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Bringing out the Best through Online learning: How can e-learning help introvert learners?

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Today, organizations spend a lot of time and money creating training programs to develop and hone the skills of their workforce. These programs are extremely beneficial for extrovert learners who do not hesitate to sign up for courses – online or classroom – in order to learn more and excel.

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However, training development strategies often focus on extrovert learners – leaving out a large section of introvert learners. This is a grave mistake because it restricts the reach of learning and diminishes its impact. While extrovert learners excel through group projects or presentations, other learners hesitate to undertake such group activities and thus shy away from learning. So they may be experts in their fields but, because they fail to take the necessary initiatives, they do not keep on learning and growing professionally.

 

Self-paced and technology-abled learning provides a safe and comfortable platform for all learners – to learn as per their own needs and pace. In addition, special instructional design strategies can be put in place to ensure that the e-learning module addresses the needs of all types of learners – extroverts as well as introverts.

  • Study journals: Many workplaces swear by blended learning, where classroom sessions are followed by online re-enforcements in the form of learning nuggets – textual, audio as well as video. These nuggets are made accessible to the learners via the LMS. In addition, you can utilize the LMS to encourage learners to keep a learning journal – which can include lesson recaps, highlights of what they have learnt over a week or fortnight, and even questions or queries that they have on the subject. Instructors can review these journals over time and give their comments or provide the learners with answers as per their needs. Thus even the most silent learner will come up with a contribution that will help the learning process in its entirety.
  • Online forums: Once the learners become adept at navigating the learning platform and comfortable in putting forth their views and learning through the online journal, online forums can be created where the learners can discuss and learn collaboratively. Learners who are not vocal in class can be encouraged to contribute in the online forums. Introvert learners often take time to reflect and give their views. So the online platform would give them enough time for the needed thought process – and allow them to contribute proactively.
  • Written assessments and exercises: The number of assessments and practice exercises can be increased to involve the introvert learners more – because most of them are good learners; it’s just that they do not contribute in classroom question-answer sessions. Being detail-oriented and more comfortable at written assignments, introverts usually shine in these exercises – which not only enforce learning but also boost the learners’ confidence.
  • Audio modules: Audio-based tutorials are often included in the only study material. With easy availability of recording devices – including smartphones and tablets that have a microphone and recording capabilities – learners can be encouraged to create audio assignments. These audio files can be uploaded on the LMS and assessed by the instructor or trainer. Learners who are vary of talking aloud in class in front of a group of peers and trainers can create an audio assignment – taking practice shots at first before gaining the confidence to record the final version. Practice will help them revise facts and learn well. The audio assignment in turn will help them gain confidence and help them get over their reservations.
  • Online mentoring: Introverts are often mistaken to be lazy learners. They are not. Most of them are very diligent learners once they find their footing. To further encourage them and increase the impact of learning, introvert learners who make good progress through a learning course can be roped in to mentor peers and other learners. On the online learning platform, introverts can write more succinctly and express well. They can be forum ‘experts’ where they can answer queries and questions related to the subject. They can also be asked to review courses, highlighting pertinent parts, which can help future learners to ascertain their learning path through the course.

As the corporate world gets more serious about training and learning, it will have to consider different learner groups within the audience if it wants maximum impact and efficacy of learning. Providing suitable learning opportunities for all not only helps in impactful learning but creates efficient employees as well.

 

Source and suggested further reading: How to Use e-Learning Activities to Connect With the Introvert Corporate Language Learner by Lisa B. Zimmermann

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