Virtual learning emerged as a boon in the education industry, considering that it is easily accessible, flexible, and geographically unlimited. The virtual learning design is structured to enable educators to deliver both hands-on and theoretical course content online (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2022). However, there is an implementation problem based on the independent nature of the online setting and application procedures for web-based processes (Anu, 2022). Therefore, online learning design challenges include virtual engagement, technical hitches, and constructive learning limitations, which can be solved by enhancing digital literacy among students.
I had the privilege of attending virtual and physical classes for this course. My experience is that the two classes are different, considering that the virtual classes focus on constructivist design. This strategy is whereby a learner constructs knowledge through active application than just absorbing it passively. This strategy makes me a stakeholder in my learning since my role is to implement all the activities in the curriculum. The possibility of maximizing potential in education is maximized through process engagement, such as planning, participation, analysis, and sharing. For instance, planning is integral in virtual learning, considering that it helps determine goals and ensure that the objectives are met within the designated timeline.
However, virtual learning designs present various limitations that can affect the quality of learning. Virtual engagement establishes productive educational interactions by promoting effective communication and understanding of concepts (Anu, 2022). Establishing virtual engagement can be challenging when miscommunication arises since it creates misunderstandings that may inhibit effective learning. As mentioned in the video, virtual learning is different, considering that learning must be tailored to the individual student to promote understanding (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2022). For instance, students may be mute or unresponsive in online classes, affecting in-person interactions. Such limitations make hands-on courses lose quality in content delivery due to disengagement.
Technical issues are another significant virtual design setback affecting the online delivery of hands-on courses. Students may not be equipped with the high-speed internet connection required for online learning. Some computer applications may also be sophisticated, making it impossible for them to keep up with the instructors’ pace (Anu, 2022). This factor may delay projects which would otherwise be completed if the learners were in face-to-face learning. Additionally, virtual learning focuses on constructivism learning, especially in hands-on courses, since it requires learners to transfer knowledge to new situations immediately (Anu, 2022). Forming abstraction may be challenging with online learning, considering it depends on individual capacity to understand concepts.
Solutions to the hindrances to virtual learning can enable educators to deliver quality hands-on courses online. Digital literacy involves creating awareness of ways to use various online tools to enhance the learning experience. Adaptive learning is an example of digital tools using artificial intelligence to personalize courses and enhance comprehension (Anu, 2022). Teaching students on ways to use artificial intelligence is integral to enhancing their learning experience. Another strategy is encouraging students to integrate new tech systems, including high-speed internet connections, to promote seamless learning. Additionally, encouraging students to practice intrinsic motivation toward online learning will help promote engagement, proper planning, and optimism (Anu, 2022). Therefore, digital literacy is an important strategy to promote better practices and commitment when delivering hands-on courses.
Teaching hands-on courses online can be challenging, considering that the virtual effect is limited in tactile experience. Constructivism learning can be disengaging, especially when students experience setbacks such as poor internet connection. Virtual learning must be engaging, objective, and transformative to support a productive learning experience. This factor indicates that students must understand how to navigate the online learning platforms to promote their virtual engagement and understanding. Therefore, digital literacy promotes an effective learning experience and delivers impactful hands-on courses.
Anu, V. (2022). Online learning challenges and solutions: Expert’s tips. Embibe. Web.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). (2020). Design problem: How to teach a hands-on course online (Video). YouTube. Web.