July 11th, 2017 E-Learning

Today there is much hype on automated, hands-free ways of engaging with people and moving them along a desired progression path.

Most of the time automation is in reference to marketing. There are many tools like ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft that turn marketing automation into a science.

But what about automation in education?

I have said in the past that I think this is a good idea but only in moderation. Nothing (in my opinion) should be fully “automatic” with regards to teaching. Sure, education can be systematized but I think that its effectiveness is maximized when there is a personal (human) touch.

Some of the most successful online education programs that I have seen use at least some form of human interaction. The reason I think this is so powerful is that it makes people feel part of a community – like they aren’t alone on the journey left to fend for themselves.

Ways To Add Interactions

Fortunately it is pretty easy to add interaction points with many of today’s online course systems. The options below are all possible in LearnDash but may also be possible in your LMS as well.

  • Send an email when someone fails a quiz to schedule a tutoring session
  • Provide written feedback on submitted assignments
  • Provide written feedback on essay questions
  • Reward learners for participating in course forums
  • Enroll users into a live webinar after successfully completing a lesson
  • Set-up regular digital coaching sessions

By using one or more of the strategies above you are fostering an active learning environment rather than a static one. If you are selling access to your course content then this will help to decrease your refund rate. It will also make people more inclined to apply what it is you are teaching them.

So if you’re operating an online course business, or if you’re thinking about it, don’t try to automate everything. Take time to find ways where you can create meaningful interactions with your learners.

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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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2 responses

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Thanks, this has been useful

Avatar Ruth


As usual, you are right! With drop-out rates so high in any class, especially eLearning, the personal touch is critical for completion rates and learner success. People want to feel like they are part of something. If they have some human interaction they feel more important and as though someone is paying attention.

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