Posted on February 9, 2015 by creativelearningteam

We’ve all heard it… one of the keys to a successful eLearning course is the ability to engage the student. I wholeheartedly agree, studies have found that when learners are engaged, and are taking an active role in their learning, great things can happen!

The hard part is identifying what exactly it takes to keep learners engaged. Well, I suppose that depends. But here are a few things that I have had success with in my eLearning courses (in no particular order).

  1. Create a challenge up front in the course. Allow the learner to learn through their mistakes, and build their confidence through their good decisions and slick moves.
  2. Allow learners to pull the information they need, instead of pushing it to them. For example, let’s say the learner needs to know a variety of requirements associated with maintaining their real estate license. Instead of providing a list of those requirements, create an interactive environment (perhaps a library, real estate office, or office of deeds) where the learner can search for and acquire the information they need.
  3. Provide the learners with an opportunity to practice their newly acquired skills. So looking at the real estate example, perhaps there is a point in the course where the learner is presented with a sales contract and they need to fill out the areas of the form that are required, etc.
  4. Design flexibility in the course so that learners can navigate/acquire the knowledge in skills in the order they chose, whenever possible.
  5. Consider creating a gaming environment where learners can see how they rank against others, through the use of a leader board.
  6. Include a reflection opportunity if at all possible. It could be as simple as placing some time and the direction to reflect, within the course, or as complex as providing links to social media sites, etc. and provide instructions for the learner to post something about the course (e.g. 2 things that surprised you, 3 key takeaways, etc.)

Those are just a few ideas that I have… what do you think?

Please share your experiences as well!

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