Online education is becoming a very popular way for students and professionals to experience quality education from their homes or offices. As institutions focus more on serving this demographic of students, it becomes evident they have to develop interesting ways of constantly engaging students to take these courses.
Students can be easily distracted during online learning, therefore it becomes the responsibility of teachers to consistently maintain online course engagement. This can be done by setting up a diverse course outline, adding audio/visual elements, and through microlearning and several other activities.
What is Student Engagement?
Student engagement is defined as the ‘degree’ of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion students demonstrate when learning. Student engagement establishes that learning is enhanced when students are interested, curious, inspired, and motivated.
Students engagement broadly covers macro elements of the online course, like the impact of teachers, course reps, and administrators to engage students.
Why is it Important to Keep your Students engaged?
Teachers must always have creative activities and study material to keep students engaged constantly, especially for online courses. A 2018 Gallup research identified that students who are more engaged with their learning experience and teachers are 2.5 times more likely to get good grades.
1. Students Succeed at Learning
Academic research has already shown that student engagement in the e-learning process has a positive effect on student focus, retention, curiosity, attention, and motivation. Students who engage regularly demonstrate enhanced critical thinking skills and have more meaningful experiences.
2. Builds a Strong Student-School Bond
Although it can be called the student-teacher bond, creatively engaging students in e-learning can have significant positive effects on student trust and connection with the school.
3. Enhances Students Social-Emotional Well Being
Encouraging student engagement in groups and other social settings is a great way to change the monotonous nature of learning, and also improve the emotional well-being of students, especially with distance learning.
Students can share their perspectives about books, ideas, lectures, and other literature under review. This can immensely help teachers also gauge relationships among students and they can then group students in accordance to their social behavior.
4. Develops Creative Thinking
Engaging students through varying activities allows teachers to discover their interests and curiosities. Engaging them consistently nurtures their ability to think creatively, at the same time enhancing their creative skills to take on more challenging tasks.
5. Identify High-Achievers
Regular course engagement with teachers especially in online learning settings can enable teachers to actively measure the performance of students apart from their test scores. Teachers can identify if a student is displaying high creativity and learning, or if they are finding it difficult to grasp concepts.
6. Improves Communication Skills
Student engagement on a routine basis allows students from different demographics to open up and share. Sharing ideas and concerns with teachers, and collaborating with other students develops communication skills and enables students to confidently interact with each other.
8 Remarkable Tips to Increase Engagement in E-Learning
Keeping the remote learning student consistently engaged can be considered a considerable achievement. Student engagement in online courses requires careful planning and strategy to try different best practices.
1. Gamification of Online Education
Incorporating gaming elements into the online learning experience is a popular way for institutions are speeding up course completion. Gamifying the virtual learning experience allows teachers to provide students with tasks like hidden questions that will earn them bonus marks.
A popular way teachers gamify e-learning courses is through the use of badges or stars achieved for exceptional performance or regular engagement in discussions. Gamification has been proven through research to improve student motivation while engaging them constantly to try out the next game learning activity.
2. Student Assessment Meetings
Scheduling personal assessments on a monthly or quarterly basis is a great way to talk to students regarding their performances. Teachers can identify issues and provide help to assist students directly while encouraging them to engage regularly with the learning experience.
Feedback can be essential for teachers to understand if the entire group has challenges and if the course needs improvement over time. Students can discuss grades, ideas, issues, and requests with teachers on live calls, emails, and in group discussions.
3. Real Life Case Solving Exercises
Conventional learning required a lecturer reading from a book, letting students know how the world works. E-learning is a completely different ball game and simply does not work like a school classroom.
To quicken the learning pace and increase student retention, using case studies where students must apply their learning and find a solution is quite popular among distant learning providers. Offering students case studies and allowing them to work out the solution through their own creativity and group thinking is an excellent online engagement best practice.
4. Create Interactive Content
Interactive content is considered by both teachers and students as a motivator and accelerator for learning. Using audio, graphs, animated characters, video, infographics, and other content is an excellent engagement magnet that enables creative discussions.
Interactive content keeps students engaged with the learning experience, as they develop well-thought-out ideas and enhance their logical thinking skills. Interactive content like live quizzes also improves student concentration and retention, keeping them glued to their screens.
Webinars, discussion panels, guest speaker sessions, and live Q & As are great ways to engage students routinely. In addition, ebooks and video guides are also excellent examples of engaging interactive content.
5. Define Course Timelines & Achievement Rewards
To ensure students are continually engaged it is a prerequisite for teachers to define rules and achievement policies for the course. Students are motivated when they are presented with rewards and keep them on schedule with defined timelines.
Students will engage more in course tasks when they learn about the objectives of these activities and how it helps them. Course timelines should be transparent and should encourage students to regularly engage with the course material and teachers.
6. Introduce Microlearning
Microlearning is education through smaller more synthesized pieces of content like a brief video summary of a lecture, or digital notes of a virtual classroom session. Microlearning has already been identified to increase student retention while quickening the pace of learning.
Microlearning has considerable benefits in addition to keeping students rapidly engaged in eLearning courses. It reduces the cognitive overload for teachers and students, is trackable, scalable, conveniently available on smart devices, and cost effective
7. Create Social Network Groups for Q&A
It is highly recommended to create a social network group, whichever platform serves better. Usually, a WhatsApp group is the best idea since students can connect instantly and share digital documents, videos, audio files, and other media directly with course colleagues and teachers.
These groups can also act as the local community for the course and can serve as the essential Q&A platform for students. This enables students to interact daily with teachers and peers, creating a sphere of belonging for them.
8. Encourage Course Assessments & Feedback From Students
It is a brilliant idea to know the sentiments and experiences of students throughout the course. Sending out self-assessment questionnaires and requesting student feedback routinely increases the chance to improve learning methods.
Feedback can also identify student needs and different virtual learning habits of students. Similarly, course assessments can identify if teachers need to be more creative, need to develop interactive content, or have physical events for more engagement.
Increasing online course engagement is a complex and ongoing task for eLearning providers and teachers. Due to the increasing popularity of virtual education, institutions are increasingly adapting to distant learning while making it more engaging for students.
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