In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- How watching videos of performers can boost your teaching skills
- The difference between online learning in the education sector v. the workplace
- Tactics and resources for creating a successful online learning environment
Learn From The Greats
Whitney has been a licensed massage therapist for over 30 years and is one of the best educators in his field. He has been teaching nearly his entire career, relying on experience, curiosity, and the power of observation as guides.
Whitney says Steve Jobs and Johnny Carson have impacted his teaching immensely. Both were masterful speakers who knew how to present information in an engaging, memorable, and intuitive way.
If you want to get better at something, learn from the best. The details matter in teaching, and it becomes worthwhile to study the nuances of what makes excellent speakers great.
Three Components To A Good Online Course
Whitney’s shift to online teaching happened by observing how other medical professions used the space productively and creatively. Whitney knew he could do the same for massage therapy.
He learned that in order to build a good online course, you need three components:
- Subject-matter expertise
- Instructional design of the course
- A developer who can make the course functional online
The more that different people would work on each component, the more Whitney began to see discrepancies arise. He wanted his courses to be more integrated — so he learned how to do all three.
Online Education v. Workplace Learning
Over the years Whitney began to see a difference between the way education was delivered in the online education sector and in online workplace learning.
He noticed, for example, that online college courses tended to be lecture style and instructor-focused, as they would be in an actual classroom, while workplace learning had no instructor and benefited from automation and interactive features.
Whitney took up the challenge to use the best of both in his courses.
[11:47] “I was really trying to . . . move . . . the instructor’s role from being a sage on the stage to the guide on the side.”
By educating as a guide rather than a sage, Whitney is better able to help his students translate their knowledge into real-life situations. He recommends teachers ask themselves:
- Why do students need to know this?
- How will this make a difference in their career?
Is The Future Online?
Whitney points out online education has unique characteristics that give it an advantage to in-person learning. Students can:
- Learn at their own pace
- Review information from past lessons on-demand
- Participate without traveling
He urges that online education be taken seriously and given attention going forward.
[8:04] “For years I’ve been advocating for online education done well. What the pandemic certainly showed lots of us is that there’s a very big difference between just online education and emergency remote teaching.”
On the other hand, low completion rates haunt all online courses, no matter how good they are. Whitney adds he’s constantly looking for new ways and technology to keep students engaged for the long haul.
But the future of online education is bright. I, for one, am curious to see where it goes.
- Whitney’s website