3 Tips For Online Learner Engagement

wordpress-for-elearningTaking an online course can be boring.

In many cases you sign-up for the course, go to the first lesson, and begin watching a video.

If you’re lucky then there is a transcript included, but that’s not always the case.

So there you are staring at your computer screen absorbing as much information as you can.

Hopefully the video is developed according to elearning best-practice or you will be in for a long day.

This is obviously a worst-case scenario but it highlights the downside of online learning: it can be extremely boring.

And when we get bored, we start to do other things (like check email or go to Facebook).

If you are offering online courses then you would do well to use some strategies that encourage your learners to interact with the content. Below are three easy-to-implement ways you can do just this.

Points & Badges

This may seem silly but it’s actually a proven way to improve learning retention and to motivate learners to progress through your course.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can simply award points for completing sections of your course and various badges that display on their profile.

If you want to take it to another level, let the learners “cash-in” their points for some sort of reward.

Some of the most successful learning programs use gamification.

The LearnDash BadgeOS integration is a great choice for this functionality.

Learner Notes

Have you ever watched a video only to forget some the main points a few hours later? It’s an easy thing to do, especially if the video is full of information.

Some believe that including a transcript to the video is a good workaround, but that only solves part of the problem. Specifically, not everything from the video is worth remembering!

Learners want the “key points”. They want an easy way to jot down the information that is most relevant to them.

By enabling the ability for your learners to take notes you make your content more effective.

This feature is possible with the LearnDash Notes add-on.

User Collaboration

When taking an online course you can often feel “alone”, even if there are thousands of other people taking the same course!

It goes without question that you can create a positive community by just implementing something as simple as a course forum.

With all of the advancements today in education technology it can be easy to dismiss forums. They just don’t seem “flashy”.

But that can work to your advantage!

First, almost everyone knows how to interact in a forum so the learning curve isn’t that steep. Plus, they take about five minutes to set-up on your end so you don’t have to waste time learning new applications.

Encourage learners to share their reactions in the forum. You can even assign points and badges for forum participation!

The LearnDash bbPress integration will allow you to create these course forums.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Comments
  1. Thank you Justin for these tips! Bery good points!
    I like the possibility to take notes and I am going to look at this right now.
    as for the badges, I tried at first to instatll it and had some problem making it work so I put it in the back burner having more important to finish first. I will certainly give it a second thought.

  2. Good tips! You could also add the collaboration of the users in the preparation of the content (which would give a certain job) and also more user interaction with e-learning. Doing so, it makes you feel part of the content, giving more value to e-learning.

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