Having an instructor who is present in the course is said to be the most effective way to increase learner engagement, having the learner engaged increases learning and creates a positive learning experience for both the learner and the instructor. When the learner has a positive learning experience and carries forward the new learning, they share what they have learned and this encourages others to enroll in learning.
Some of the ways that I ensure the my presence is felt in a course is:
- Ice breaker: at the beginning of the course I make sure that everyone introduces themselves to each other. As I work with nurses, what year did they graduate, where have they worked. This often then creates a bond between some nurses who have graduated the same year or often from the same school.
- Connect learners with each other: I will provide a group activity for learners to work together. Group activities can be challenging so this will have to be done carefully and after speaking with the learners individually so that I am aware of their personal comfort level.
- I let the learner know who I am: I share my own nursing story, where and when I graduated and where I have worked. I let them know that I am still nursing so what I am teaching I also put into my practice. This builds credibility and increases conversation as the learners share their stories and ask questions.
- Contact information: I always end my courses providing the learner with my contact information for any questions they have later. As I am the contact for any regulatory questions they will always know how to contact me. Learners have contacted me and often have made referrals for my courses to others.
- Connect learners to local resources: Also at the end of my courses I provide the learners with local resources that they can access if needed. Often times this is the name of the local educator (which I researched before the course) or the employer policies or local community courses that I am aware of. The feedback that I have received about leaving the learners with resources that they can further explore has been very positive.
Being present in a course also lets the learner know that you are passionate and care about what you are teaching. As I love nursing the learners can see that this is my passion and I am committed to their learning.