Map Out Your ELearning Engagement

Everyone wants their elearning course to be engaging.

The more that a learner is engaged with the content the more likely they will internalize the key points.

But “elearning engagement” can be hard to define (and as such difficult to achieve). What kind of engagement is needed, and how much is too much?

Here’s a tip, when creating your content don’t think about elearning engagement as the last part to implement. In other words, don’t storyboard all the content, create the content, then at the very end ask, “okay, now how do we add some engagement?” – it won’t be very effective.

Instead, think about building in small parts of engagement throughout. This begins when you are mapping out the storyboard for your course. When I used to do this for consulting clients I would always have a section for “engagement” for each part of the course.

Now, I didn’t necessarily have something to put into this section for every part of the course, but when there was engagement I would add in details as to what it would entail.

My clients were not very keen on having a lot of “bells and whistles”. Some simple engagement items were usually fine given the audience and purpose of the training content. Checkpoints, hotspots, and mini-puzzles were usually enough to get done. They didn’t venture to much into social engagement strategies.

Just the same, you can add small engagement elements into your courses as well. Simple things to hold the learner attention like:

  • Keeping content concise
  • Being personal (answering “what’s in it for them”)
  • Awarding badges / points
  • Automatic email follow-ups / congratulation messages

These three items alone can go a long way.

Try to think about engagement from the onset. When you do then the flow is a lot more natural and doesn’t seem forced.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

3 Responses

  1. Hi Justin! Great article and suggestions. Is there a plugin or add on that works with LearnDash you recommended to implement automatic email follow-ups / congratulation messages based on course activity?

      1. Hi Justin,

        Is there a way to connect the Notifications add-on to MailChimp? We don’t currently use SparkPost, and it would be great to link our existing mail client instead of setting up a new one for this purpose.


  2. hello , would like to ask.,, i am running an educational center offering courses for the review program. can you enlighten me on this program, how can it work for the organization , how they can register and offer the program with fees

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