No matter the venue, the building blocks of education and training are the same for both online and in-person learning and serve much the same purpose. Let’s revisit the fundamental organizational tools of a traditional classroom and look at why each is key to students having a positive classroom experience and also enable course instructors to best be able to do their job.
Course Registration & Enrollment
Before a student is able to attend class, they first need to register for the course. Student class registration serves a number of purposes:
- Prior to being available to students and ensuring the best use of school resources, most classes require a minimum number of students to register and enroll in a course
- Class registration lets teachers track students enrolled for a particular course, allowing for the most optimal student-to-teacher ratio (which is a key factor in students’ ability to learn)
- Course registration gives instructors the data they need to most effectively plan and prepare for a class
To keep both students and instructors on the same page, a class calendar is essential to keeping the revolving parts of a course organized. With the rise of the nontraditional student becoming the majority of students enrolled in higher education, a class calendar is more important now than ever for both students and teachers to balance family, work and school.
Class Roster Management
Each class’s student roster ties into a school’s larger student management database, giving instructor as well as school administration an overall view into what students are enrolled in what classes and gross attendance numbers. Class rosters help schools identify trends in student enrollment and planning for the most efficient use of school resources including personnel, classroom space and the allocation of educational funds.
In order to receive the education that a class is designed to give them, students must attend class regularly. Attendance sheets help instructors keep track of which students are showing up for class while also identifying the students who may need more instructor attention and are in danger of not meeting minimum class attendance in order to pass and get class credit.
Curriculum vs. Syllabus
Often, a course’s curriculum is confused with a syllabus and the syllabus is mixed up with a course’s curriculum. Here is the difference between the two:
- A Curriculum is the overall content taught in an educational system or a course. This includes the general subject matter to be taught in class as well as the specific topics within that subject matter that will be touched upon.
- A class’s Syllabus is much like a scheduled outline of a course that expands on the course’s curriculum. The syllabus will typically include what subjects will be covered, including details of on what dates class will meet, when specific subject material will be discussed and what assigned reading should be completed by those dates. Ensuring that students earn course credit, a class syllabus also outlines what course assignments are due when and when required exams are scheduled.
The components outlined above are the foundational tools utilized for in-person learning, and when used in conjunction can facilitate in delivering a positive and fulfilling educational experience for students. Likewise, it is interesting to note when the tools used in a traditional classroom setting are compared with the tools leveraged in an eLearning space, the majority of tools are actually used in both environments. This further illustrates that the tried-and-tested tools of in-person learning are also applied to eLearning because they are foundational to successful teaching as a cohesive process (no matter where it happening).
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