How to turn a face-to-face language center into an online academy and not die trying
Becoming a real Online Academy and teaching online today is a must to ensure the survival of a face-to-face language center. For this reason, perhaps, these days we have heard the word resilience many times, “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary. We are all showing great resilience and adaptation, but how is it affecting to education? In two months, many language training centers have had to reinvent themselves, teaching through different devices in order to teach live classes. We wonder what guarantees of learning are being given with these online classes. In quality e-learning (formerly known as remote learning or distance learning) the materials must be adapted, or the students will notice this lack of quality and lack of experience …
Many centers have started to teach online, forced by the situation in which we currently live, making an effort to show their resilience to new world events It has been very gratifying, being a great advance and an enormous emotion for many of these centers. Their effort to keep their business open these days in an ecosystem that is new to many of these centers is admirable.
Training centers have realized that adapting to the world of online training goes far beyond mastering videoconferencing once a week, or using social media to share content… What is the second step after using Skype, Zoom, Google…? Many of them ask us.
Here comes the famous quote by Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance .” Yes, that’s right, now we have to invest in the online business, to turn our center into an online center and, when the virus crisis is over, to be able to maintain our center in blended modality .
Online education is much cheaper than face-to-face education, but training centers are not used to invest in technology. Very few have seen it as a necessary step forward because they assume that the student likes face-to-face learning. However, times are changing, and many people are discovering that training through technology means saving of time and effort and they are increasingly seeing that online learning is here to stay.
Our recommendations to access the world of online teaching professionally are:
#1. Have a web portal (educational platform) with the center’s corporate image
Own management portal, with your logo and corporate name, where you can include all the courses you want to teach. Students will not have to leave their portal to go to an online class; everything will be on your web portal.
There is no need for your portal to have an access link to a publisher’s portal or a portal outside your business. This would always limit the advantages for your business. If you also decide to offer in your own portal a catalog of your courses and their modalities, either blended or online, your sales opportunities will expand, and students can easily buy from there. In addition, you can be with the students throughout their decision and purchase process, making your center more competitive compared to other language centers.
#2. Videoconference integrated in the online platform with the possibility of growth if my center needs it (fundamental)
To teach online with your teachers and turn your center into an online academy, do not forget to consider the need for your classes to be integrated into your web portal (LMS). This guarantees a greater effectiveness of your Virtual Classroom and allows the registration of classes, audio recording and teachers’ evaluation in a simple way. Students have a schedule grid from which they can choose a time for a lesson (or the center can assign the schedule they want).
This is not a possibility in the case of Skype, Instagram, YouTube, or other platforms where there is no registration of the classes or any control about them. Students do not access directly either. They need to access another educational platform, leaving their data in the hands of a third party. This is apparently “free”, but the price is actually very high, and we are also leaving open fronts regarding the security of the devices. Finally, with this kind of platforms you will never have a schedule and faculty management system. It is very important that you can control everything in a simple way, without having to go to an Excel or templates that make it difficult for teachers to manage and operate daily.
#3. Own online language courses with interactivity for my online academy
It is highly advisable that, in order to not die trying to be a good online / blended academy, we combine online meetings with a teacher with courses interactive multimedia. In other words, live classes are accompanied by these courses, which have proven to be a perfect complement. They guarantee progressive learning and have individualized and group assessment and monitoring, as a result of professional and effective online training.
While coming back to normal, our students will be able to continue taking classes and using the online course as reinforcement.
Here we show several options:
Choose courses already structured and developed without having to do anything: ready to go
It is important that these online courses have certain guarantees regarding their functioning and the fluidity in the content. with interactivity, that the student has to participate in the progress of the course, with a progressive evaluation of what they are doing and of course following the Common Framework of Reference for Languages.
Dexway has years of experience in developing online content:
- Wide variety of courses and levels.
- Reports, individualized monitoring of students and groups with voice recognition, gamification and awards (medals, cups).
- Community of students in the same environment, conversation rooms for students (study groups).
Opt for a combination of structured courses with personalized content
You can have structured content with voice recognition, developed following the CEFR, using Verxact educational pills and adding, if appropriate, your own content or changing the order of preference of the activities. In addition, everything will also be integrated on the same platform (the student does not have to leave the course to go to an online class).
#4. Being able to create your own online courses, without the need for technical knowledge
In a short time, you can have your 100% online courses, without the need of a programmer. Any of your teachers will be able to dedicate time to the development of their courses, with all the guarantees of Computer Aided Elearning , CAE.net , the market leader in online training for more than 39 years.
We recommend this phase when part of the other 4 points are already consolidated and integrated into your online academy.
The authoring tools integrated into the online course allow you to customize the courses as you wish, establish interactive pills , include specific courses, even integrate the teachers’ knowledge as well as their know-how, create or alter exercises and design more practical cases. In short, you can create your own course based on a prestigious online course.
# 5. Go hand in hand with a true online training specialist
New apps are very fashionable and can be great to start in the online world, expanding knowledge and skills, but when we talk about business and that our name will respond to the needs of students, the reality is different.
Experience is always a guarantee of success. A fast and easy way to grow in the world of blended and online training is to always be accompanied by proper know-how, such as that demonstrated by Computer Aided Elearning , better known in the sector as CAE.net. CAE has shown their know-how throughout its history and different products (LMS, integrated videoconferences , content and multimedia courses) that it has made available to training centers around the world since 1981.
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- How to Make Your Learning Content Management System Work for You
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- Training Platform: Five Creative Ways to Use One