The Hidden Challenges of Training Remote Learners

Most administrators think that online training is the easy solution to training health workers who live and work in remote, rural locations. These tips will help your distance learning program a bigger success.

Internet cafe

People who live in remote areas--as many community health workers do--are often left out of excellent training opportunities. They simply live too far from a central meeting space to participate in many courses.

Online learning is an obvious solution because organizations can deliver high-quality education without the need of a meeting space. So directors and managers often throw online courses at their most far-flung workers and consider the job done.

Sure, internet-based training really can make all the difference between building skills as a professional and lacking knowledge. But training people who live far from their peers isn't as straightforward as it sounds. Programs separated by geographical distance will be even better if a few key factors are addressed from the onset.

10 Smart Ways To Help CHWs Learn Better

Following the positive response we received from our article Ways to Increase E-learning Participation among health worker professional development programs, we offer 10 more ways to help learners lock away lessons.

1. Address common reasons learners don't retain information.

The most common reason why people don't retain learning is they don't finish a course. If you can find out what the underlying reasons are for dropping out, you can present your learners with an experience they can use. In most cases, withdrawals are due to family, job commitments (very common with CHWs who balance working in the field with completing a course), vacations and poor time management. Change up when and how you offer your information, and you can make it easier for students to complete.

The Beginner's Guide To Blending Live and Computer-Based Training

Your community health workers will thank you for discovering the best way of delivering educational materials.

Blended learning takes the best of in-person training and melds it with the best of online training. It’s a principle that predates e-learning, because teachers have been mixing facilitation methods for years as they mix different facilitation methods, resource formats, and technologies. What makes it relevant to the e-learning world is part of the teaching occurs with an Internet connection.

Here's a fairly typical format for a blended training program we see at CHWTraining:

Typical blended learning format

Why Use Blended Learning?

Blended learning is a flexible approach to addressing a range of learning styles and also adapting content to the right format. For example, motivational interviewing might be better addressed in a live setting, while assessment skills are easy to teach online. Studies have shown that it's easier to keep a group engaged for longer with a blended program.

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