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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Online Collaborative Learning, of Course!

From my perspective as Director of Technical Services at NetSpeed Learning, it seems that one of the most exciting new feature sets has been the "Courses" feature in NetSpeed Fast Tracks. This feature has been adopted by several of our clients with excellent results.

The Courses feature is basically a set of content that is available only to a subset of users in the organization who are "enrolled." The course can be divided into time segments, with only one segment active at a time. Each course has its own blog, which is private to the participants, and provides a structure for collaborative learning for all the participants who are going through the course at the same time.

Many of the course designs share an instructional technique where the participants are given an assignment to research a topic related to the course, and then write the results of their findings as a blog post. Then, in a later assignment, participants are asked to add comments to other students' posts. Participants not only get to learn from each other's experiences, but they also are rewarded by rich feedback from their peers. This type of learning is not only satisfying and enjoyable, but also has proven to be very successful at accomplishing true learning transfer.

Many of our clients use the Courses feature to augment their virtual learning classes taught via webinar delivery. With the Courses feature, NetSpeed Fast Tracks provides what we call the asynchronous counterpart to the webinar (synchronous) learning component. Some of our clients are finding that learning transfer is even more successful using this combination of virtual synchronous and asynchronous learning than with the traditional face-to-face classroom training.

Feel free to take a test drive of NetSpeed Fast Tracks by requesting a free trial.

Posted by Leo Brodie at 11:11 am

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