No matter what eLearning platform you’re using, whether Digital Chalk eLearning Platform or another, one of the best ways to give your eLearning courses value and make them relevant is to use news and current events in the material. Doing this does have a certain risk. Current events don’t stay current for long. In fact, most news can start to become old within a matter of hours. You have a little more leeway when it comes to incorporating current events in an online course, but you need to be prepared to regularly update the content if you wanted to appear to be cutting edge.
Since one of the challenges of running a successful online learning program is having enough content, using news and current events to flesh out your examples, benefits, discussion points, and more can be quite helpful. You can also look to substitute out numerous events when it’s time to update your course, and gives the entire course of facelift so to speak. Here are some of the primary ways that you can incorporate news and current events into your online learning courses on Digital Chalk eLearning platform and others.
Look for Examples to Illustrate Core Points
One of the best ways to avoid claims that your course has no real world application is to use news and current events to illustrate the core points. Look to see what has been happening that has made national news. While you can use local news, it’s generally best to use national or international news that the majority of people are aware of. This just helps to provide a stronger context for the student. If you provide enough information, any news or current event can actually be used as an example.
The core points of your online learning course are generally the primary takeaway points of every chapter or section. The example from news or current events can either be used as a positive illustration of that takeaway point or a negative.
Be careful of using slanderous or libelous language in relation to any individuals. While free speech receives broad protections in the United States, you can still get into trouble for slanderous comments as well as libel in situations involving regular people. Current slander and libel laws provide more leniencies when the content focuses on celebrities and individuals in the public eye. Individuals in the public eye are essentially individuals with chosen to be in the public, and who by their actions have made themselves open to public scrutiny. Remember that people who just get reported on in the news are not actually celebrities or individuals in the public eye. A common misstatements and incorrect assumption of a figure in the public eye would be George Zimmerman. Even though he has been quite famous in national and international news, he is technically still a private citizen and does not qualify as either a celebrity or someone who is in the public eye. That means that do not have the ability to write anything slanderous or libelous about him or the Trayvon Martin case. You can, of course talk about the facts, and you can give opinions. Even when dealing with private citizens, generally the truth is an absolute protection to claims of slander or libel.
Look for News Stories that Exemplify the Benefits Your Courses Offer
In some cases, the news stories and current events can actually help you in your promotional pieces. While you need to be careful not to misquote a news story or another individual, you can potentially use the situations detailed to show why people need the course you’re offering or the benefits that they can get from it. For instance, if you’re running a course on effective self-defense techniques, you might reference a story that ran on CBS that reports violent crimes are on the rise in certain inner-city areas. Remember that you cannot say that this story promotes your course or that you are affiliated with the reporting agency. But you can potentially link to the story on your description in the Digital Chalk eLearning platform. If you want to know more about Digital Chalk eLearning platform, you can check its review. The full review is available here: DigitalChalk eLearning Platform: We Review it to Test Its Worth. After reading this DigitalChalk eLearning platform review, you can use the information to exemplify the benefits that your courses offer.
Look for Stories that Allow Interaction and Create Meaningful Discussion
The slander and libel rules relate primarily to publish content. Forum and blog discussions or course discussion that are not open to the public generally do not have to be concerned about this so long as there is no provable malice. As such, it’s great to use news and current events to spark discussion on your course. Link to some of these news stories and ask for insight into what the students think. There is nothing like something that has actually happened to get people talking and contemplating how the lessons you’re teaching them relate to real life.
For the most part, you can let the discussions go where they will. The one thing to watch out for is rabbit trailing. You can get great tools on Digital Chalk eLearning platform and others, but you have to make sure that everyone stays on topic if you want to avoid people getting sidetracked.
Look for News and Events that May Form the Basis for Exercises
In some cases, news and current events may actually make excellent sources for your exercises. The way to incorporate one of these into the exercise is to reference the news story and then have the students analyze it to see what conclusions they can come to, perhaps even providing a separate and better solution.
This tactic is often used in law schools where students are asked to analyze a case that has already gone through the legal system and receive judgment. The students are not informed of what that final judgment is, and they all have the opportunity to look at what was known, what was done, and what was said up until the point of final judgment. The benefit of this kind of exercise is the fact that it really did happen. You don’t have to worry about constructing a believable scenario for your exercise. Additionally, it connects that real world of value to the lessons you’re teaching your students.
Always Remember to Follow Reference and Research Formalities
When using news and current events, it’s best to always reference the site that you got the information from. General news and current events are not subject to the same usage laws as private creative content. You can’t just copy and paste a news article without giving proper attribution to the author, but technically you don’t have to say what article you read something in.
Providing references and following research formalities is just to make sure that your students realize the information you’re giving them is accurate. It also helps them if they want to go and get more contextual information. You will have a wide variety of students in your classes, and at some point you will have someone who wants to know where you got the information from and where can he find more about it. If you have the references already in the course, you don’t have to worry about digging it up or telling them to go and find it on their own.