The term ‘Learner Engagement’ is used to describe the meaningful involvement of learners throughout the course. It includes learners active participation in completing the course in the expected time-period dully submitting the required assignment and taking all the assessments.
According to the research, engaging with learners during their learning process grows their concentration, stimulates them to practice critical thinking, and encourages significant training courses. Engaged learners stay committed to the course as they enjoy the courses, thus, they do not leave the course in between. Additionally, they are more likely to spread their acquired knowledge and experience of training courses with other learners which will not only help you gain more audience for your present course but also get you leads for your upcoming courses.
The following strategies will help trainers to increase and ensure higher levels of learners’ engagement in the course.
1. Multiple Formats to Deliver The Content:
In online courses, the larger audience is targeted and it is hard to target a particular age group, location, or culture. It is most likely that the audience differs from location and other measures. One particular format can be unlikely to get discovered by a specific age group. So it is better to follow multiple formats to deliver the content. Here is a quick overview of the various formats you could include in your online course to develop a motivating and engaging learning experience.
● Simple Learning Resources: A trainer can change the format of teaching to make it easy and interactive. Shifting from lectures to videos, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, documents, infographics, images about the topic can make the course more engaging. Trainers can make ‘key pointers’ on the topic and teach accordingly. Usually, the learners engage more with visual content rather than trainers explaining the whole topic for an hour.
● Interactive Learning Resources: Trainers can make use of engaging interactives such as drag and drop, mouse over, click to reveal interactives in their E-modules to keep learners active and engaged during the session.
● Virtual Classroom: In the virtual classroom, all the learners enrolled for the session join together online. It offers a learning environment where all the learners can interact with a trainer immediately about the topic and clear all their doubts. Through a virtual classroom, a trainer can get an in-depth analysis of the training,, can regulate the pace of the teaching of the particular topic, and can have face-to-face virtual interactions with learners.
● Interact With Learners: Interactive learning has shown the best results in students’ achievements. Keep the learners involved all through the course by giving them tasks at the end of each section. This could be in the form of think questions for them to share their views on or a quiz containing close-ended questions to check their understanding of the concepts covered in the module. When a trainer interacts with learners about a topic, they come up with their ideas and thoughts which make the session more interesting. Learners learn more when they are actively participating in the discussion. Ask learners to come up with presentations about the topics and allow them to explain it. Let the learners demonstrate what they have learned.
2. Teach only One or Two Concepts Per Session: Do not elaborate on one topic for an hour as it disconnects the learners’ attention from the session. Longer courses usually deliver poorer learning output, it is because the attention span of the learners is limited. Create short lectures that teach only one or two concepts per session. Eight to ten minutes is enough time to teach a concept or two without losing learners’ attention spans. According to various research, the maximum attention span of an individual is not more than 20 minutes, however, they can try to refocus on the same activity or it is usual to get distracted. Even the bright learner can not focus continuously for more than 10 minutes, the trainers should set their course, by taking this point into consideration and limiting their course timings.
3. Highlight Learners’ Progress: Highlight learners’ progress by providing assessments and instant feedback for each option to explain why is correct or incorrect to reinforce learning. Be encouraging and positive while the consequences of their decision. Highlighting learners’ progress can boost the morale of the learners and give a better understanding of the topic. ‘Appreciation’ is the key to motivate your learners and increase their participation in the course. Discuss the course goals with your learners, acknowledge their importance, and praise the learners who deserve it.
Quick Tips to Keep the Learners Involved and Engaged in Your Course:
● Come up with the creative styles of teaching than following the same style in every session.
● Start a topic with a story, it brings in learners attention.
● Ask learners to take down notes during the session.
● Make sure that you take a short break during the session and you can chit chat with students.
● Encourage pro and con questions during the session for their better understanding
● Use clear and easy language skills for their better understanding
● Introduce ‘gamification’, conduct games such as memory, bingo games about the course
● Use multimedia presentation like videos, podcasts, images to keep them engaged
● Set up a question and answer sessions for the learners
● Appreciate learners when they answer well to your given question
● Always motivate them for performing better
● Connect the topics with the real-life experience as it makes more interesting