All it takes is a quick Google search to find every kind of online learning opportunity you could imagine. In fact, we would be willing to bet most people have purchased at least one small online class, whether it’s something as simple as a class to learn to knit, or as big as a university course. Have you ever purchase a class you struggled to get through, or just didn’t finish? Why was that? We would be willing to bet that it’s because the class simply wasn’t engaging. It’s important when designing an online course to make sure to implement pieces that engage the learner, but what makes an engaging online course?

Incorporating Visuals
The average person can be pretty intimidated by a big wall of text. By incorporating visuals such as graphs, videos, and photos into your online learning content, you are able to break up the information your presenting, as well as reinforcing it in different ways. Not only that but including visuals also helps you to reach a variety of learner types, which will help your students to be more successful. If you would like to learn more about the different types of learners, you can read more about it here.

Breaking up Content into Bite-Sized Chunks
Break up your content into bite-sized chunks that can be easily devoured. No one wants to watch an hour-long video or read through pages and pages of text. The average learner loses focus and misses out on important information. By breaking the information up into smaller pieces, students will feel more accomplished and will move through the material at a better pace. It also allows students to be able to step away from their courses if needed.

Providing Interactive Opportunities
It can get boring for a student to spend all of their time just staring at a screen. By incorporating interactive opportunities into the learning experience, you can keep students interested and engaged. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as incorporating periodic quizzes or providing additional resources for students to go online and find out more about topics they find particularly interesting.

Giving Opportunities for Feedback
By providing students with an opportunity to provide feedback on the courses they’re taking, they feel more involved in the course. Students who feel they have ownership are more interested and learn better than those who feel like they’re just along for the ride. Not only that, but it gives you the opportunity to streamline your course and make adjustments where needed. This can be accomplished by simply providing a feedback questionnaire at the end of a course and welcoming questions from students while they are taking the course.

Allowing Students a Sense of Control
Students are more motivated and engaged when they feel they have some control over what they are doing. They feel a sense of ownership in their success, and this helps to provide that intrinsic internal motivation that will help them to be more successful in an online course. There are a lot of ways to do this, but one great way is to allow them to set the timing and pacing of their courses.

There are many ways to grab the attention of your students and to help them to engage in their online courses. Students who are interested and engaged are more likely to be successful in their courses, which is the outcome we’re all looking for. If you would like to know more about TEL’s online courses and what we do to engage our students, you can demo our courses here.

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