Common Personal Learning Paths Misconceptions
Developing personal learning paths requires in-depth audience research so that you can individualize your eLearning content. Beyond that, things get a bit fuzzy for many eLearning professionals. They know that the ultimate goal is to facilitate meaning and help online learners bridge personal gaps. However, there’s more to developing these personal learning paths than merely knowing what your online learners need, giving them the power to pick, then sending them on their merry way. Here are 7 common false assumptions, myths, and personal learning paths misconceptions.
7 False Assumptions About Personalized Learning Paths
1. You Need To Develop A Separate Learning Path For Every Individual
Most eLearning professionals are hesitant to develop personal learning paths because they think it’s too time-consuming. How can you possibly create a separate learning plan for every member of the audience without going over budget or over deadline? In reality, personal learning paths are merely a matter of free choice. You provide online learners with targeted resources that cater to diverse learning preferences. Then allow them to take control of their own personal growth by picking-and-choosing the ideal eLearning activities. There’s no need to manually compile a list of suitable eLearning courses and supplemental support tools for every online learner.
2. Letting Online Learners Take The Wheel Is All You Need To Fuel Motivation
Online learners want to feel empowered. So, when they’re given the chance to sit in the driver’s seat, motivation will never be in short supply, right? The simple truth is that empowerment and control aren’t the only things you need to fuel learner motivation. Some online learners may veer off an eLearning course due to distractions, lack of drive, or even busy schedules. Thus, you need to provide follow-up support and eLearning feedback to maintain the momentum. Gamification is another way to get them actively involved and enthusiastic about the eLearning course.
3. Online Learners Can Just String Together Microlearning Resources To Pave Their Own Path
A microlearning online training library will suffice, especially since online learners can just string resources together to chart their own eLearning course. This personal learning path misconception leads to fragmented learning and low eLearning content comprehension. Though microlearning online training resources are a great support tool, they aren’t a substitute for comprehensive eLearning courses and real-world activities. You should still implement complete learning units that align with learning objectives. Then recommend supplemental bite-sized resources to improve understanding and refresh knowledge. Furthermore, you should continually evaluate and refresh your microlearning online training library to ensure it’s up to date. eLearning content tends to get stale over time. Particularly when it pertains to compliance issues or policies that are perpetually in flux. Such as software-related tasks that are updated every few months based on new trends or improved practices.
4. All eLearning Activities Must Be Asynchronous And Autonomous
Many eLearning professionals believe that all eLearning activities must be solo when developing personal learning paths. Strictly asynchronous and autonomous so that online learners can get the information they need anytime, anywhere. However, social learning is a crucial consideration. You can still schedule live events, group collaboration projects, and other peer-based activities that facilitate knowledge sharing. This also gives online learners the ability to provide eLearning feedback and share their experiences. Thereby, reducing feelings of isolation and creating a sense of online community.
5. Empowered Online Learners Don’t Require Ongoing Support
Personal learning paths empower online learners and allow them to select eLearning activities that resonate with them. They can focus on their own learning goals and objectives while working toward the organization’s desired outcomes. However, even though they may have all the tools they need to succeed flying solo, they still require ongoing support. This comes in the form of peer-based social media groups, automated eLearning feedback to steer them in the right direction, and just-in-time libraries. You can also incorporate self-assessments that help them disclose individual gaps and areas for improvement. For example, a simulation that reveals a skill that’s lacking and needs to be honed. Thus, they can add relevant online resources to their personal learning path and pursue their goals.
6. Everyone Already Has The Tech Know-How They Need To Pursue Their Personal Learning Path
It’s the digital age, everyone should know their way around an LMS by now. But this isn’t always the case. Many eLearning professionals assume that everyone has the tech experience they need to pursue a personal learning path. However, there are some who may need additional IT support to make the most of the online resources. For instance, they aren’t sure how to access resources on the LMS or how to diagnose gaps. Provide them with tutorials, walkthroughs, and FAQs to cover their most common concerns. You can also implement a peer-based coaching program that taps into the experience and expertise of more seasoned remote learners.
7. No Online Instructors/Facilitators Necessary
The last personal learning paths misconception is one of the most serious offenses on the list. Letting online learners gain more control of the learning process doesn’t eliminate the need for an online instructor or facilitator to offer guidance. Your online learners still need to be able to reach out and get one-on-one support when they’re stuck. Understandably, it may be impossible to set up individual meetings with every member of the audience. But you can host live events to offer group guidance and address their questions. Or give them an email contact for more pressing matters. For example, they need some online resources recommendations to improve their understanding of the topic before the big certification exam. Peers can offer assistance, but an authority figure with vast experience is still beneficial.
Unfortunately, developing personal learning paths isn’t as simple or straightforward as uploading the eLearning content to the LMS and letting online learners take the wheel. They do need some direction, individualized guidance, and ongoing support. Empower online learners by giving them the opportunity to pave their own way, but incorporate a solid course infrastructure to prevent bumps in the road.
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