Educators tend to agree that it is vital for students to be engaged in their learning if they want to have a good experience. However, what few educators seem to agree on, is what “engagement” actually means. According to Thomas Rollins Teaching, however, it is about how invested students are in completing their courses. This is why they have developed The Great Courses in such a way that they are as engaging as possible. To achieve this, they have followed a number of pedagogical strategies that have been demonstrated to work.
1. They Use Multiple Formats
The Great Courses were all available on video tape, and then on DVD. Today, they continue to be available in that format, but The Great Courses Plus can now even be streamed, in a similar way to Netflix movies. Essentially, Thomas Rollins Teaching makes sure that people can use the format they are most comfortable with themselves.
2. They Provide Active Opportunities for Learning
Professors who teach The Great Courses go through a stringent application process in which they have to demonstrate that they are engaging and that they can keep the attention of their students. This is usually achieved by ensuring learning opportunities are provided in a variety of different ways, to meet the personal interests and skills of the student.
3. They Make Learning Social
The Great Courses is now a true community of learners, and students are made to feel that way as well. For instance, Thomas Rollins Teaching will speak to students about their desire for other students, and ask them about their experiences. In so doing, they make sure that digital learning is as social as possible.
4. They Have Added Self-Assessment Opportunities
One of the things that makes The Great Courses and The Great Courses Plus so different from other such forms of learning, is the fact that the courses do not lead to certificates or credentials. Rather, it is all about ensuring people enjoy learning as much as possible. One way they do that is by making sure students can assess their own progress.
5. They Make Sure the Courses Are Accessible to Different People
Finally, they ensure students have the opportunity to access the courses. This goes back to being available in multiple formats. Students have to feel comfortable with their method of learning, so that sitting down to take in new information doesn’t feel like a chore.
Online and digital learning is one of the most complicated forms of delivering an education. However, it is also the most modern forms of learning and one that people now expect. However, what few think about is how to make it engaging. Indeed, a lot of people who start such a course never finish it, because they find it difficult to motivate themselves. Thomas M Rollins has been working on changing that for the past quarter century, and they have been hugely successful in this. That is why they continue to be one of the most popular course deliverers on the planet.