Overcoming Barriers to Learning
There are still barriers to accessing learning online, such as technical skills and learner motivation. However, studies have explored solutions to these barriers.
For example, an issue with technical skills can be overcome using tutorials and further engagement with students. By creating an instructional environment, learners don’t require a high technical knowledge to access the course.
The use of different elements can also speak to different kinds of learners, with video, audio and written information. Creating a positive culture towards the learning environment is also important, as this helps to overcome many barriers, including dissatisfaction, reluctance to attempt learning and other attitude-related issues.
This is an issue that is not solely confined to online learning, as the learner’s attitude comes into play in all types of learning. However, the solutions offered will change depending on the mode of learning. Offering support virtually may not be as effective for all learners as meeting with a tutor in person.
In studies that have examined the acceptance of online learning, new learners report more difficulties than those that have studied online previously. Simply familiarising themselves with processes and viewing helpful materials, like online orientation videos, can drastically reduce any issues with this uptake.
Part of the success of the learner comes down to their own perception of the learning process. In a study examining learning in a corporate setting, it was found that those who felt more in control and less influenced by outside events were more likely to succeed in online learning.
When studying attrition levels of online learners, those who were more confident in their abilities were able to deal with the cognitive load at the start of the course and push through any adjustment period.
This initial adjustment period can be daunting to a learner, especially with self-directed study. This is where an enhanced onboarding process can also give way to better outcomes for the learner.