Category Archives: Featured Article

How to Increase the Quality of Remote Learning

How to Increase the Quality of Remote Learning - Instancy

Remote learning is a term used a lot these days. With the virus situation and other events happening, schools have to adapt their delivery quickly. Design the curriculum for classroom or virtual delivery. Both students and instructors are getting used to the ‘new normal.’

Instructional design is perhaps more critical than ever. To achieve optimal quality, you need the tools, platform, and infrastructure. 

Our founder, Harvey Singh, got his start in the late 1980s upon graduation from Stanford. His early research with Apple Computers in Educational Technology (how to use technology for education), he founded the Instancy Learning Platform. Because of his software background, Harvey considers quality a prerequisite to success. 

All modules or apps in the learning platform work in an integrated way to help you create, deliver, and manage all aspects of the learning process. They offer the flexibility to design and delivery your courses for the every-changing landscape.  

There are things you can do to increase the learner experience. Let’s discuss a few of them. 

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Find Your Online Champions 

There are champions of online education within your organization. Look around the campus, and you will find more than one! They wear many hats and serve different roles.

Instructional designers are your first point of contact. They may be credentialed instructional designers, or they may be other faculty who are comfortable with remote or online learning design.

The champions may also be other trainers or even librarians. Librarians typically have an advanced ability with technology and are good sources of information when you measure the quality of your content. Librarians are also a key champion because most librarians are detail-oriented. 

Campus Connections 

University campuses typically have standalone departments of instruction, such as engineering or political science. Many educators feel their peers in other departments don’t communicate.

Try to bridge that communication gap. You never know what tidbits of information you can get from your peers. You may want to reach out to professors in other colleges as well.  Together determine best practices. As you aim for quality, your course evolves. 

Instructional Designers Are Your Crucial Source of Information 

Instructional designers are design and learning experts who can help lead quality assurance efforts. As institutions move through their transformation in remote learning, IDs will help you design or redesign your course.

They have the unique ability to understand the desired outcome of the learning event. They drill down and determine quantitative objectives. They help the instructor position knowledge transfer to achieve the objectives.

They are experts in technology and digital media. They also tend to be subject matter experts on the available learning technology and know which features of your learning platform supports remote learning. 

DNot Start Your Course Over from Scratch 

Never do this! Keep what you have and adjust it to a remote audience. Never start over. Make a checklist. List the learning objectives and ensure the topics flow.

Take your classroom training content and analyze it. Get the help of the instructional designer if you are not comfortable doing this. After you examine your topics and content, decide how to deliver this information in a digital delivery model.

Continuously survey your peers and students. Ask them what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they would like to see changed. Ask for specific information.  

Continuing Education 

If your school does not offer professional development on online learning, ask them to include it. Instructors need constant training to stay on top of the fast-moving technology advancements. 

Take up the challenge to make your online courses better than the traditional classroom experience. In the beginning, the process can be daunting. Over time, the process becomes second nature. You can do it! 

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Instancy is Here to Help 

When you choose Instancy as your learning platform provider, you have all you need to design and deliver quality eLearning courses and blended learning programs.

Although we pride ourselves on our learning platform, we also have a support staff who lives and breathes online learning every day.

Customer success with online learning is important to us, but if we do not have a superior learning platform, there is only so much customer we can offer that you can use. Sign up for a demo or a free trial.

See for yourself how Instancy increases your quality score and allows you to easily use our technology to bring your courses to new heights. 

Progressive Web Apps and Learning Management Systems

Educational websites that invite learners to take online courses must leverage on the benefits that new innovation in web technology offers. One of such innovation is the introduction of Progress Web Apps (PWA).

What is a Progress Web App?

PWA is the next big thing in mobile web; it leverages on latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps leading to improved functionalites. It also offers a user mobile experience similar to what is obtainable in a native app. In other words, PWA takes advantage of the characteristics of mobile apps resulting in improved user retention, and performance with no complex complications.

