The leveling uses of e-learning

E-Learning proparatory modules can be a great help to courses with a very heterogeneous student composition. By assessing and improving upon participants' needed skills, teachers may achieve a greater basic understanding between students and thus more productive classes.

Yolanda, the experience financial analyst sits right beside Dario, a successful architect. Both happen to visit an MBA class about mathematical investment evaluation. Now we have two scenarios. Their professor may decide to review financial basics. This way, students like Dario can better handle upcoming concepts. This bores Yolanda, who waits for the more juiciy content from later classes. Or the professor may decide to start with compley content right away. Yolanda rejoices, while Dario gets to be the frustrated one, due to his rusty financial skills. Either way, a group of students will be unhappy. How to get out of that quandary?

Bridging the gap.

Starting knowledge gap can be a problem. This effect increases with more heterogeneous classes, as the MBA example above shows. As a teacher you want to get to the interesting discussion topics as soon as possible. You do not want to panalize students for not being experts. Cooperation and collaboration in class is easier if students share a common understanding of concepts. E-Learning modules can be a powerful tool to level that field.


A course may offer a preparatory E-Learning module previous to course start. Students gain access to the module a week or two before and work topics at their own pace. You may also start the module with a skill assessment test. This way participants know which areas they need to improve, and which they may leave behind.

Photo credit: master phillip via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

About the author
Julio Prina supports the Executive School at the University of St. Gallen in all themes digital, be it Blockchains, Artificial Intelligence or E-Learning.