Engagement is one of the most important characteristics of quality e-learning content. Courses that fail to keep learners engaged result in struggles to achieve retention, course completions and pass rates required to keep customers coming back for more.
In this article, we discuss the importance of e-learning engagement and explore 10 ways to make training materials more engaging that guarantee improved online course performance.
Engagement aims to describe the duration and quality of interaction between course learners and e-learning materials. The more engaged learners are, the more they will interact with and value the course’s content. This will translate into better learning outcomes too.
As a result, learners will end up spending more time interacting with engaging e-learning material leading to higher volume of users completing these courses and achieving higher scores. Here is a quick summary of the key ways higher e-learning engagement will boost the overall performance of your courses:
- Learners spend more time interacting with your content
- Users retain more information
- A higher percentage of students/learners will complete your courses
- Average grades and scores will increase
- Learners are more likely to sign up for further similar courses
- Learners are more likely to recommend your courses to others
- Engaging courses earn more positive reviews and higher average review scores
- Higher revenue, recurring revenue, customer lifetime value, etc.
Crafting engaging experiences for e-learning courses is the most effective strategy for overcoming the challenges of online learning (information retention, motivation, avoiding distractions, etc.). At the same time, poor engagement emphasises all these challenges and will in turn impact every aspect of e-learning content performance.
Now, let’s explore further how companies and training providers can increase e-learning engagement.
E-learning content has the benefit of being a multimedia format where interactivity can genuinely enhance the learning experience, unlike the gimmicks that are common in other content formats.
If we wanted to sum up the following 10 tips into one overall philosophy, it would be to take full advantage of these inherent multimedia and interactive characteristics.
- Visual content: Using quality video footage, data visualisations and graphics to illustrate and reinforce key learning points.
- Scenarios: Applying key information to everyday scenarios that viewers can relate to and visualise; illustrate these scenarios in the visual content.
- Interactivity: Making courses interactive by asking learners questions along the way and giving them tasks to complete, based on each lesson or chapter.
- Gamification: Adding gamification elements like scores, badges, awards, leaderboards, etc. can encourage learners to try harder and pay more attention.
- Brevity: Keeping lessons short and impactful to boost learner retention, memory and lesson completions.
- Pause points: Including plenty of pause points to help learners absorb the information they receive, as well as using summary points to improve retention at the end of each section.
- Quizzes: Including regular quizzes to test learners’ retention and allowing them to retake quizzes until they are confident with the questions.
- Accessibility: The more accessible your e-learning content is, the more reach it will have and the more learners will complete these courses.
- Relevance: Making your content as relevant to learners as possible will boost engagement and learning outcomes.
- Personalisation: Personalising the learning experience to increase relevance for individual learners will let them engage with these courses on a much deeper level.
The inclusion of quality visuals in e-learning content and integration of interactive elements, such as quizzes, tests, multiple-choice questions and other elements, encourages active participation from learners. This can be enhanced further with gamification to motivate interaction and performance.
Accessibility is another important strategy and a key area where many e-learning publishers fall short. Optimising e-learning material for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences and sight-impaired users as well as translating e-learning material for multiple languages are some of the most common ways to improve accessibility.
Taking this further, e-learning translation makes courses accessible to speakers of foreign languages and allows companies to target international markets. Translation also improves the relevance of content – especially when incorporating an e-learning localisation strategy – and boosts engagement by speaking to learners in their own language.
Finally, it is important to cover all these essentials to create positive learning experiences. Using scenarios learners can relate to, keeping lessons short and introducing pause points, can effectively help learners take information in (this works very well with quizzes and other interactive elements to reinforce key learning info).
Do you need help to improve e-learning engagement?
E-learning engagement is crucial for building positive learning experiences that keep customers motivated to study and, ultimately, keep paying for more courses. This is a results-driven industry where learners would want to pass courses as quickly and as confidently as possible. This won’t happen if they find it hard to engage with content that fails to inspire or motivate them.