Online courses are a hot topic right now. We all know that online courses are the future of education, but what if they’re not engaging? How can we ensure that our students stay interested in what we offer?
If you don’t know how to create engaging online courses, we’re here for you to ensure your online learning success!
This article will explore online course engagement tips to make online learning experiences more engaging for your audience.
What makes an online course engaging?
First, we need to establish what makes up for an engaging online course that people want to take. Teaching online can be challenging in itself, but making it interesting is another pair of shoes.
You must find ways to interact with your students to make learning fun. There are a few key components that make an online course engaging:
- The content must be interesting and relevant to the audience
- The delivery should be interactive
- Online courses should be updated regularly
- They should offer something new and innovative
- The courses should be entertaining
Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more depth.
The content must be interesting and relevant to the audience
This one is pretty self-explanatory. People won’t want to engage with your course if they don’t find the topic interesting. So it’s important to do your research and target a specific audience with each course you create.
The delivery should be interactive
This is where many online courses fall flat. The content may be interesting, but if it’s delivered in a boring way, people are going to tune out.
So it’s important to find ways to keep people engaged, whether through videos, quizzes, or other interactive elements.
Online courses should be updated regularly
One of the benefits of online courses is that they can be updated regularly. It really shows that you’re invested in the course.
This also keeps the content fresh and relevant and makes for great evergreen content.
They should offer something new and innovative
People are always looking for something new, so finding ways to stand out from the crowd is important. This could be through unique delivery methods, interesting topics, or anything that makes your courses different from the rest.
The courses should be entertaining
Last but not least, people want to be entertained. Learning can be fun, and if you can find ways to make your courses entertaining, people will be more likely to engage with them.
Now that we know what makes an online course engaging, let’s look at how we can make our courses more engaging.
How to make online courses engaging step by step
Engaging online learning can be challenging, but below, we present tips that will make it easier for you.
Use diverse content
Not everybody is made the same, taking up information the same way.
As a teaching philosophy, differentiated instruction is a method of teaching that recognizes the varying information needs of students.
Someone who has difficulty comprehending a subject from reading a lengthy block of text may benefit more from seeing it presented in a video than from reading.
Others may find that the ability to go back and reread parts of a text at their own pace is more useful than an audiovisual presentation.
If you want the most number of people possible to take your online class, you must adjust to different learning styles.
You may have your unique teaching method, and that’s okay. Just try to present it through different types of media.
Make your presentations more dynamic
If you’re thinking about launching an online course, a great tool for creating dynamic presentations is Prezi. It uses motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to bring your presentations to life.
This type of presentation is more likely to engage somebody than a standard PowerPoint or Keynote presentation.
Use voiceover presentations
To guide your students through the slides, create a voiceover presentation. Voiceovers allow you to present a difficult topic clearly, so it’s easier to follow. You can add slides with images and diagrams without cutting content.
Harness the power of visuals
When creating a course curriculum you shouldn’t forget about including visual aids if you want to create engaging online courses. Visuals not only help improve the instructional soundness of your courses but also keep students interested.
It’s because stunning and successful visuals are an essential instructional tool that engages students, minimizes cognitive strain, and achieves learning goals with the greatest success.
We may characterize the visuals we use in a course as essential as the text you write, the activities you create, and the tests you include.
So, make sure you utilize them correctly to adapt to the different learning styles of your students and keep their attention. Keep learners interested with these ten forms of visual content that improve the attractiveness and efficacy of your course.
Make your online classes interactive
Many online platforms allow you to make clickable quizzes, and games and incorporate interactive content into your online classes. They enable students to explore the course topic from various perspectives and to remember it better.
Storytelling keeps online students engaged because stories create empathy. Empathy results in personal meaning—and the ability to internalize the information learned.
You don’t only share your knowledge but also experience. Tell your students how the things they’re learning now helped you in real life.
Problem-solving skills can be learned by incorporating stories and having students act out or discuss scenarios. This way, they engage in collaboration and creativity. That way, students can better retain what they learned and make your course more successful.
