Barriers to online learning

Difficulties with technology or internet access can be very frustrating barriers to learning, so it is important to have a good understanding of the challenges that are likely to occur in your context, and to choose the online tools you use accordingly. It is often better to use a simple tool that is already familiar to your participants, as Charlotte did when she chose WhatsApp, than something more complicated with which they may struggle.

If your training takes place over several sessions you can start off with a simple tool and then carefully introduce more complicated technologies later if they enable you to do particularly important tasks. Adding questions to your monitoring and feedback forms about technology familiarity and any problems with access will help you to improve future sessions.

Further resources

If your online training takes place in low resource settings, such as places where access to the internet is limited, you can find advice on appropriate technologies in this blogpost from the World Bank [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , which also contains links to other resources. For example, video uses a lot of bandwidth so using audio only can make resources more accessible and creating downloadable resources helps learners with intermittent access to the internet.

Online learning needs

Reducing barriers to online learning