In today’s world, learning platforms can easily take advantage of PWA to connect with learners since most of them use mobile devices when compared to desktop computers. The learning website can be downloaded on a mobile device as an app icon on the home screen.

PWA’s are quite effective for learning platforms; this is because they offer push notification which makes it easy to achieve up to three times more retention than mobile apps without push notificaation.

 Although, your content may be videos, PDF files or eLearning courses but, the eLearning courses must be mobile responsive webpages that can be viewed through the PWA.

In addition, a well designed mobile app consumes fewer data and is much faster, which makes PWA’s perfect for students.

Features and Benefits of PWA’s

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites that act like Native Mobile Apps.  Native apps, such as mobile apps, are known to be very efficient. They are ‘always on’, and ever-present when a user wishes to use them. Some of the features and benefits are: 

1.Known to be reliable 

2.Work regardless of network connection 

3.Launch as a standalone experience 

4.Read and write files from the local file system 

5.Can access hardware such as USB devices or Bluetooth 

6.Interact with contacts and calendar 

7.Take photographs 

8.Manage media playlists such as music 

Progressive web apps do almost everything that native apps do but add:

  • Ease of installation 
  • High reachability 
  • Can reach anyone, anywhere, on any device (no need to code for different mobile operating systems) 

Capable, Reliable, and Installable 

Those are the three most important aspects to consider for Progressive Web apps.  

When looking at the capabilities of PWAs, most of the capabilities center around the developers and the tools currently available to mimic a native app. However, this is outside the scope of this article. 

We measure reliability by factors such as: 

1.Dependability 

2.Speed 

3.Performance 

4.Smooth scrolling and animation 

The installable requirement of Progressive Web Apps goes beyond just being able to easily install it. Other factors include: 

1.PWAs run in a standalone window and not in a web browser 

2.App launches from a variety of locations, including user’s home screen, dock, taskbar, or shelf 

3.Keyboard shortcuts 

4.Manages can accept content from other applications  

According to Sam Richard and Pete LePage in their article on PWAs, consider these statistics: 

1. Twitter saw a 65% increase in pages per session, 75% more Tweets, and a 20% decrease in bounce rate, all while reducing the size of their app by over 97. 

2.Nikkei saw 2.3 times more organic traffic, 58% more subscriptions, and 49% more daily active users. 

3.Hulu saw a 27% increase in return visits. 

Progressive Web Apps can be installed by anyone, anywhere, on any device 

 Progressive Web Apps have some distinct advantages. 

1.Add to Home Screen Prompt 

The add to home screen prompt makes it easy for users to install PWAs on their devices. On their desktop, the user receives a prompt to ‘add to home screen’. Once accepted, the browser-based web app looks like a native app, even on their desktop. The progressive web app has the same visibility and accessibility as if the user were using a native app.  

Customize your PWA technology. Define splash screens. Design a home screen icon. Manage theme colors.

2.PWA in Offline Mode  

When using a native app and you disconnect from the Internet, you can still browse that page until a connection is reestablished. The same is true for a progressive web app. Progressive web apps are built around the concept of offline first. This means that because of PWA’s robust caching system, it handles offline requests and completes them once a connection is available. 

3.Web Push Notifications 

Push notifications are great communication tools. Although they look like text messages, they are different and usually only found on mobile devices. With progressive web app technology, users see push notifications on their desktop as well. Businesses can use push notifications to communicate with their site visitors. The technology is quite effective in eCommerce sites. If you want to be able to communicate with your learners in this manner or request them to go to a course catalog and purchase or reserve a course, you definitely want to consider using push notifications. 

4.No App Stores 

Since progressive apps appear as a native app, there is no need to use native apps you download from the app store. As long as the user is connected to the Internet, users get the most up-to-date content. For example, if your user is on the learning site and new content gets published, their screen refreshes. The user experience is not impacted.