It might be difficult to keep learners motivated throughout your online courses. Some people have trouble concentrating, others have trouble managing their time, and yet others are too relaxed because no one is watching over their shoulder. In any event, all they require is a little encouragement. They may fall behind, lose confidence, and drop out of the course if this happens.
So, go ahead and use a reputable online course creator, stick to tried-and-true teaching methodologies, and use the following recommendations to create interesting online courses:
1. Keep the Learning Modules Short and Sweet
Most learners (both students and employees) have a short attention span, as you may have seen. For example, bombarding them with too much information in a one-hour session may not result in great knowledge retention. Their concentration may wane at some point, allowing them to remember only a fraction of what you’ve spoken.
That’s why you should keep the learning modules short. Between 15-20 minutes is ideal. It should be enough to explain most of your points, while some might require even less time.
When it comes to more complex concepts, break them up into bite-sized chunks, so your learners can absorb all the information effectively.
2. Use Multimedia to Accommodate Different Learning Styles
Some people are visual learners, while others prefer auditory learning. Some learners prefer reading texts and might even absorb them better by writing down the most crucial lesson highlights.
That means you need to create online course materials that your learners can read, listen to, and watch. If your online courses are entirely video based, you may lose some learners along the way.
It’s the same with other types of content. Overusing them may not be favourable for your learners’ engagement and overall performance. So, combine text with audio and video content. Again, keep them short, and make sure they’re of high quality.
Now, you don’t need a professional videographer to create online videos. You can use your computer, laptop, or even your smartphone camera to record yourself speaking directly to your learners. This way, you’ll connect with them visually and keep them engaged.
3. Create a Variety of Instructional Tasks
This goes hand-in-hand with accommodating different learning styles. You need various instructional tasks that include multiple modes of learning so that all of your learners stay engaged.
Some of the most effective instructional tasks in online courses include:
● Prior-knowledge assessment – When you determine each learner’s knowledge level before starting a course, you’ll challenge them appropriately throughout it. You can create a quiz with open-ended questions, a poll with real-time responses, or ask questions to groups in breakout rooms. Then, you can direct your learners to proper resources.
● Lectures – These can be your textual, audio, and video lessons, presentations, lecture notes, and other educational resources.
● Practice assessment – Whether you create quizzes, tests, or any other form of practice assessment, provide them after every module.
● Discussion boards – They’re essential for collaborative learning, which can boost motivation and engagement among learners.
● Graded assessments – Again, you can use quizzes, tests, surveys, or other assignments to assess your learners’ knowledge.
● Reflection activities – These can be vital for ensuring that the learners have retained everything from the course. You can use thought-providing questions, self-assessments, peer assessments, group collaboration projects, and more.
4. Gamify Your Courses
Implementing game-like elements into your online courses is one of the best ways to supercharge engagement and knowledge retention. Points, levels, badges, leader boards, and other game mechanics can make your learners feel as if they are playing a game. They’ll have a clear overview of their achievements and goals, and they’ll keep pushing harder to complete new levels and reach the finish line.
Few things can boost someone’s motivation, like a healthy competition, which is what gamification inspires. So, make sure your chosen online course maker supports gamification features. By gamifying your online courses, you’ll make learning fun and interactive, enhance the learning experience, and ensure your learners soak up all the knowledge.
5. Include Multiple Interactive Elements
Gamification will already make your courses interactive, but why stop there? As mentioned above, you can use quizzes, surveys, and polls to evaluate your learners’ knowledge. You can create interactive videos, infographics, charts, graphs, mind maps, and more. The more interactive content you include, the more engaging your courses will be.
Discussion boards, forums, breakout rooms, or any other kind of online learner portal can be excellent for encouraging interactions and collaboration as well.
Start Creating Engaging Online Courses!
Creating online course materials takes time and effort, even with the best online course maker. But when you know your learners’ knowledge levels, challenges, needs, and learning styles, you can create excellent online courses with ease.
Follow these tips to make your online courses engaging, and you’ll inspire and motivate learners for many years to come.
About the Author: Kamy Anderson is an EdTech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mindset, he is an expert researcher at a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as ProProfs Quiz Maker.