What Makes An Online Course Engaging In 2021?

What Makes An Online Course Engaging In 2021?

The online learning market is expected to reach $336.98 billion by 2026

With face-to-face contact being limited or completely stopped due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people find new ways to learn and develop their skills. 

Not only this, but people also now have a lot more time on their hands that they want to fill doing things that might push their lives in different directions. 

All of these factors have led to an online learning boom.

However, it can be tough to make online courses engaging since body language becomes harder to read, and people have a lot more distractions within their home than they do when in a classroom. 

In other words, traditional classroom learning does not always translate well to online learning. 

But with a few simple tips and tricks in mind, anyone can easily create online courses that are fun, engaging and interactive for students! 

Here's how to keep your online students involved while learning and studying online in 2021.


1. How NOT To Engage Students

Let's start by discussing what NOT to do when creating online courses. 

It's common for online corporate training courses to include many slides that students must read or listen to, some question-answer matching exercises, and then a final quiz that they will have to retake. 

This typical routine isn't only dull, but it's also tedious for students to work through and often stops people from returning to your online courses.

That said, it's a good idea to think outside the box and avoid using boring slides and dull multiple choice questions in your courses.  

Instead, use unconventional learning techniques like games and puzzles that make your courses fun and more engaging. 


2. Preparation Is Key

Preparation is critical when designing an engaging online course. 

Whether you're making your content or hiring an instructional planner, you'll need to map out your course content strategy. 

Identifying the learning objectives or goals that you want learners to accomplish as a result of completing your course should be your primary objective during the preparation stage. 

After that, you can plan your course around the target goals. 

Since your learning objectives will shape the basis for your course material, each lesson or module should have a particular purpose rather than a general overarching goal. 


3. Incorporate Storytelling Into Your Lessons

As human beings, we're wired to empathize, and stories help us do just that! 

Personal meaning and the opportunity to internalize what we've learned both come from empathy.

You can better teach challenging skills like problem-solving, teamwork, and imagination by adding stories and making students act out or analyze scenarios. 

This makes your lessons more fun and will encourage students to return to your online course. 

Plus, it also ensures that they'll remember what they've learned, which is more important than having them memorize the answers to a series of questions. 


4. Create A Community

Humans are social creatures. Therefore, you should always incorporate social learning into your online learning courses. 

Having a community built around your course will provide students with a place to discuss course concepts, answer one another's questions, and work on assignments together.

Students develop a sense of responsibility as a result of their involvement in the group. They're no longer isolated individuals responding to simple questions on a computer screen; they become part of a much bigger picture.

Students often meet in study groups outside of class in conventional teaching environments to discuss content or prepare for exams. 

Therefore, whether you set up a blog, forum, or social media pages for your courses, having a healthy, active community is essential in making your online courses as engaging as possible!


5. Go Live

Teachers can add an entirely new and engaging social feature to their online courses by going live with some of their lessons.

This way, students will have the ability to communicate with you and with each other instantaneously. 

They can get immediate feedback, which can significantly influence the lesson's engagement. 

It's possible that when one student has a question, others will as well. 

Therefore, live question-and-answer sessions become an effective method for finding information gaps and ensuring that your course is engaging and resonates with students.

Plus, going live is essential for some topic matter, mainly if the subject you're teaching necessitates students practicing in front of each other and receiving immediate feedback.


6. Create A Dynamic Content Mix

You won't be able to use the same content structure for every course or student you teach. 

Therefore, being adaptable and taking advantage of different learning types is essential to developing transformational learning experiences that effectively engage your students.

Differentiated instruction is a teaching philosophy that recognizes that different students learn information in different ways.

In other words, some students are hands-on learners, while others are better at absorbing knowledge by reading it or seeing it in a video. 

So make sure your courses contain a variety of learning mediums, use written texts, videos, audio recordings and more to make the best impact possible! 


7. Short Learning Modules

A learner's attention span is usually much shorter than most learning modules. 

Traditional in-class education misled many into believing that students would pay attention for 45 minutes or more. 

However, fifteen minutes is said to be the optimum time frame for learning modules. 

Students can easily keep focus for 15 minutes, but they need a break to process the information they've absorbed and reset their attention span. 

The critical point is to break the content down and deliver it in small bites to be more manageable to students. 


8. Creating Engaging Online Courses

With today's access to technology, it's easier than ever for people to learn remotely and take courses online. 

However, online learning represents the main challenge that people have more distractions at home. 

Therefore, it's vital that online courses are appropriately prepared, include storytelling elements, are surrounded by an active community, and contain a dynamic mix of course material. 

Doing these things ensures that online courses are engaging and that students will have a better chance at success! 

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