Why Choice Matters in Online Learning

The evolution of online learning is in full force.

Advances in the devices we use on a day-to-day basis are influencing how we learn. Our expectations are shaped by our experiences interacting with these applications.

The online learning space has always been one to adapt to change. The recent rise in mobile learning is a perfect example as we now see increased use of micro-content courses.

But in addition to the way content is delivered there are shifts occurring in the way the learner interacts with online content.

Learners want more freedom.

By this I mean they want to have more control over what it is they learn. Forced linear paths of training do serve a purpose, that I will admit. But not everything needs to be forced.

Here’s a helpful analogy: in the U.S. you go to high school before university. In public high school you are forced to go through a very regimented curriculum. Everyone goes through the same curriculum at the same time. There is a little wiggle room for extra classes but not much.

When you graduate and go to university suddenly the learning experience changes. You have many disciplines to choose all with their own unique paths. When you choose a discipline there are a handful of required courses but you get a great deal of freedom to choose your curriculum.

This “offline” way of education is making its way to online learning.

When you give a learner control over their learning path they have a vested interest in what they learn. Speaking from a personal standpoint, I enjoyed my university courses much more than high school studies. Why? A big part was because I was choosing what I wanted to learn.

If you have more than one online course then take a moment to consider how you can open up the learning experience. Learner dedication will improve and so will completion rates.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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