The following four components show how tutors can motivate eLearners. They have been constructed after an analysis of several studies that is based on eLearners experience of online-learning. Despite significant differences in comparison with traditional education the tutor is a very important part in the learning-process according to eLearners. But the requirements of an online-tutor differ. Especially the tutor’s engagement for online-learning as a method is crucial. Since eLearners often at the same time are using their own informal networks in the learning-process.
1. Motivate by support and to market the course parts
There is an inbuilt resistance when an eLearner visiting a new online-platform for eLearning. Where are the different functions that were described in the introduction? How should you in the best way use them? The tutor’s duty therefore includes marketing of why the different parts are relevant and meaningful and how they add to the other functions. The use then should be monitored and this statistics should result in individual recommendations. It is also important to deliver tip from participants of the course and repeat information. Besides the information to the course-participants this also helps the tutor to show the engagement for eLearning and give legitimacy to the online-course.
2. Motivate the student to finish an online-course
At the same time the online-tutor should always take into account the informal tools, channels and network that an eLearner is using. This and what is mentioned above produce a demand for tutors that develop their own skills in using different online-based channels and tools and how these create added value in the learning-process. From this knowledge and skills the tutor then will build the tutoring and support on the given subject of the course.
For the student technology means significant advantages for learning. The individual perspective varies, but control over how to learn, easy access to information and be able to fully manage the time, is some of the best advantages according to eLearners. With online-learning the borders between learning-time and other activities disappears. In addition with online-courses it is possible to use technology that the eLearner also is using in her everyday-life, for example her iPad, her Facebook, her Google Hangout or Flickr. The learning-process thereby can be integrated without sharp edges in a habitual environment and schedule.
However, without these sharp edges between everyday-life and the online-course and a web that is filled with other distractions. It is very important that the tutor follow and support the eLearner through the course. Dropouts from online-courses are generally very high. So to keep the eLearner going on the course is the tutor’s greatest challenge.
The third and fourth component, technology and localisation/timing, on how tutors as well as eLearning-developers can motivate eLearners follow in the last part of this series of articles.