One of the hardest things to do for any online course is to keep the learners engaged with the course content. With the click of a button a learner can be taken to any site and away from the elearning material.

To combat this, instructional designers have relied upon a variety of methods. One is to simply force attention. This happens when the learning management system prevents navigation away from the course, or opening any other windows.

I have mixed feelings about this approach. I can understand the desire for this feature in certain types of environments for select audiences. However, forcing attention doesn’t mean that the learner will actually put in an effort to understand the content. If anything, it could have the opposite effect.

Aside from forcing learner attention, you can use instructional design tactics to encourage learner engagement with your courses. This is the approach that I believe can have more of a positive impact on learning comprehension and retention.

The infographic below was created by Learning Pool and it details 10 specific strategies you can pursue to help make your course content more effective.

Some of these are easier than others to incorporate. For example, while adding badges and points seems straight-forward, it actually can take more work than you initially think. From a technical standpoint, badges are easy. LearnDash has this feature and it’s really a matter of clicking “activate”.

What can become challenging is if your course target audience doesn’t necessarily have a culture of badges and points. If they do not, then you’ll need to put in some effort to help demonstrate why it matters or else risk it being a distraction.

Perhaps you can use one of the following strategies in your own course?

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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