It is well-known that in reality, taking an online course has become a popular option for learning anything.
It can be professional growth or necessary skills or to learn English. However, when an online course has poor engagement, the purpose of using it is defeated.
Making your online course engaging is a must if you wish to create a more learner-centered educational environment.
An engaging course is one that offers learners both compelling content and captivating activities.
It takes into account the fact that progress depends largely on how engaged learners are when taking part in any learning activity.
Are you looking to make your online course more engaging? Would you like your students’ time invested into it to be worth it? If yes, you’re in the right place.
Mastering the art of online course engagement is not an easy thing to achieve. As an online tutor, it’s important that your online course is engaging as possible.
In a world of endless distractions and information overload, it can be easy for an online course to seem less relevant than ever before.
Your learners are falling further away from the finish line every day.
They’re bombarded with emails, phone calls, tweets, Facebook messages, and new ‘hit’ games on their phones.
You get the picture.
For anyone who works with students on a regular basis, it can be challenging to keep them interested and motivated.
After all, the more exciting your course is, the better it will be to take part in.
So how do I make my online course engaging?
In this article, you will get to learn about simple yet effective tips to boost your online course engagement.
What is the importance of increasing online course engagement?
There are a lot of factors that can make an online course successful. One of the factors is the ability to engage students.
The more involved your students are in your online class, the more likely they will return.
They will want to see what they are going to learn next and how they will use it in future situations. This increases success in their online classroom.
Increasing course engagement will bring student satisfaction, bridge the communication gap between students and their instructors, and facilitate active learning in an online setting.
However, it can be frustrating when your online course lacks student engagement. The course is usually good because it has all the information you need. But somehow, there is no connection between you and your students.
Here’s how you can spur students’ interest and engagement in your online course.
1. Incorporate storytelling into your online course
Ensure you Incorporate storytelling into your online course creation.
Students will not only take more of your courses but also increase the likelihood that they’ll return for future courses. This is a proven method that has been used by major online course creators.
When used effectively, they can foster engagement, make lessons meaningful, and change behavior.
Learning from a story is more powerful than learning from a series of disconnected facts or instructions. Tap into your students’ primal interest in stories, use elements of surprise, and promote active learning.
Instead of having students memorize facts for a test, try telling them a story. Create real-life scenarios in which students interact with each other or their surroundings.
Of course, the story doesn’t have to be extensive or even complicated. Keep it related to your course. Keep it short and simple.
2. Communicate through multiple mediums
Communication is the key to better understanding. The end goal is to deliver a cohesive experience to the student. There are a few ways this can be achieved.
Add pictures and videos of real-world scenarios into your learning management system. Use annotation tools so that students can communicate with one another, redline documents, and highlight important areas of their text.
Students should never feel like they are left out or unable to fully engage with the material. Making online classes engaging gets easier and more effective by communicating in multiple formats.
Embedded audio and videos are a great way to relate concepts to real events and objects and provide examples for students that are contextually relevant.
Chat rooms are good for providing one-on-one communication between instructors and students. Instant messaging provides a quick reply option. It’s helpful for answering questions in real time.
Broadcast text messaging can be employed for communicating announcements or reminders. For example, the start date of a new module or the availability of an additional resource.
Blog posts, podcasts, videos, and webinars are great classroom activities. Using several resources and formats will make your online course engaging and interesting.
3. Introduce active learning into your online course
Active learning is a form of teaching that promotes active participation and engagement in the classroom.
Typically, students participate in short activities that encourage active engagement in the lecture materials.
Students get to relate new information to what they already know. This can involve, class discussion, problem-solving, and other kinds of activities.
If you are like me, when learning something new, I like to be active in the process. That means I learn best with prompts and real-life examples.
Active learning makes material relevant and meaningful to students because they are able to participate. It allows every student in the class to feel a sense of ownership over the content being learned.
Active learning encourages students to share their opinion, and reason out loud using words or actions. It helps them make connections between new information and previous knowledge.
They get to collaborate with peers to achieve goals and track progress. Students bring in outside resources to support their conclusions and reflect on their own learning.
Active learning is highly effective in getting students engaged with your online course.
4. Include badges and certificates in your online course
You’ve probably heard the terms badge and certificate to describe those awards you earn when completing an online course or educational book.
What’s so special about them?
They add a layer of fun to your lessons. The more exciting, different, or motivating you to make your online course, the greater the engagement from your students. That is the primary reason behind adding a variety of engaging elements such as certificates and badges.
These components will help you to substantially enhance the value of your course.
Participants are more likely to complete their courses if they know their effort will be rewarded at the end.
Give them unique badges or certificates that enable them to show off their achievements. Add levels or achievements to your course, to award your students with badges or certificates.
Having a badge system within your course is a great way to make learning fun and interesting. It will motivate students to participate in the course because they will be able to monitor their progress through each segment.
It’s also a perfect way to inspire them and give them the freedom to create their own path to success.
