Online courses being a “solo” effort are slowly become a thing of the past. The most effective programs strive to create a sense of community.

For a number of years the biggest downside to online courses has been that they take a lot of self-motivation. You start off eager to learn but over time it is easy to lose interest.

Like many people I have experienced this as well with a handful of the online language learning programs out there. Sure enough, after a number of weeks I was no longer taking the lessons. Not because I lost interest in the language, but the experience was rather dry.

It doesn’t matter the topic as this phenomenon impacts all online courses. It is one of the reasons why completion rates are so poor.

Show Learners that You Care

While it isn’t fool-proof by any means, simply showing learners that you care about their progress and application of course content is a great way to keep people involved in your courses.

This can mean a few different things.

  • You can use forums to interact.
  • You can provide feedback on submitted assignments.
  • You can  set-up coaching calls or weekly webinars.
  • You can arrange for one-on-one sessions.

You will notice that each one of these methods brings the “human” element to your online courses. It brings the content to life. When people feel cared for then they will care more about the course content.

Any of the strategies above are possible with LearnDash. You don’t need to do them all – just choose one to begin and measure the impact it has on your program. If you haven’t launched yet then you should think about which one of these would be best for your audience.

If you sell courses then you will do better selling community rather than a course. Some of the most successful course programs I know emphasize the community aspect over the course content.

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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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How do I set up these things? I am looking primarily for the best way for teachers to provide feedback and engage with the student regarding submitted assignments. But the other options would be useful too.
“You can use forums to interact.
You can provide feedback on submitted assignments.
You can set-up coaching calls or weekly webinars.
You can arrange for one-on-one sessions.”

I’m mostly concerned with how to provide feedback on submitted assignments. There doesn’t seem to be a direct way to do that. I am using comments on the assignments page, but as far as I can tell, there is no way to automatically subscribe the teacher and the student to the comments so that they know if or when the teacher has left feedback.

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