How can trainers and educators make online learning engaging for learners?
When creating online learning material, it is easy to lose sight of what your learner needs and wants. And learning creating platforms may are often template driven which can constrain creative ways to deliver learning.
So let’s look at the Top 5 ways we create engaging online learning.
Tip # 1. Break it down. Shorter is better.
When learning online, shorter is better. Check out this article on learner attentions spans. Learner engagement peaks at the 3 minute mark and drops dramatically at the 9-12 minute mark. At VidVersity, we recommend a 6 minute video segment as optimal. So, this means you can provide a natural break for your learner at 6 minute intervals, introducing a quizz, a link to check out or another activity. Remember, this often happens naturally in a classroom setting where a teacher will pause to ask questions, invite discussion or break into groups for activities. And as a course creator, you may find that your material naturally falls into 6 minute segments (more or less!). Think of the segments of where you might have sub-headings in a presentation or a change of slide in a PowerPoint will signal a change to the next ‘chapter’ or learning segment.
Tip # 2. Adding video.
Text based online learning is tough on learners. However, don’t disregard text based learning altogether. Think about illustrating your material with links to relevant videos. This change of pace will naturally engage learners and can be breaks up material to increase engagement and interest.
Text based information can easily be bought alive by having a presenter or subject matter expert present this to camera. It’s so easy to capture by simply launching Zoom and recording. The file will be saved as an MP4 player which can then be embedded in online learning or you can simply upload to your private Youtube page and link from there. Video based platforms such as VidVersity enable you to upload videos such as these for editing and incorporation into learning materials.
If you or your Subject Matter Experts feel awkward about video recording, interviewing your expert is a great way to capture information. The Subject Matter Expert can even provide the questions!
Remember, video is easy to capture and edit online so think about new ways to present material that your learner will enjoy.
Read our tips on how easy it is to create professional video here.
Tip # 3. Test the learner.
“Will this be in the exam?” Kids ask teachers this all the time. And there is a reason! If they think they will be tested, they are more likely to pay attention. The same applies to adult learners in a workplace learning environment. Interrupt the online learning with questions, quizzes and other forms of learner engagement. Using a variety of modes of questions is important to keep the learner on their toes and keeps things interesting.
Think outside the box to find other ways to engage. For workplace learning, having learners share their experience with work teams is a great way to encourage engagement.
And think about follow up resources. Sending additional material one week, one month or one year after a course is a great way to encourage ‘sticky learning’. It also encourages learners to apply the knowledge they acquired in the session.
Tip # 4. A variety of resources.
Provide a variety of additional resources to assist your learner. Having access to summary notes, a printable workbook for offline exercises, links to further reading and access to slides with the ability to make notes are all great resources. Remember your learners learn in different ways. So provide visual aids such as diagrams, infographics, video illustrations, summary notes and printable resources will all aid the online learning experience.
Tip # 5. Blend it.
Online learning is a great way to enhance live learning. Access to live workshops is now part of our normal work day (thanks COVID!). Just as too much online learning can be dull for the learner, too much live Zoom is also sometimes problematic. Blending live and self-paced learning can enhance the learner experience.
Deliver some ‘pre-learning’ online content to your learners so all arrive with some background material. For example, have your learners watch a video case study before the live session. For live workshops, incorporate some self paced content throughout the session for a change of pace. And consider the value of creating a summary module for your learners to revisit after the session. For example, an overview of the key points with links to additional reading and extended learning.
Read more about creating a blended learning model here.
Why not test these 5 ways to make online learning engaging for learners?
When creating your next online learning programme, break out of your usual habits and try some new approaches. You never know what you will discover!
A little bit about VidVersity.
There are plenty of video editing platforms on the market but here at VidVersity we have created an end to end solution from capture, upload, easy editing and the ability to add interactions and a range of ways to deliver to your clients. Our key focus is ease of use so anybody can use it and a produce a high quality end product.
To find out more contact us at:
1300 928 090