principles to be followed to make the most out of online learning. So let's get acquainted with the laws of learning:
1.Law of Readiness
Readiness means the willingness to do a job. In the absence of willingness, learning cannot be effective. Learning can only take place if a student is ready to learn.
When students are interested in a specific topic or are eager to explore a new subject, they learn more effectively. Being a teacher, it's your responsibility to arouse interest or readiness in students. You can also use the tools in the digital domain to create pre-work activities or short videos to create excitement and motivation in students to learn more.
2. Law of Exercise
As the famous saying goes, 'practice makes a man perfect,' the same applies to learning as well.
Repetition is fundamental to the development of adequate responses. Thus, things more often repeated are easiest to learn. The more a student practice a concept, the better they can retain that knowledge.
A part of this law also states that knowledge not used becomes weak. Thus, teachers should also engage in continuous learning to keep updated with the latest concepts. Moreover, teachers should also create opportunities for students to practice concepts and theories.
Mini projects, tests, discussion sessions, etc., are excellent ways to keep students engaged with the learning process.
3. Law of Effect
Learning strengthens when a satisfying feeling accompanies it, and it weakens with an unpleasant experience.
The flexibility that the digital domain provides reduces the stress in both teachers and students. In addition, it creates a holistic learning environment that increases student and teacher participation, which enhances the learning experience.
So, teachers should make a connection with students to motivate them. Building trust with students is the ideal way of improving the learning experience. Students tend to open up with teachers if they trust them or feel that their questions are acknowledged.
4. Law of Intensity
The more excitement an online course creates, the more likely it will attract students. Building a strong emotion with students is essential to making your online classes successful.
Connecting the theory to real-life problems is one such way to keep students engaged and motivated towards the subject. Discussion forums, peer teaching, doubt clearing sessions, one-on-one coaching, etc., are other ways to keep the learning momentum in your online classes.
Moreover, the digital domain provides you with numerous tools to create a personalized learning experience for your students. Thus, teachers should create an exciting and rich curriculum rather than putting up a boring one.
5. Law of Primacy
One of the famous quotes goes, 'First impression is the last impression.'
Similarly, learning that takes place in the early stages is the best. Teachers must design content for online classes that present the concepts in a logical order.
Following a course curriculum will help teachers in delivering the subject the right way the first time. Make use of some of the amazing apps in the digital world to organize your course material.
The first learning experience of the students should be positive; else they wouldn't enroll in your course.
6. Law of Recency
Students best remember the things they learned or read most recently.
Reviews, exams, tests, or projects can help students re-visiting the learning material to refresh their concepts. In addition, revising a concept or theory just before implementing it will ensure a better performance.
Thus, it is essential to assess a student's progress periodically. Moreover, teachers should focus on 3R's - repeat, restate, and reemphasize when designing their curriculum.
The pandemic has taught us that learning can also happen from the comfort of one's home. With time, students opting for online learning will increase exponentially.
You can't ignore the growth and popularity of online education, and it will continue to improve as technology advances. A lot of digital learning platforms are providing quality education in the country.
Thus, teachers should get on board and start focusing on making e-learning into a personalized experience by incorporating the laws of learning in their teaching methods. And students should find exciting courses and start their online learning journey with utmost excitement and motivation.