The successful e-course-tutor is a good marketer of the course’s different parts as well as technical tools and creates a ”culture” that encourage activity, give options to many alternative forms of support and shows the aims with the course. This means that the challenge for the tutor is to introduce how the eLearner can use the content and applications and where it will lead.
Formal and informal motivation
However, significantly more than in traditional education there is a good growing-ground for an informal culture in online-learning. Within which eLearners are using their own network via social media and other meeting-places. This means that they often are using other tools and channels than the ones that has been authorised by the course-organiser. Online-learning thereby becomes a collision between traditional education’s formal goals and tutor-authority with the web-cultures open borderless possibilities.
A well-performing eLearning-platform is thereby built on a balance between these two cultures since eLearners prefer to include their own personally chosen tools. In case you for instance use Twitter in your everyday-life then there is both a practical and emotional dimension to also use it in your learning. This should be balanced with engaged tutors and an inspiring content on a platform with easy-to-use functions. All this is very important for a successful result and learning-experience. In an online-course without engaged tutors or with learning-resources with bad quality the eLearners will too much rely on their own sphere, the informal web-culture, with less consideration to the goals of the course.
The conclusion of this is that external motivation in online-learning relies on the interplay between two cultures. In the following articles four crucial components for how tutors can motivate eLearners will be described as well as the pitfalls that exist.