Sometimes it can be difficult to add the right mix of elements to your online course with hopes to increase student and employee engagement. “Engagement” and “Gamification” are two terms that seem to be big in the e-Learning world right now – and they go hand-in-hand. What is gamification exactly and what are the different ways to engage your online learners?
Gamification in e-Learning is the use of game theory and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage and motivate your online students. That means adding interactive PowerPoint presentations with built-in quizzes or drag-and-drop features. But that isn’t all you can do with gamification – check out these 5 tips for successfully “gamifying” your online course
Of course, there are a number of ways to add engagement, apart from gamification. We’ve listed out 5 other tips to successfully engage your online learners below. Let’s take a look.
- Stay relevant.
Always remember that your online content should be relevant, up-to-date and realistic. All headings and subheadings should clearly describe what the student should expect to read and learn from the sections that follow. An easy way to lose a student’s attention is by having outdated or inaccurate information in your course. Update your course content often to avoid losing your students’ interest. When using examples in your course, try to keep them as realistic as possible. Students appreciate learning something that they can use in real life.
- Be organized.
Not only should your course be well-organized during the creative process, but it should be for the student as well. Try to keep the screen and dashboard as clutter-free as possible. You never want to distract the student from your content by having unnecessary graphics or text. If the student is focused on the course materials, they will be more likely to interact and engage.
- Chunk it.
Most learners 58% would be more likely to use their company’s online learning tools if the content was broken up into multiple, shorter lessons. This is called “content chunking”. Chunking is a method of presenting information in small pieces or “chunks” of information to make reading and understanding faster and easier. Chunking is especially useful for material presented on the Web because readers tend to scan, rather than read the entire page. Check out these 3 steps to chunking your online course.
- Add interactions.
One key way to increase student engagement is by simply adding interactive features to your course. This can be through gamified SCORM content (created with iSpring) or through built-in features that your LMS offers. For example, during a video or PowerPoint, consider adding pop-up questions (checkpoints) throughout the presentation – this can ensure that your students are actually watching your presentation, rather than pressing play and walking away.
- Go mobile.
Sometimes your students may need to access your online course on the go. Be sure to choose an LMS that is mobile and tablet compatible. A combined 48% of learners say they would be more likely to use an LMS with smartphone or tablet access. If you put the time into creating a mobile-friendly course, it will pay off in the long run. If you do not, you have the possibility of alienating those learners that simply cannot access your material when they need to.
Do you know any other tricks for increasing student engagement? We’d love to hear it! Please share in the comments below.
Sarah Bright is currently the communications director, content editor, and social media voice for DigitalChalk, an Online Training Software Company. She graduated from Southern Polytechnic State University and has a background in customer service. She has found her niche in blogging and writing about the e-Learning industry and sharing tips and tricks for building successful online courses.