Keeping people engaged in your e-learning course is important if you want to increase course completion rates and improve learner satisfaction. With that in mind, there are a few quick and easy steps you can take as a course author to boost engagement and satisfy your learners.
Quick and Easy Ways to Increase E-Learning Course Engagement
1. Break lessons down
Keeping lessons contained to small, bite-sized chunks of information tends to be an effective way to keep engagement levels high. Most people don’t have time in their day to dedicate longer, solid blocks of time to getting work or studying done. Studies have also shown that most of us learn better when we’re presented with small amounts of clear and concise information than when we’re overloaded with information.
Keeping this shorter content broken down even amongst itself is a key takeaway, too. Keep modules broken up with short paragraphs and lists rather than huge walls of text.
2. Give learners variety and use appropriate formats
Nobody wants to be bored- and some of us automatically are once we realise we’re about to be transported back to our school days. Spice up your lessons and information! Mixing different types of content is an effective way to keep learners’ attention. Using animated graphics, short video clips, and simple infographics can help cut down on the amount of text that people have to read through.
Also consider whether the module you’re producing would be more easily understood when delivered in an alternative format. Take a dance move for example. You could spend all day reading about the Carlton dance and not have a clue about how to execute it. A video on the same dance would provide a much better learning experience, providing your learners with greater clarity in less time.
3. Produce your own video
Hiring a video production company can be expensive. Although it can be worth the investment for businesses with larger training budgets, it’s often out of reach for smaller or one-man training businesses who are just dipping their toe into the e-learning game.
With phone quality being what it is today, there’s no reason most of us can’t pull out our phones and put together a completely presentable and palatable video with a couple of smaller investments. Grab a low-cost external mic, a ring-light and a phone tripod and you’ll be well on your way to putting together more interesting video content for your learners.
Like any e-learning content, you can also iterate on your video content over time, using the initial sales of your course to justify a higher production value in your future videos.
4. Create a Community
Remember back in school when you’d link up with friends after class to lament how difficult a new calculus trick was? Did you ever make use of study groups?
The people in your course want to interact and communicate about what they’re learning! Whether you set up a forum, a social media group, or some other forum of community, the individuals you’re teaching are sure to appreciate the opportunity to interact with each other. Not only will this encourage engagement, but it may also help with retention- those who are struggling may receive the help they need from others to continue to push through the course.
5. Integrate Interactive Content
Keeping learners engaged is half the battle. One more wistful recollection of school will probably yield a lot of memories of you staring out the window at a tree during class- and that’s what will happen with the individuals you’re teaching unless you fight to keep them engaged. It’s easy to integrate online quizzes and flashcards into learning modules, which can also help you monitor student progress.
If your budget allows for it, you can produce more creative forms of interactive content too.
I recently spoke with an instructional designer at a university who produces content for medical students. He produced a series of 360 degree videos from the perspective of an A&E patient. Each play-through allowed the learner to review the same scenario from another angle, with each perspective revealing more information about how each doctor and nurse responded to the situation.
Integrating a feedback system and taking the time to present questions yourself can also help students feel that they’re being heard by you. Nobody wants to feel like they’re working on something without support,- so make everybody feel like they have the backing they need to succeed.
It can be daunting to put together e-learning content that you’re sure will attract and retain a dedicated audience. The key way to pull people in and keep them with you is through increasing engagement; and, as you can see, that doesn’t need to be difficult. Anybody can implement the idea found here, and it’s a sure bet that some combination of them will send your engagement skyrocketing.