In our last post, we addressed a few problems with the most common model to reach an audience, the broadcast model. However, a limitation of the broadcast model that we didn’t address is that it generally limits learning to individuals. Even in a seminar or workshop, there is often little communication and social learning among participants because the focus is on the speaker.
With Ruzuku, we’ve tried to emphasize a learning process within a social context. We believe learning within a supportive community has multiple benefits.
- Social learning improves how people feel about the learning process, the tasks they’re completing, and the skills they’re developing. Learning can be hard and it’s good to know you’re not alone.
- Social learning improves adherence—how consistently people stick with the program of completing activities and reporting on their progress.
- Participants in a Ruzuku-based community can learn from each other through questions, shared resources, and peer coaching.
- You, the Guide, can facilitate and energize the community, but you don’t have to be the only source of learning.
These are just some of the ways we’re powering social learning today.
Social Learning is Front and Center
We also believe participating in an online learning community should be easy and fun. Ruzuku puts participation front-and-center by showing the latest posts and comments, right on the home page. Posting and replying is simple, and learners can go beyond plain text by adding photos and videos to their posts.
What students have said about discussion on Ruzuku…
- I like that the discussion board was the central focus of Ruzuku… I also felt that this Facebook-style design encouraged interaction between users on the site.
- I liked the discussion aspect. It was easy to follow ‘conversations’ within a particular unit and the way the discussions threaded was nice.
- [My favorite thing about Ruzuku was] the accessible discussion board and the site’s overall presentation.
Check out a quick (less than one minute) video overview of Ruzuku’s Discussion feature.
Ruzuku Discussions Overview from Ruzuku on Vimeo.
Sometimes it’s helpful to organize discussion around a specific activity. You can do that on Ruzuku with activity responses — just enter a question or prompt for a specific activity, and your learners can respond and comment on the same page as the activity itself.
Every time a student checks off an activity, their icon shows up below to activity (think of it as positive peer pressure). Not only does it provide a sense of accomplishment for your participants, but it also provides a sense of social motivation for others in the course.
Finally, to help you check in on social learning in your communities, we give you the Course Health page:
Ruzuku’s Course Health view can help you see who is participating and who’s dropping off in a course. It provides a quick overview of everyone in your learning community along with their participation (posts and comments) and progress (activity completion).
At Ruzuku, we believe that, while courses should teach you something, they should also be fun! We provide a social environment where your students can interact and motivate each other to excel under your careful guidance.
And as with everything we do, we’re looking for ways to build a stronger social learning environment for your learners and will be continuing to enhance and polish these tools over time.
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