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tips for effective online courses

3 Tips for Creating Engaging and Effective Online Courses

By Alicia Beharry
Published on November 30, 2020

Due to the onset of COVID-19, many corporations have had to transform the way in which they train and engage their employees and customers. With new social and economic realities present, many companies changed their traditional learning models. Luckily, learning management systems (LMS)  platforms have allowed businesses to offer online learning and remote training

On average, $300 billion is spent yearly on corporate training. This is spent with the projection that skills and expertise will develop and strengthen the organization as a whole. One of the top reasons learners may fail, or not do as well within a course, is poor engagement. With this in mind, boosting your online engagement and enhancing your learner’s experience should be a high priority. 

If you are experienced at creating online learning courses or plan to in the future, here are some strategies to ensure your courses are as engaging and effective as possible. These 3 tips can help your learners reach their full potential, really cement learning, and help you achieve a strong ROI.

1) Re-evaluate your course structure

Easy to follow presentation- The lessons within your course should be divided into modules. This reinforces microlearning and keeps the learning material and units organized.

Sequence of events – Learning content should be set at a pace that will not overwhelm learners, but you also don’t want it to seem boring and tedious. Additionally, it should really flow and follow a sequence of events. This strategy helps build and reinforce knowledge. Plan ahead and storyboard your lessons and learning activities to ensure your course is as engaging and effective as possible.

Learning materials- An LMS allows you to integrate additional supportive learning tools. This can include videos, worksheets, and other information that can help strengthen knowledge and retention.

Assessments- Tests and quizzes evaluate the impact of what has been learned. It can help ensure that learners stay engaged and are retaining information. Your course should also allow your learner to revisit and review content when necessary.

2) Integrate New Online Learning Best Practices

Make it realistic- The objective of a course is for your learner to apply the concepts they have been taught. If your content does not seem realistic or practical, learners will not grasp concepts, lack interest, or fail to retain the material covered. In order for your content to be of high value, bake in some real-life scenarios or examples that will assist learners in building a real-life connection. This connection will naturally convert in applying concepts instantaneously. 

Microlearning- Huge portions of information can be overwhelming and cause an unpleasant case of information overload. Break your course content into a more refined size per topic or idea. This can increase engagement and comprehension. 

Visually appealing- Design your course with the intent to catch your learner’s attention and keep it. When appropriate, choose colours, themes, contrasts, to add personality and differentiate your content. Don’t forget, having a course that is easy to navigate, also adds appeal. 

Cater to multiple learning styles- The phrase “one size fits all” does not apply to learning styles. When you create your courses, keep in mind there are a variety of learning styles. It may be difficult and unrealistic to create a different course for each individual. A solution would be to compound practices that speak to different learning styles. For example: Use graphs, photos, charts for visual learners. Offer handouts or worksheets that are printable for kinesthetic learners. Incorporate sound or videos for auditory learners.

Clear Expectations– Learners should have a clear understanding of the course objectives and topics discussed. Including a course overview avoids any confusion and helps reinforce skills and knowledge.

3) Make it Interactive

Gamification- Integrating gamification is one of the best ways to increase engagement in your course. It gives learners the option of making decisions and getting feedback as they go, like a favorite video game. It adds a fun twist to the concept of learning. Design your course so learners can acquire points, rewards, or even add a leaderboard.

Ask questions- Ask questions throughout the course to increase retention. Asking a variety of questions in between modules or concepts will assist in reinforcing the information presented. Provide a link to the appropriate reference materials and add an explanation in the instance a learner answers incorrectly.

SkyPrep LMS offers robust course and content management features that allow you to create online courses in a matter of seconds and to start training your employees online. To learn more and see how SkyPrep can help your organization, request a demo and one of our eLearning specialists will be in touch with you shortly.

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