Strategies for active learning in online continuing education
Online continuing education and staff development is on the rise as the benefits of access, convenience, and quality learning are continuing to take shape. Strategies to enhance learning call for learner participation that is self-directed and independent, thus changing the educator's role from expert to coach and facilitator. Good planning of active learning strategies promotes optimal learning whether the learning content is presented in a course or a just-in-time short module. Active learning strategies can be used to enhance online learning during all phases of the teaching-learning process and can accommodate a variety of learning styles. Feedback from peers, educators, and technology greatly influences learner satisfaction and must be harnessed to provide effective learning experiences. Outcomes of active learning can be assessed online and implemented conveniently and successfully from the initiation of the course or module planning to the end of the evaluation process. Online learning has become accessible and convenient and allows the educator to track learner participation. The future of online education will continue to grow, and using active learning strategies will ensure that quality learning will occur, appealing to a wide variety of learning needs.