Whether the training or learning is in offline or online mode, an instructor plays a very important role overall. A classroom has a variety of networks of relationships, learner-learner, learner-instructor, and instructor-instructor, among which the learner-instructor relationship is the most important one. It is the instructor that helps the learner to understand their self-worth, work on their weaknesses, set career goals, and help them take decisions rightly. Hence, a positive relationship between them fosters academic and career success. If an instructor develops a good bond with learners, then the latter will be more engaged in learning.
Today, the dynamics of these relationships have undergone an immense change, especially after the beginning of online learning. Some online learners feel distanced from their mentors. The employees who just started training, feel alienated since no interaction takes place in person. The physical distance creates psychological barriers that prevent them from opening up with their online instructors. This is especially true for the newbies. Therefore, it becomes essential to find a way to fix these problems. Here, again the role of the online instructor is of prime importance. If he can create a good working, healthy and interactive environment, surely this is favorable for the online learners.
Here are 5 qualities that an online instructor must possess-
- Interactive and friendly-
In online training and learning setup, as an online instructor, you must try to tell online learners more about yourself. This helps them to understand you, your thoughts, and your ideologies more closely. You can try to include a picture or avatar on the eLearning platform. Tell them about your teaching philosophy, personal interests, qualifications, past experiences and achievements, your research work, and anything you find important for online learners to know. You can create short and crisp videos for self-introduction that creates a stronger impact on the minds of learners.
2. Encourage learners-
An online instructor must have the ability to encourage online learners to continue their learning and training cycles without giving up in between. A constant encouragement by an online instructor is a good way to keep reminding online learners that they have the inherent power and strength to succeed.
In the online mode of training, online learners may feel divorced from their eLearning course and online instructors, due to relational distance. However, an online instructor must have the quality to bridge such gaps and make his presence felt. He must try to build encouragement into the online training course and explain to online learners what makes the course content particularly relevant and how it can shape their career. Thus, online instructors can add and give meaning to eLearning courses. Further, this can help online learners develop a positive attitude towards their training.
3. Technological literacy-
As online training is the new normal, instructors must have technological literacy. Online instructors need to show proficiency in the following areas-
- Complete knowledge of operating eLearning platform. Here, one can use DigitalChalk, which is a robust and full-featured LMS platform that can be easily operated by online instructors.
- A thorough understanding of copyright and related issues.
- Use of technical tools like augmented reality and virtual reality.
- Modeling and tracking proper etiquette and generally accepted online use policies.
- Tracking access to the eLearning material and courses and reviewing discussion posts.
- Creating and uploading the eLearning modules and materials in the online digital library.
- Ability to troubleshoot minor technical issues and reach out to technical support personnel if necessary.
Since technology is an inherent part of online training, online instructors need to be tech-savvy.
4. Time management-
Time management is even more important in the online mode of training as compared to the offline mode of training. As information keeps changing quickly over the internet, it is very important that an online instructor updates all the information in time and make it available to online learners easily.
If an online instructor can meet his deadline, then the online learners will be able to finish their eLearning courses and projects on time, too.
5. Social director-
When instructors and learners met at the workplace or classrooms, they were able to interact and socialize with each other. However, achieving this one-on-one interaction in a virtual space is quite difficult but not impossible. An online instructor must try to create an environment where everyone can socialize by conducting weekly informal sessions and acting as an ice breaker. Small talks, online meetings can be very helpful to bring everyone together. In this way, an online instructor can act as a social director to establish a sense of community.
An online instructor is shouldered with hefty responsibilities that require time and effort equally. He plays multiple roles like technology specialist, eLearning designer, content manager, social director, mentor, and guide. He must try to find out what all problems an online learner encounters during the training process and try to resolve the same immediately. By actively and sincerely assuming these roles, an online instructor can give a new direction and meaning to the training.