How To Enhance Online Learner Engagement In 2023
As this year comes to an end and we begin to set our goals for the next one, it’s safe to say that increasing learner engagement is on the list of many educators and instructors. With learners becoming increasingly dependent on technology and their attention spans shrinking, keeping online learners interested is no easy feat. But there’s no need to lose hope! In this article, we share with you 7 insider tips that will help you engage your online learners and maximize the effects of your online training program.
7 Ways To Engage Your Online Learners
1. Train The Instructor
When talking about enhancing learner engagement, we usually focus on which conditions we can modify to make the training environment more efficient for online learners. But what about the online instructor? Often, despite being Subject Matter Experts, instructors are new to online learning and don’t know the best ways to leverage technology. Therefore, an essential New Year’s resolution for 2023 is to first train yourself. This would involve getting accustomed to your online tools and training materials, becoming confident in using your online conferencing platform, and even venturing into more innovative approaches such as AI and AR.
2. Diversify Your Delivery
Monotonous online training strategies are usually the culprit for dwindling learner engagement. Online learners need fast-paced training and delivery on various formats to remain concentrated. In addition, some learners find it physically challenging to focus on exclusively auditory or visual materials. Therefore, it’s crucial that you explore which training methods your learners prefer and combine them creatively in your training sessions. Some delivery formats you can use are video, text, audio, or presentations. You can also keep it interesting by inviting guest speakers once in a while.
3. Leverage Feedback
A great way to engage your online learners is to let them have some control over their training. And what better way to achieve that than by asking for their feedback and then implementing it to create the ideal learning environment? Online learners can express their opinions regarding the delivery methods, types of assignments, or their learning pace. For example, you might realize through assessments or discussion that a lesson is too basic for some learners. Use this information to direct them towards a different skill that they haven’t worked on before.
4. Encourage Collaborative Learning
It’s common knowledge that teamwork and collaborative activities promote learning by increasing participation rates, exposing learners to new ideas, and encouraging them to exchange opinions. If you are aware of the benefits of collaborative learning but don’t know how to implement it in a virtual learning environment, we have some ideas for you. Use tools such as forums, group chats, or even social media groups, and allow your learners to connect with each other and become more involved in the learning process.
5. Promote Accountability
For online learners to remain engaged, they must feel that they are not alone in their learning journey. Specifically, they must be reminded that their attendance, participation, and completed assignments are expected by their instructor. To maintain a relationship and develop a sense of accountability for your learners, make sure to reach out to them when you notice a dip in performance. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect other learners. Schedule regular check-ins with everyone and provide timely and useful feedback.
6. Foster Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation
Motivating learners is the name of the game when it comes to improving engagement. But how can you go about that? It’s always easier to start with extrinsic motivation, which is fueled by acknowledgment in the form of certificates, digital badges, or leaderboards. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, can be a bit more complex to achieve, as it requires you to create a sense of purpose for your online learners. Show them and keep reminding them how training will add value to their development and future, and watch as their participation and engagement increase.
7. Facilitate Communication
As we mentioned before, online learners must feel that they are supported in their learning journey. For this reason, communication must be continuous, unhindered, and in multiple formats. Specifically, online learners should be able to contact you not only via email or forums but also via direct messaging or audio messages. At the same time, you can address them through home page announcements, video messages, or texts. This way, you’re keeping the element of interest alive while learners can communicate with you using any device and at any time.
Keeping It Fresh
Engaging your online learners can make a great difference in the success of your training program and the subsequent value it brings to your organization. Therefore, apart from following the tips we shared above, it’s also essential to keep your content updated. Make sure to add the latest resources to your material so that your learners’ knowledge is always up to speed with the industry.
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