One of the great things about elearning is that it is highly accessible and offers people the chance to learn on their own time. However, one downside to having this convenience is that it can be difficult to foster any meaningful conversations regarding the content.
For quite some time now, the primary means for learner engagement in a virtual setting has been the traditional forum. Most of us are familiar with the forum concept now, and in the right settings it can be pretty effective – especially if done correctly.
Encouraging Engagement in a Forum
If you have an elearning community and want to encourage user engagement, the easiest way to do so is to ask questions to everyone based on the content. The manner in which you ask the questions will go a long way in the type of response you receive, so it is important to pay attention to the way the question is framed and how it is delivered.
Here are three ways to encourage learner engagement through questions in a forum setting:
1. Be Clear – Avoid any jargon and buzzwords in your questions. Write the out in clear, concise sentences so that they can be understood by everyone. This makes the question accessible, especially those who just joined the conversation and may not understand the buzzwords yet.
2. Be Open – Do not bait the questions, make them open if possible. An open question puts the onus on the learner, requiring them to be more creative in their response. In other words, avoid true and false questions and look for an opportunity to ask a question that requires the participants to reflect.
3. Probe for Meaning – Rather than just collect answers, select the best (or perhaps the most thought-provoking ones) and ask for supporting rational for the opinion. This will help steer the conversation in a direction of your choice, at the same time allowing others to add their thoughts into the discussion.