In just a few short months, words like hybrid, virtual instruction,, synchronous, and asynchronous have become commonplace. Teachers who have always relied on interpersonal skills to guide students suddenly find themselves separated from them and at the mercy of a computer screen.
Education-at all levels- looks very different than it did a year ago. It’s not just classroom teachers who have had to make adjustments. Instructors teaching professionals have seen a massive shift in both demand for and quality of online instruction. Expectations for what and how content is delivered is high. We ask, "How to create an online course?" Or, "What Does it take to create a Tourism Course?"
Keeping a virtual classroom of students working at their own pace engaged in the learning process doesn’t have to be a challenge. As you plan your asynchronous course for the Tourism Academy, make your instruction fun!
5 Ways to Make Learning Fun
A Friendly Welcome
Start by introducing yourself to your students in a short welcome video. Use a simple software like iMovie to create a brief, 2 minute video. Focus on your interests, passions (travel?), family - all the things that make you relatable. Let your students know what drove you to create online courses You can even use your favorite music as the background track!
Steer clear of your work accolades and experiences. Your professional bio has already been shared as part of the course. It’s more important to use the welcome video to establish a personal connection and foster a sense of community among your virtual learners.
Tell A Story
Storytelling is one of the biggest trends in online learning. Weaving your content into a format that keeps your students’ interests is a much more effective strategy than lecturing.
A good story has drama, excitement, and a satisfying ending. You can incorporate these same elements into your course.
Use Freytag’s Pyramid Model to create a compelling story with animated narration and interesting, realistic examples to support your content.
Storytelling as an online training strategy leads to higher retention and recall (22 x more memorable) to help your students meet learning objectives.
Try using gamification in your online course. Gamification is using elements of game play to inspire learning. It encourages your students to interact and collaborate to achieve rewards.
For example, create a virtual escape room as part of your instruction. Learners click images to find clues or quizzes that reinforce concepts as they search for a way out. You can find helpful resources on YouTube to help you get started.
Asynchronous instruction is flexible, convenient, and self-paced, but it can also be isolating. When students are learning on their own, it’s important to include opportunities for interaction.
Make the most of social media by using discussion boards or communities to answer questions. Post instructional snippets on Twitter or spend time on Facebook Live (think of it as keeping office hours!)
The way we approach instruction has changed considerably over the past months. Online learning, in particular, has seen monumental shifts in how we connect with students on a virtual platform.
As you think about how to create engaging content for your online travel and tourism class, make it fresh and fun! Be friendly, funny, social, and interactive for the best user experience possible. Asynchronous can equal awesome!