In this video, we are going to unpack how to make online learning really fun. My name is Chad Littlefield. I get to work with some of the coolest universities and organizations on the planet to make online learning really fun. We can talk about both synchronous and asynchronous in this video and I’m going to keep this one short. There’s a lot of other video tutorials on my channel around how to make connection engagement easy in a virtual context. Feel free to check those out for deeper ideas. In this video, I’m going to share one really brilliant simple aha and framework that I had that will essentially give you a pair of glasses or a lens to be able to make all of your online learning way more fun and engaging and less terribly painfully boring.  

Blog Note: The following is an adapted and edited transcript of one of our daily YouTube tutorials. We know sometimes it is easier to scroll through written content which is why we are publishing here. Because of that, there may be typos or phrases that seem out of context. You’ll definitely be able to get the main idea. To get the full context, visit our YouTube channel hereAnd if you want to watch the video on this topic specifically, you can scroll down to the bottom of this post to access it as well. 

The only fluff that I like is the fluff that comes with peanut butter and is white and marshmallowy and sits on a sandwich. 

Do is Better Than Show

In its simplest form, the way to make online learning fun is the idea that do is way better than just show. An example of what I mean by that: I was working with a university career center helping them transform this 2-day in-person academy bootcamp that they had for sophomores into an all remote online learning context. They were so excited about the impression, it’s going to be really experiential hands-on. They were going to be doing lots of things and when they came to me they were like, “Ah, and now we have to do it all virtually.” And they felt let down. And my response was like, “Wait, actually, there’s so much opportunity that lies here because everybody is on their device. When they’re online, they’re joining you from the portal to the entire world.” It’s called the internet where you’re using it right now to see this video. It holds a library of infinite information. In about 7 keystrokes, you can find anything you want and learn more about it. There’s so much learning that can happen by doing. 

Specifically for them, one of the things we talked about they’re going to do this resume writing workshop where they’re going to have everybody print out their resumes and lay it around and give some feedback on them, etc. I was like, “Break out, screen sharing. You can have your live editing resume up on Microsoft word or Google docs or whatever else and actually be making changes based on feedback with a coach you can do rather than show.” 

Can you imagine how lousy an online learning course would feel if it was just telling you how to set up your resume. That’s fine, right? In some way these videos are showing rather than doing because it’s asynchronous. But when you’re synchronous, you can invite people to actually do things in the moment rather than talking about maybe them doing them later. We transformed that workshop into an experience that everybody would actually end up at the end of that time with a polished resume that they could get an internship or a job with. That, I think makes online learning deep fun. It’s not the like, “Oh, this is fun”. This isn’t like, it’s not like… You’re going…

I’m not advocating to turn online learning into bowling or anything. I don’t know if bowling is fun to you. But I’m not advocating to turn online learning into something that’s uh frivolous fun. Because I think that if they’re there to learn, one of the most fun things that can happen is that you’re giving  massive value to them. That the second they’re done with that content, that module, that class, that etc, they feel like their life is a little bit better and they’re a little bit closer to whatever it is they’re aiming for or shooting for in life. Whether that’s an internship or a job or mastering a particular topic or acing their exam, whatever it is, making online learning fun is allowing them to do rather than just show. And the more that we keep this in balance, the more engaging our online learning will be. 

 

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