Congratulations! You created an online learning experience that can make a real difference to students and teachers. Are you done? Not yet! Consider the following key factors to help your interactive get fully integrated into classrooms.
Create separate instructions for each of your audiences
Today’s students and teachers are more tech-savvy than ever before, but creating clear, short instructions will jump start educators with limited time. If possible, create two separate versions of the instructions – one created for educators and the other written at the level of your core student users. Have a one-page instruction document with text and images for each audience. If longer, more detailed instructions are needed for educators, create a quick start page and then provide more detailed instructions as a second document. If possible, create a short video for each audience, even if it is just someone explaining the same written instructions. Make sure the materials can be downloaded, emailed and easily shared.
Provide supplemental materials
Interactive learning experiences are used in and out of the classroom to motivate and reinforce learning, but without the right supplemental materials some of the key learning elements may be missed. Most interactives benefit from two sets of materials: materials for educators and students. A clearly labeled lesson plan or syllabus is crucial to give educators ideas on how to integrate the learning experience into their classroom. Often times, these can be created for specific grades or grade level groups. Most of our lesson plans include short overviews, technical needs, alignment to state and national standards, ideas for classroom use and discussion questions. Other highly-used items are homework/supplemental learning materials. In parent-facing materials, we often include the URL of the resource and a description so that the interactive can be utilized at home as well.
Keep your users engaged
Once you have an audience of dedicated educators develop a relationship with them. Encourage them to sign-up for email updates and connect with you on social media. Share best practice examples of how educators are using your materials and encourage wider use. Leverage insights from users to help evolve and improve your offering. If you are presenting at conferences or holding online feedback meetings, this is another opportunity to establish relationships. And, the best promotion is when educators use your resources and share their experience with their colleagues.
Let us know what you’ve done to get online learning resources integrated into the classroom. Also, if you want to discuss your ideas for educational websites, online learning experiences and tools, contact me at JRicords@dvinci.com.