Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That: 3 Essential Practices To Support Learner Time Management

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Successful Learning Requires Time Management

“I barely managed to keep up. It definitely impacted my learning. I wish I had more time.”

“I’ve fallen behind. How long will the course be kept open?”

“I had a bunch of work emergencies come up and I lost track of time. I can’t finish the course.”

If you’ve been involved in facilitating one or more online courses, chances are these comments are all too familiar. While there could be many things behind these statements, one major driver is time management.

As online learning designers, developers, and facilitators, it is easy to focus all your energies on helping your learners succeed through mastering the required knowledge and skills, while ignoring the essential things that make that possible. In other words, if learners fail at time management, it does not matter how great your content is or how engaging your activities are—the knowledge and skills will not be acquired. So, how can you help?

1. Know Your Learners’ Time Requirements And Constraints

Different things impact the amount of time a learner will require to participate in the course. Here’s 5 to consider:

Digital Literacy
 How familiar are your learners with the online platforms you’ll be using? How comfortable are they with online learning in general? Provide orientation materials up front on how to use the platforms. Realize that online learning tends to require greater self-motivation and self-direction than face-to-face training. See “facilitate intentionally” below for ideas on how to support learners with this. Language ability, fluency
How fluent are learners in the language of the training? Are they equally comfortable with writing, speaking, and listening? The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework suggests offering content and activities in multiple formats where possible. This can help learners who find listening easier than reading, for example. You may also consider providing extra time or other supports to learners who need it. Accessibility requirements
Do any learners need additional supports such as screen readers, extra processing time, or materials in an alternate format? Follow the accessibility requirements of your country and incorporate insights from the UDL Framework. Familiarity with the concepts
Are your learners novices? Experts? Somewhere in between? Novices will likely need extra time for new concepts, but experts tend to move more quickly. Distinguish between “nice to know” and “need to know.” You can always offer additional resources for those that want to go deeper. Check out this article for more information. Complexity of the topic
Are there aspects of the content that need more time to be fully digested? Allow for extra time when dealing with complex topics and offer additional support for learners who need it.

Various factors also affect how much time a learner is

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This story was published at ElearningIndustry.com Best Practices and provided for your interest.

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