Online Learning Excellence – Key Learning Points

Online learning is here to stay one way or another – and so is face to face learning. There are things to remember when designing and delivering online and hybrid learning experience. 

Mari Rauhala, 14.12.2020

In Aalto EE’s webinar on December 8 online learning was discussed from three perspectives: the customer, the faculty, and the Program Director of Aalto EE. Here are key points that the interviewees and the moderator brought out during the discussion: 

  • Online learning experiences need very careful design in terms of structure, tools to be used, scheduled breaks etc. 
  • Research shows that online learning is effective, even more effective when looking at e.g. the retention rate of the information, which can be quite a bit higher online than offline. 
  • From the customer or participant point of view, when online training is well organized, one does not even think about it being online. 
  • The online solution must be well structured and paced with a variety of methods including lectures, discussions, working together on shared canvases etc. 
  • Networking and building new contacts are possible in online solutions, but as mentioned above, it has to be planned even more carefully than in a face to face environment. One reason for this is ad hoc is not always possible. Luckily new tools are being developed at a fast pace to enable this, too. 
  • The balance between structure and content is super important. 
  • The online solution requires flexibility from the program team since platform and technology sets boundaries to different activities you are able to do. 
  • When looking for a vendor or a partner for online courses and programs, review the credentials, quality and references of the institution. Make sure it is a recognized and renowned one with solid experience in building customized online solutions. Important points to bear in mind are the learning objectives, topics and content, the teaching methods, to mention a few. 
  • One size does not feel for all; dynamic content and customization is required. An online video is not an online learning experience with actual impact! 
  • In online solutions the participant has more responsibility of leading him/herself; calendars are fully booked, and it can be difficult to fit in the time for studying. 

The learning points presented above base on the views of the interviewees and the moderator: Virve Vanhala, Marketing and Communications Director, Biocodex Group and participant in Strategic Pricing program; Professor Nuria Solsona, Esade and Aalto University, faculty in Design Thinking of Business Innovation program and Jenniliisa Särkkä-Blomberg, Associate Director, Digital Programs Portfolio; Dr. Riitta Lumme-Tuomala, Head of Growth and Director, Talent Management, Aalto EE, Moderator. 

Aalto EE is there for organizations’ and individuals’ change – to transform organizations and careers. If you need help in designing online, hybrid or face-to-face programs for your employees, contact us. 

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