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The Instructor-Led Online Learning Model

E-Learning accommodates a variety of approaches and means different things to different people. Because of that flexibility, organizations can create their own hybrid model of eLearning to best suit their needs and the needs of their learning community.

With this in mind, let's have a look at a hypothetical instructor-led online learning model that has both Synchronous and Asynchronous aspects:

Day 1—Synchronous

Using an Internet web browser, trainees sign-in to the online classroom. All of the courses and lessons the trainee is registered for are easily accessible in the virtual classroom.

Meanwhile, in a bricks-and-mortar classroom that is equipped with computers and Internet connection, trainees also sign-in to the virtual classroom. It is 8:45 a.m., and the instructor is in that same classroom projecting the first lesson for the day onto a whiteboard. The instructor is equipped with a webcam as well and can see all the trainees who are signed-in for the class.

9:00 a.m.—Class begins. The instructor introduces himself and the training. Using video conferencing technology that has been integrated with the online classroom, students attending the training remotely are meeting their instructor for the first time.

9:10 a.m.—Onsite students watch a video that is being projected on the whiteboard. Since the video is embedded into the online lesson, virtual students simultaneously watch the same video online.

9:15 a.m.—The instructor uses the online lesson as a basis for his lesson plan. The instructor gives a lecture style seminar. Both in-class and virtual students are following along.

9:30 a.m.—Both in-class and online trainees answer online questions to confirm their comprehension of the material. Once everyone has submitted their answers, the software automatically scores their comprehension. The instructor instantly has access to these scores and is able to easily assess whether there are areas needing reinforcement. This leads into the group discussion.

9:40 a.m.—Class discussion begins. The instructor poses a series of questions related to the topic that is also posted online. Trainees post their responses online using threaded discussions.

10:00 a.m.—Lesson 2 begins. A similar format is followed as was followed for the first lesson. If students have immediate questions, they can post them on threaded discussions, use real-time chat, and can request a video conference for a face-to-face with the instructor.

At the end of each training unit, trainees take an online quiz to reinforce their comprehension. Training units are made up of 5-10 lessons. At the end of each training unit, trainees take an online quiz to reinforce their compression. Training units are made up of 5-10 lessons.

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Class continues using the same format as above.

Day 2—Asynchronous

The instructor and onsite students attend the bricks-and-mortar class. The virtual students also sign-in to the online classroom.

Today is a self-paced day. Students must complete 2 training units by end of day, comprising of approximately 15 lessons.

Day 3, 4, and 5 (Additional Classes)

Both Synchronous and Asynchronous methods are used. Some days can be a combination of these formats, depending on the needs of the organization.

Webinars and real-time discussion periods can be scheduled. Threaded discussions are always taking place and the instructor is alerted when he needs to answer a new question or comment that has been posted. Most instructors will periodically check the discussion boards, once before lunch, and once at the end of the day.

Final Exam

Prior to taking the final exam, an additional training unit is provided to students: How to Study and Prepare for an Examination.

Students now have the knowledge and study material to prepare for the final exam.

A final exam is administered online, and students get an instant mark back once completed as it is marked by the software.

Lifelong Learning

During the training, students are given additional resources to further their studies. Throughout their careers, refresher courses are made available, and key training can be reinforced annually or as needed.