Studying can be a challenge at the best of times, and even more so when you’re not physically located in a classroom. Several studies highlight the high number of students who register for, but fail to complete free massive open online courses (MOOC’s). This is a serious challenge for any institution looking to offer distance-learning programs.
Digital Skills Academy has successfully met this challenge head-on by developing a number of innovative methodologies and team working techniques that ensure participants study in an engaging and stimulating environment. A number of approaches have been developed including Live Syncs (webinars), workshops and coaching sessions, which contribute to a high completion rate for our participants.
The great thing about the evolving approach of Digital Skills is that the format of the programmes has rapidly iterated and evolved over the years. In 2015, Digital Skills moved from having classroom-based learning to offering a completely online-based learning experience.
Digital Skills Classroom Before Moving 100% Online
Over the past four years, the Academy has evaluated how it delivered its programmes and the experience of the participants on them. Through this feedback, Digital Skills has constantly improved the programmes to ensure participants have as successful and productive and experience as possible. The recent appointment of a coaching specialist, highlights how important it is to constantly engage with participants to ensure they are receiving an optimal experience in their studies.
Dominic Martin, coaching coordinator, explains how the focus is on supporting the teams, to help them build effective, productive working relationships. “In the coaching sessions we try to understand what the challenges are from the team perspective. In that way we help them become more aware of what is really going on and then to take action based on their increased awareness.”
With extensive experience from having coached and mentored cross-functional teams, and from a successful career in industry, Dominic’s aim is to apply these insights to offer pre-emptive strategies to deal with potential challenges. “we aim to check-in with the teams regularly and try to detect early signs of team dysfunction and to coach the teams through their challenges”.
In summary, it is important to consider the challenges for participants on online courses. If these challenges are correctly identified, then it is possible to anticipate them and provision for them accordingly. With a proactive approach and a clear strategy in place it is possible to ensure that participants do not feel isolated, and instead have a positive and productive educational experience when studying in an online environment.
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