The decisions you make now in setting up your environment and infrastructure will determine the future success (or failure) of your distance learning program for your staff and students. Last spring (when COVID-19 caught us all by surprise), it was acceptable for staff to fill in the gaps by offering Zoom meetings on a synchronous or real-time interaction format. But while real-time interaction may be desirable for distance learning, it also causes a serious strain on both staff and students. There just isn’t enough time to work with each individual student this way, and keeping students engaged via group teleconferencing is difficult.
Asynchronous instruction, on the other hand, is easier for both staff and students to manage and let’s students learn at their own pace. The challenge of true asynchronous distance learning is making sure that each student receives an adequate education plan that can be self-directed and self-paced, but with tools like pre-assessments that can be linked to a proven skill building system, the right technology makes this easier than ever. And if you follow the curriculum with post-assessments to document student progress and store all student results in an online learning management system, you can help your students get the skills they need while documenting learning and providing program accountability – even if you can’t be in the same physical location as your students.
The Conover Company provides tools to help you make the most of either synchronous and asynchronous learning. With our self-directed online learning system, participants can access courseware anytime, anywhere and on any device (asynchronous learning), while our instructor-led courses provide real-time teacher interaction with hundreds of short videos, discussion questions and student workbooks that can be filled in and then emailed to the teacher for progress monitoring (synchronous learning).
Conover Online is cloud-based and can be used onsite and/or remotely for distance learning. It is also accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device. All Conover programs have a front end research-based assessment. Once users complete the assessment, follow up activities will be automatically assigned and delivered. This “assessment drives instruction” technology makes Conover unique in the distance learning world. Going through a Conover program, users will work independently on areas that they know they need to develop (because the front end assessment assigned areas to work on based upon individual student needs). This results in increased motivation to learn and increases personal satisfaction and success.
Our self-directed content makes it easy for users to function independently and for program administrators to focus on the needs of the users rather than on managing the system.
If you’re new to distance learning, it can be a little bit intimidating, especially if you’re a teacher who is used to being in a classroom with your students every single day. You might be wondering what tools to use or how to make sure that your students stay engaged while they’re not on-site with you.
As you try to navigate this difficult time, you shouldn’t have to wonder if your distance learning curriculum is going to work. There are four things you should look for when building your distance learning plan.
We call these the four abilities of distance learning.