No More Boring Online Courses
Creating an Engaging Online Course
Cindy Weaver, M.Ed, Online Course Business Consultant
I... just...can’t...finish this online course.
You know the feeling. You can’t sit through one more long video, be asked to digest information that isn’t relevant to the promised outcome or practice activities delivered in large chunks.
It is a common perception that adults learn differently than young students. While adults have learned how to learn in socially acceptable ways and have more experiences to draw from, learning and retaining information is much the same as children. Adults want to be engaged with images, actions, excitement and stimulation.
One of the biggest differences between students and adults is that adults expect the course to be relevant to them. If it is not, they will forget much of what they have learned within one hour.
This means that the course creator needs to deliver content so it can be utilized immediately.
If an adult learner does not see the benefit to the training, they will tune out almost immediately, and their recall of that information will be almost non-existent. Give them a reason to complete the course, knowing they will experience a transformation or desired skill.
The Four Learning Modalities
There are four primary learning modalities: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile. The learning modalities are similar in that they all involve using the senses for learning. It is important to have an understanding of these so you can build in elements that w
ill appeal to your students’ style
Visual modality learners prefer to learn with the use of visual aids. These students need to see
what they are learning, they primarily use sight to process information.
Auditory modality learners process information by listening to the teacher discuss content and
engaging in discussions.
Kinesthetic Modality learners thrive from active tasks. They may have difficulty attending to an
auditory presentation for long periods of time. Breaking videos, lectures and presentations into
shorter segments will help this learner.
Tactile learners learn by physical touch and using one’s hands. Providing worksheets, graphic
organizers or journal pages which allow the student to take notes or draw information in visual
form. Give these students action steps which require them to actively complete a task by
moving or creating.
Online Course Engagement Checklist
It can be hard to keep your students motivated when taking online courses.
Two guiding cornerstones to help you build an engaging course are 1) Keep the eyes moving. 2) Keep the brain moving.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to making your course more engaging. Here are are some tips to keep your students moving forward:
Use multimedia: Incorporating multimedia such as video
s, images, gifs and memes. Audio can help make your course more engaging and interactive. Use music and fun songs.Multimedia can help break up the monotony of text-based content and make learning more interesting and dynamic.
Gamify the learning experience: Gamification is a technique that involves incorporating game elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards into the learning experience. Gamification can help make learning more fun and engaging for learners.
Use storytelling: Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging learners and helping them connect with the material on a deeper level. Incorporating stories and real-life examples can help make the content more relatable and memorable.
Personalize the learning experience: Personalizing the learning experience by tailoring content to the specific needs and interests of individual learners can help increase engagement and motivation. Personalization can be achieved through adaptive learning technology or by offering different learning modalities for different learners.
Keep it concise and focused: Keeping your content concise and focused can help prevent learners from feeling overwhelmed and disengaged. Breaking down complex topics into smaller, more manageable chunks can help learners stay engaged and motivated.
Use humor: get your costumes out. Create a short dramatic video.
Bring Artifacts into your meetings or videos- use 3 dimensional items to reinforce understanding or meaning.
Stop for a brain break: Use activities that require movement. As the tudents to stop the video and take a break.
Integrate artistic activities: Use drawing, painting and doodling to practice content skills.
If you are struggling to enhance your course with interesting and stimulating learning activities, I would love to help you create a more engaging online course. I work with entrepreneurs to create quality online courses without the overwhelm of planning, organizing and all of the many components that comprise the online learning experience.
Need support with your online courses? Sign up for my email list to get resources, videos and instruction on becoming an expert course creator.