How to Make the Most of Virtual Learning

Last year was one of profound transformation within education. In 2020, learning institutions were compelled to go virtual almost overnight and students were suddenly exposed to new technological tools as well as the need to learn from home. Distance education became the norm.

Welcome to the Next New World of Learning

While certain institutions were already well-versed in modern digital learning, these changes have impacted practically every learner and teacher. Some of the key emerging trends include:

  • Displacement and decentralization of the classroom
  • Adapting the home to a multifunctional space encompassing leisure, learning, and working
  • The growing need for informal social experiences
  • The rise of differentiated, engaging instruction
  • A shift from passive to active learning
  • The appearance of modern learners with significantly higher expectations for a flexible, on-demand, personalized educational experience

To assist you with this transformative journey, SAP Community members and education experts from the SAP Training and Adoption team have joined forces to compile a set of learning hacks and practical tips.

1. Acclimatize to the New Mode of Instruction

To be effective, remote training requires many of the same core ingredients as traditional instruction: clear goals, reflection, documentation of the learning process, checking for understanding, and prompt feedback. For a well-designed learning experience, teachers therefore need to come up with ways to provide opportunities to practice, apply, reflect upon, and reinforce what is learned.

Meanwhile, you, as the student, need to cultivate an appropriate, enabling ecosystem by:

  • Minimizing distractions in your physical and digital environments
  • Gathering, ordering, and mastering your tech
  • Ensuring you have the appropriate hardware and furniture
  • Managing time
  • Being organized and disciplined

Efficient Learning Hacks: Did you know there are tools out there that can assist with productive learning? These include visual project management ‘Kanban’ boards, ‘Pomodoro’ time keeping techniques, brain.fm, and Spotify Genre Meditation for decluttering the mind prior to a learning session.

2. Jump-Start Your Learning Experience

Nailing the details of your learning experience can pay back handsomely. In today’s learning landscape, we are overwhelmed with vast amounts of content to watch, read, and listen to, but knowing is different from doing. To get the very most out of online learning, make sure you organize your new knowledge in a way that you can easily access, reflect, retain, apply repeatedly, and adapt to new contexts.

Order your freshly acquired knowledge to make it more meaningful:

  • Organize your notes digitally with note-taking tools like OneNote or Evernote
  • Break down learning to smaller, but regular chunks to make it a habit
  • Document your progress with Sticky Notes and mind maps like MindMeister
  • Set up an online calendar so you don’t miss deadlines
  • Hold regular retrospectives in the evenings or at the end of the week
  • Factor in time for self-reflection and hands-on-practice

Experiment: Each of us possesses an individual, unique learning preference in how we best acquire and process new information. Experiment to discover yours. If you study best with other people around, why not consider a co-working app like Focusmate to boost your productivity?

3. Take Your Learning Social

It’s long been recognized that high-flying students require opportunities not just to listen or read, but to actively process the information being presented. Social media-enabled communities or collaborative virtual classes allow for entirely new types of peer-to-peer learning journeys where fellow students solve issues together through problem-based discussion and reflection. This enables the learning to stick.

Consider ramping up your interactions to increase information retention:

  • Participate in discussion forums and respond to peers’ posts
  • Create a social network group to share ideas and knowledge
  • Take advantage of video breakout study groups and form a learning circle with lernOS
  • Gamify your learning and think of stories, personas, or how you can reinforce yourself and others
  • Harness real-time, multi-player editors like Etherpad or Wikis to write joint notes
  • Brainstorm and sketch together with Conceptboard and Mural

Discover: Ready to test-drive the exciting new mode of peer-to-peer, collaborative learning? SAP Learning Rooms bring you a uniquely interactive, virtual training experience that seamlessly blends social networking with study.

4. Embrace the Augmented Classroom

The beauty of virtual learning is it not only replicates the conventional classroom in a virtual setting, but actually improves upon, enriches, and augments traditional teaching techniques. With more control over your own learning, you are able to work at your own pace, channelling your energy to areas where your individual need is greatest.

Inherently modular, virtual training also mobilizes a wider variety of resources to support a rich learning experience. This can include “micro-lectures” that bundle course material into coherent, bite-sized chunks to stimulate the senses from multiple directions. IBM has found that participants tend to learn five times more material in online learning settings that harness multimedia than in traditional face-to-face courses.

Digital learning enhances your knowledge acquisition because it:

  • Balances both synchronous and asynchronous learning
  • Caters to multiple learning styles and preferences simultaneously
  • Introduces new forms of interactive educational discovery
  • Places the student right at the heart of the learning process

Reflect: Imagine that, instead of having to go to class, your learning environment came to you wherever and whenever you wanted it. SAP Live Class offers the same teachers, course materials, personal support, and face-to-face instructor engagement as a traditional classroom, but delivers it remotely to your very own home.

Acquiring new skills has never been so accessible, convenient, and individually tailored to you. SAP re-imagined the remote learning experience and has been at the forefront of pioneering these innovations. Let us guide you through the new world of SAP Learning and Adoption.

Start your journey and join us on February 26 to learn more about Virtual Learning and Training Hacks.