In my eLearning role I hear and try to respond to the call for more trainings, more in-depth training. But what are teachers really asking for? Time.

Time is a finite commodity. It must be conserved by using greater efficiency when possible. Consider the difference between your first and fifth year of teaching – you incorporated many efficiencies by that fifth year!

How can trainings be respectful of your inclination to conserve time?

I propose two components: asynchronous and online.

Asynchronous meaning the learner progresses at his/her own pace. The learner can linger over the portion of the learning which challenges them – and within the same course – accelerate themselves past the portion they already understand; in past staff meeting this would instead have been tedium to progress through at the same pace with every other learner in the course.

Online meaning access is open. Think about what a physical space, a group of people, and a commute has done to deter training attendance in the past. Access is only limited by your Internet, which is not much of a challenge for teachers with their teacher laptops, sitting in a school with WIFI.

Of course, anytime you can combine the two, so that the asynchronous course is available online will increase the willing participation. Because willingness to engage in training has not been previously gauged in very meaningful manners, we can now use a learner’s completion of work in an asynchronous environment over time as an indicator of their engagement. Online learning can generate metrics such as time spent in course, work completed as well. Now think back to all the occasions you used Faculty Meetings to grade papers, not so much engaged.

After these two components are introduced you will see who truly needed more time to flourish and who needs a more specific intervention for training. When the excuse of time is mitigated targeted trainings can benefit the learner to an even greater extent.