When facilitating an online course, it’s essential to have a well-thought-out, organized structure to ensure your course is comprehensive and easy to understand. Each subject should be complete and flow to the next without confusion. This way, students can remain engaged and absorb the information taught. 

However, sometimes lesson plans we create or purchase elsewhere have gaps in knowledge or abrupt shifts between topics that make them harder for teachers and students to follow. Additionally, some students may require extra help or want more information about a subject. In these cases, supplemental resources can be valuable in an online classroom.

Choosing the right supplemental resources can make your online classroom complete. However, finding and selecting supplemental resources for your students can be challenging. Let’s go over why they are so beneficial to students and how you can find the right ones for your online classroom.

What are supplemental resources? 

Supplemental resources are any additional, nonrequired course materials provided in a class. They are learning resources that provide additional information that students can engage with if they desire. These resources might look like online videos, research findings, academic reports, books, or any other source of additional information related to the class’s topics. Supplemental resources can improve comprehension for students, increase motivation, and assist those who need extra support. They also help fill in any gaps in a course’s structure to help students transition between subjects. 

Supplemental resources are commonly used in online classrooms where some students may have more difficulty learning or remaining engaged. In online courses, students may feel like they have less room to ask questions, and providing additional resources can help. For example, a teacher might offer an optional test preparation booklet to all students, and those who need extra assistance or have the desire to excel might utilize it. Additionally, a teacher might refer students to an online video, such as a professional, interesting presentation on the subject, to help students better understand and gain interest in the topic.

These helpful resources may also be provided to teachers along with purchased online course materials, free online content, or content purchased by a separate organization. While there are various types of supplemental resources, the common factor in each is that they are optional and offered in addition to core materials.

Why can they be so valuable to students?

Supplemental resources can be valuable tools for students’ success and offer many benefits in an online classroom.

Encourage learning

Additional learning materials encourage students to learn more about specific topics. This is particularly beneficial for adult learners who want to achieve mastery in their fields. Additional resources can give students access to information and skills they can apply directly to their fields. In this case, encouraged learning is crucial as it cultivates more talented workers. It’s also a way to cater to those who desire to go above and beyond in their education.

Enhance motivation

Nearly all teachers want enhanced motivation in the classroom, and supplemental materials can help. They can provide interesting, thought-provoking materials such as research reports or documentaries that can pique students’ interest in the subject. Additionally, helping students feel confident in their knowledge with comprehensive course materials can increase motivation.

Remain relevant

Supplemental resources such as new research findings or information help course materials remain relevant. This way, students can be up-to-date on current knowledge and practices, which is particularly crucial in health science. Adult students may even be able to directly apply up-to-date knowledge from supplemental sources to their everyday roles.

Provide support

One of the greatest benefits of supplemental resources is that they provide extra support to those who need it. For example, distance or remote learning may necessitate additional resources for those who have trouble with remote learning environments. Those with accessibility needs or learning disabilities might benefit greatly from supplemental resources such as text, video, or audio. All students have different learning needs, and helpful educational resources should always be available for diverse learners.

These benefits are particularly useful in an online classroom where engaging with students becomes more difficult. Many students have difficulties with distance learning, and these digital resources help combat that. Complimentary supplemental resources can go a long way in cultivating a successful learning environment.

What should go into picking supplemental resources?

While it’s clear that supplemental resources bring many benefits to the online classroom, finding the right ones can take time and effort. To assess the supplemental needs of your online course, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there any gaps in the course materials?
  • What are my students’ learning preferences?
  • What do my students need to learn for their future courses/ endeavors?
  • What are my students interested in?
  • What diverse learning needs might my students have?
  • Do all aspects of the course work well in an online environment?
  • Does the course remain engaging and interesting throughout?

Answering these questions can help you understand what supplemental resources your students might desire — and which ones diverse students might need. Perhaps you find your students learn best with interactive materials. In this case, you can source supplemental resources that allow for just that, such as online quizzes, interactive games, or one-on-one support. Or maybe they thrive with visual learning, for which you could provide additional video material. Overall, your supplemental resources should complement and add value to your course. 

Why Caduceus is the right choice for life sciences online learning 

When it comes to teaching online courses with valuable supplement resources included, Caduceus International Publishing has you covered. Caduceus offers comprehensive life science online courses on medical terminology, sports nutrition, public health, and more, with supplemental materials available to help your students thrive. This way, you can teach expert information while helping students remain engaged, motivated, and confident in their knowledge, better ensuring their overall success. We understand the needs of educators and design custom curriculum solutions to meet their unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you reach your educational objectives.