5. Timely and useful feedback increases online course engagement
Feedback is an important part of online courses. Research has confirmed that immediate and ongoing feedback improves student engagement, interest, effort, and performance.
The student has paid for your expertise, and you have a responsibility to provide timely feedback in a useful way. If you do so, you will increase course engagement and help your students to progress further with their studies.
It helps the students develop and learn from their mistakes. The better the feedback, the better the learning.
By timely and useful, I mean you should give the feedback as soon as possible after they submit their work.
However, constructive, timely, and honest feedback has the potential to make or break a student’s experience in your online course.
Take the time to write only appropriate and valuable comments. It must be able to help students improve their skills and advance toward completion.
A structured feedback framework will increase your online course engagement. Students who get quick responses are more likely to be engaged. They have their questions answered and can proceed to the next topic.
Give prompt feedback on any questions or assignments. Keep it clear and simple.
Aside from the fact that we are social beings, we live in a social media world. Many if not all of our daily activities are influenced by social media. Use this to your online course advantage.
Inspire engagement with social media in your online course.
Learn to use social media tools like Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, etc., to strengthen learning outcomes.
Smart online instructors are already looking at social media as a way to spice up classes and interact with students.
Students are more likely to connect and react when you use social media to share content that is important to them.
Having a Twitter badge on your course homepage, creating a hashtag, and using it in your tweets is are ways to do this. This will help you interact with students and foster a sense of belonging in the classroom.
For example, if you post about an idea for a class activity using a hashtag used in your classroom, students can search for this hashtag and indicate to you that they are interested.
Students and instructors can engage with one another via a hashtag and share questions, clarifications, and resources. Students can include the assigned hashtag in their blog posts and instructor tweets for easy bookmarking.
Social media platforms are indeed powerful tools to boost online course engagement.
7. Give your online course students the opportunity to assess themselves
Aside from making assignments and due dates explicit, are there opportunities to have students grade themselves? Can they provide their own feedback on their participation in an assignment?
This is actually a powerful motivator.
It will lead to humbling moments for all when a student publicly states how well he or she thinks they’ve done.
Students who have been provided with opportunities to understand and assess their own skills are more likely to develop a sense of self-efficacy and apply those skills appropriately.
Engage your students by encouraging them to post their own ideas and work. Students know best the value of the work they are doing.
By granting them opportunities to engage in self-assessment, they will take more ownership of their activities, contributing to a rich, dynamic discussion.
You can also encourage them to create a personal learning plan or ePortfolio. Students feel more involved with their education as they build an ePortfolio that closely resembles their life. It can be easily updated every time they learn something new.
Students will want to engage more as they see the progress they’re making in their learning.
Remember, the goal is to make them completely responsible for their own learning. After all, that’s the best advantage of an online course.
8. Make your online course accessible to all
This is not widely considered when discussing the importance of student participation in online courses.
Accessibility is harder to manage when it comes to online courses. You want to be sure all students can access your course, no matter the spec of their computers or smartphones.
When learners face issues viewing your course materials, they’re less likely to participate and engage effectively. This will lower the engagement level of your course.
Avoid those issues and increase user engagement by making sure that all students can access your course across all device types.
Don’t forget, accessibility is not limited to entrée into your course materials. It includes being able to view or relate to the material.
Ensure you format your online course material in such a way all your students can view them easily.
What is the best format for online course materials?
There is no single ideal format. I’ve found that the most important consideration when deciding how to deliver online course materials is whether or not the delivery method helps learners achieve their learning objectives.
What makes a successful online student?
A successful online student will be engaging, motivated, and will stay focused on the goal of completing their degree.
They take the time to look at each lesson and create a schedule for their study. They spend their time in focused learning.
How effective is online learning?
Online learning is very effective. In fact, online learning has become the preferred method for many. It offers convenience and the ability to learn from home.
It is a great way to get the information you need quickly. It’s cost-effective and extremely convenient.
How can I improve my online course?
Adding engaging lectures, new topics, and unique assignments increases the quality of your online course.
Also, it proves you’re excited about your topic and is a great way to get students to sign up for your class.
Is it possible to measure online course engagement?
Yes, it’s possible. However, it depends on the type of course, the tools and services being used, and whether or not an incentive has been provided to a student.
One suggestion is to use one of the best e-learning platforms that offer all the necessary features and tools needed.
We want to challenge our students, help them learn and develop, and make sure they have a good time in our classes as instructors. We carefully create and curate content that will inspire students and help them achieve the course’s goals.
However, to achieve that, your course has to be engaging as possible.
The success of any online course is dependent on the level of engagement. With a bit of thought and effort, any online instructor can easily create an engaging course and give their students something they will appreciate and value.
I believe you will make your online course more engaging and interesting if you use the above tips appropriately.
Or are you a beginner looking to create and sell a profitable online course? Check out the simple yet comprehensive guide I wrote on creating and selling profitable online courses.
I hope you found this post helpful. Thanks for reading.