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How to make an online course more "human"

Online experiences can cause a feeling of distance and coldness. Is it possible to make eLearning more like a "live" experience?

Training is becoming more and more virtual: this has allowed (and will continue to allow) training to continue even during particular periods, such as lockdown, despite the " new normality". However, one of the most used criticisms against eLearning is the lack of human contact. Obviously, an online course cannot offer exactly the same kind of involvement or interpersonal relationships as a traditional training course.

If this difference is not taken into account while planning an online course, the result could lead to a low motivation of the trainees or a high drop-out rate. First of all, it is essential to know that an online course is neither "aseptic" nor cold. On the contrary, it is possible to "humanize" an online course by paying attention to certain details:

1. The importance of storytelling

To prevent students' attention from going off immediately, a connection must be made. How? The storytelling theme we have already talked about in articles like this or this is simply based on sharing a story, linked to the theme of the course, which allows not only to transmit knowledge but also to create an emotional bond with the student. The lessons are no longer only abstract and theoretical: they turn into an interesting and practical meeting.

2. Add personal anecdotes

Part of the storytelling also consists of telling useful anecdotes to convey the speaker's experience to the students. Here you can find some tips to use the anecdotes in your online course. Without needing to get too personal, these experience-related stories give the course an original touch and make it more humane.

3. Create a virtual community

Although one of the greatest advantages of eLearning is the possibility of learning at a distance, this distance can often create a "relational" void and, consequently, a loss of interest on the part of the students. It is precisely the same technology that fills this void through the use of forums, video calls, comments and chats. The goal is to create a real online community.

4. Tutor-student connection

These interactions should take place both between students and with the tutors themselves who should encourage the students to get in touch with them. Video calls, for example, are one of the means that can be useful to stay connected with all students, especially those who have difficulty expressing themselves in a virtual context or who are simply more shy.

5. Customizing the course

Not all of us learn in the same way, which is why more and more online courses try to adapt to the different needs of students. In order to make a course more human, it is essential that each student can feel accompanied during his or her journey, with the possibility of having different tools available, useful both for the learning process and to put into practice what he or she has learned.

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