Engage problem-based learning
Including problem-based learning, scenarios, or case-study examples has been shown to improve understanding of the topic. You may assist your pupils to prepare for their future professional occupations by providing them with problem-based learning opportunities.
Assign each student a persona whom they work with for the duration of the course. Throughout the entire course, create tasks that will refer to the client profiles. Sometimes you can introduce a new element to the scenario that will challenge students to change their approach.
Take advantage of gamification
Gamification in eLearning is becoming increasingly popular as a method of keeping online students engaged. Gamification engages learners since it provides them with a fun learning experience.
Gamification for education gives a more engaging and immersive online learning experiences. This translates to improved completion rates. The increase in recall or retention would also be evident.
Moreover, gamification for learning has a high degree of customization, allowing you to apply it in many levels of learning—depending on cognitive abilities.
You can use it not only for learning acquisition but also for practice for performance improvement, upskilling or successful application of learning at work.
It’s a challenge to influence someone’s thinking and behavior with a shift in paradigm. Gamification may be used to affect both phases over time, thanks to principles of spaced repetition.
Add live sessions
Live lessons are great because your students interact more with each other and with you.
They can get immediate feedback and have a say in the lesson’s direction.
If there is one person having some questions or doubts, it’s likely that others do as well. You can host Q&A sessions as it’s a powerful tool for identifying knowledge gaps.
Going live is sometimes required for certain topics. Going live is especially important if the topic you’re teaching, such as public speaking course, requires practicing in front of each other and receiving feedback in real-time.
Live online class gives both students and yourself the opportunity to practice performing in front of each other and getting feedback in real-time. It definitely has significantly increased student engagement.
This way you can use synchronous learning where students teach each other. It’s helpful for live classes, and it involves interacting in real-time.
To further engage students to work together, you can create a breakout room in Zoom. Students can meet after class to share what they’ve learned. This may be done as formally or as informally as you like.
Let a student become the teacher
It’s often said that the best way to learn a subject is by teaching it. So why not give your students a chance?
Allow students to select a topic to briefly teach to a small class group or to the whole class (e.g., John might really enjoy anatomy, so he chooses to present the muscle names to the class using a mnemonic device he created).
You can organize a Q&A session where students answer a question you asked or answer each others’ questions.
Students will reinforce lessons they’ve learned by coming up with questions to ask their peers or taking on the role of a teacher giving a quiz.
Create a learning community
Creating an online learning community makes a great opportunity for learning from other people. This way, your students will have a space where they can discuss and ask questions and collaborate on assignments.
Students are more likely to feel responsible for their actions and learn from them when they experience community. They’re no longer lone individuals staring at a computer screen. They’ve joined something greater than themselves.
In more conventional class settings, students may frequently convene outside of class in study groups to study or prepare for a test.
Through your online course, gently urge them in this direction. You can create a Facebook group for people who enrolled in your course or for people interested in the topic in general. Facebook groups help you to get discovered by the people from the industry and power Facebook marketing.
You can also create a short lesson on how to set up a group calendar and hold their own Zoom meetings with a quick overview of the program. The possibilities are endless.
When you create an online learning community, it’s important to remember a few things:
- Communities are two-way streets. Just as you’re there to help guide your students, you can also learn from them.
- Communities aren’t created overnight. It takes time for students to get to know each other and feel comfortable enough to participate.
- Communities require maintenance. You’ll need to post regularly, answer questions, and moderate discussions.
Creating an online community is also a great way to promote your online course. You can invite people from your industry to join and convince them to purchase your course.
Student engagement directly translates to online learning success. If you create engaging online courses, it’s more valuable to students. They will gladly share your class, and it will be easier for you to sell online courses.
You can become a better teacher by creating meaningful lessons and changing up teaching formats. If you connect directly with your students, you can help them become better learners.
It is evident that there are many ways to keep students engaged in the learning process. By using different methods, such as storytelling, problem-based learning, gamification, and adding live sessions, instructors can create a more immersive and engaging experience for their students.
These techniques have been shown to increase understanding of the topic as well as improve retention rates-therefore you can make more money from your online course.
What are some ways that you keep your students engaged in online learning? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.