The Basis of Web-Based Contact Learning (Part 9): Organizing the Work of Hobby Schools and Youth Work Centres in an Online Environment

Web-based Contact Learning ABC is a practical study material in conducting e-learning. This material helps teachers and trainers to organize webinars and e-learning efficiently and thoughtfully. The material is prepared by the lecturers of the Non-formal Education and Lifelong Learning study area of the School of Educational Sciences at Tallinn University in cooperation with the team of EDUSPACE research lab of teaching and learning.

children drawing
Creating and maintaining contact
  • For hobby education, it is important to keep in touch, maintain a relationship with both the participant and the parent. At the same time, make sure that the activity does not require too much time from the parent and that the participant is not spending too much behind the screen.
  • Help to find communication environments where young people can have a dialogue in a similar way to hobby schools and youth centers. Suggest good practice for communicating in a virtual environment. You can create a sense of security by exceeding the norms used in the physical environment.
  • Balance video recordings with live web meetings. On-screen meetings help maintain a sense of group and support communication.
Ensuring the level of activity and rethinking it
  • Think about goals you want to achieve - it is to continue the activity, to complete the curriculum, to learn something new, to develop skills. Realistically assess whether the activity can be carried out online and what resources are needed.
  • To transfer activities to an online environment, the content must be rethought and, if necessary, made more individual in order to be motivating and appropriate for the participants. Offer alternative solutions, such as individual exercise instead of group training.
  • More individual learning creates an opportunity for the participant to make sense of their work. Allow analysis of your own and other people's work, feedback, and creative work. Don't give a reason to give up.
  • Make sure that the students are sufficiently supported with the methodology, digital tools as well as the contact details of other learners. Offer support in adapting the curriculum so that you do not interrupt your hobbies due to the uncertainty or overload of the tutor.
  • When adapting the curriculum, make sure that it is varied for children. To achieve the best quality, try different environments, for instance, it is better to perform instrumental lessons in one environment and dance lessons in another.
  • Find out if it is possible to combine different hobbies to reduce the burden on the screen. You can work with interest groups and associations to share experiences.