As an e-learning professional, keeping your students engaged and motivated should be your ultimate goal. When an online course is interactive and engaging, learning becomes effortless and natural. However, creating learning deliverables that keep students involved throughout the ecourse can be challenging.
So how does one create an online course that’s not only informative and engaging but also builds a sense of community among learners? In this blog post, I’ll share some practical strategies that you can use to turn your e-course into a meaningful learning experience for your students.
Let’s get started!
(1) Make Your Online Course Interactive
Interactivity works on two levels; firstly, it makes your course content more interesting. Secondly, it increases students’ focus. Both these points are extremely important in boosting engagement. You can incorporate interactivity into your ecourse through various methods. By using web-conferencing applications, you can add interesting interactive features into your presentations. Some examples of interactive features include social functions such as comments and likes, simple drag and drop options, study groups, virtual classrooms, group discussions and feedback sessions.
Just keep in mind that your main aim is to keep your students interested and fully involved so that they can easily achieve their learning objectives.
(2) Use Visually Appealing Design Elements
Your online course layout and design matter a lot in capturing learners’ attention. Try to use visually stimulating design elements to attract your students’ interest. Remember, you don’t have to use flashy designs and bright colors; simply create an aesthetically attractive learning environment by keeping your texts short, using high-quality images, easy-to-read fonts and whitespace balance so readers are able to focus on your course content with ease.
How learners view your e-course can have an effect on their learning process so make sure your course design complements your course content.
(3) Keep Your Learning Objectives Clear
Learners will only be able to retain their focus is if they know exactly what they need to learn and why. Hence, it’s crucial for each online course to have a clear set of objectives that spell out what exactly students would be learning, how it would be beneficial for them and how they could use that information in their lives. After all, they’re paying good money to take your course. You need to make sure they’re constantly reminded of the benefits they’re getting. At the end of the day, the success of your course depends on whether your students have achieved their goals and benefitted from your online course.
Setting learning objectives will not only motivate your students to do better, it’ll also be helpful for you when creating your course structure.
(4) Use Gamification
You can make your ecourse highly interactive and engaging by incorporating gamification into your e-learning strategy. Gamification is an extremely effective method that uses basic human instincts such as the need for recognition, competition and achievement to help people accomplish their learning objectives.
To apply gamification into your course, you can create interesting scenarios, challenges and choices. You can use storytelling to build a gaming experience that lets learners choose from a set of options, with each option leading to a different story. The options are endless.
By adding a system of points, rewards or badges, you can keep your learners motivated to achieve their goals, thus unleashing their true potential in a way that’s not only beneficial but fun!
(5) Include Frequent Quizzes and Assignments
Test your students’ knowledge by adding quizzes and assignments into their learning process. It’s a fun way see how much they’ve learned. You can pose questions that encourage them to think and answer on their own or you could create groups and give each group a different set of problems to solve. You can design group assignments and activities to encourage student collaboration and have them fully involved in the learning process. Not only would this encourage self-study, it will also help learners interact with each other, thus creating a sense of community.
(6) Keep Your Online Course Organized
Having a clear structure of your course content is extremely important for a good student/course experience. Make sure that the learning material is prioritized and organized. Structure the information in digestible bits so that students can take their time taking in each bit of information instead of being overwhelmed with too much content too fast. This will help learners absorb the material effectively, preventing cognitive overload. Use easy navigation, clear instructions and short sections to help students stay focused and engaged.
As an instructor, it’s your duty to make your online course as interactive and informative as possible. This means you need to go beyond just creating a bunch of slides with instructions. Your students should have a reason to be excited about your course. By following the six tips above, you can be on your way to creating an amazing online course that students will love!