Your goal as an online course creator is to always deliver the best quality material to your students so they achieve their goals and overcome obstacles. And you can accomplish all of that by creating unique, valuable, and engaging course material. If your students are completing the course and coming to you with praises about how it changed their lives, then congratulations! You’re acing your role as an online educator. However, if you noticed that your students aren’t as engaged as they could be, it might be worth looking into the best student engagement strategies to help you improve your online course.
Engaging with purpose
Student engagement is a metric to measure how involved students are with the course material and lectures. The investment can be measured by lecture involvement, mastery of course material, time dedication to the course, and applied learnings.
For example: Let’s say you have an online course about organizing your home. Your lectures include theories on the importance of organization, the best ways to organize, and practice. Then you give students assignments to organize small areas around their home, from their work desks to kitchen pantries.
If your students finish course material and assignments, you have high student engagement. And your overall student satisfaction is likely high.
Metrics that matter
It’s fairly simple: High student engagement assumes students learn from your course material. It also implies the more engaged your students are, the more willing they are to finish the course. In turn, this increases your course completion rate.
A higher completion rate and better satisfaction with your course helps you create fans of your courses. These are the students who come back for more in the future when you release a new course. And, those same students will be those who recommend your courses to others.
6 student engagement strategies to apply
Increasing your student engagement is easy and very possible with these simple yet effective student engagement strategies that any online course creator can apply to their business:
Strategy 1: Make it interactive
Interactive learning is the most popular student engagement strategy. Data shows that interactive learning can help students learn the course material better up to six times compared to passive learning.
Here are a few ideas to help you make your online course material more interactive:
- Fun quizzes: Create interactive quizzes for your students to check their knowledge as they’re learning a new module. You can include it at the end of each lecture or the end of each module. Learn how to add quizzes to your Teachable course here.
- Offer more than one format: Giving your students the ability to choose between video, audio, and written lecture material can help boos their engagement. Options help ensure they continue with the course material no matter their circumstances or learning style.
- Workbooks: Providing your students with printable workbooks designed to go together with your course material can be an amazing way to increase student engagement.
- Assignments: Theory alone can get repetitive and dull students’ attention. Give your students a way to change the pace of the course with small assignments that take the theory they learned and allow them to put it into practice.
Strategy 2: Keep your course curriculum short and to the point
You have a lot to offer to the world and a lot of knowledge in your field. So naturally, you want to share everything you know with your students—especially if you charge premium pricing for your online courses. However, you know the saying “less is more.” Well, when it comes to the online course curriculum, it’s very true.
If you notice students aren’t as engaged with your curriculum as you’d like them to be, step aside and evaluate your curriculum. Simplify and make it as clear and easy to go through as possible, with clear key points you want your students to learn within each module.
Strategy 3: Offer one-on-one or group coaching
Another great student engagement strategy is one-on-one or group coaching service. This strategy could be great not only for your students and to boost engagement but to also help you increase your pricing. Because you’ll be giving your students your time and access to you, you can charge a premium price. So, this strategy is a win-win for everyone.
Cohort learning has a way higher course completion rate and higher overall student engagement. So, if coaching is not your preferred way of teaching, you can think about creating an online cohort course instead of a self-paced one.
Strategy 4: Create a community for students to connect
Providing your students a community to connect with while taking your course is a very effective student engagement strategy. Plus, it’s easy to implement and is cost-effective. You can easily give your students space to connect by creating a Facebook group or utilizing Circle where they can ask questions, help each other, and motivate each other to work on their goals.
Allow your students to ask you questions in your community. Maybe do monthly Q&A sessions or live sessions where your students get to interact with each other and you. A small change like incorporating a community in your course can make a huge difference in your overall student satisfaction.
Strategy 5: Offer small incentives for milestones
Researchers have found that incentives can help students be more involved with their lectures and improve their overall engagement even with out-of-school activities. So, as an online course creator, you should take advantage of this student engagement strategy and implement it in your course.
Here are a few ideas for effective incentives:
- Certificate of graduation: People are going to be more eager to finish a course if you offer a certificate at the end of your course for successfully completing the program.
- Badges/awards: If you’re using a community, you can give people different badges or awards for engagement and participation. The same can be applied to Facebook groups where the most engaged students can be promoted to Moderators, giving students the incentive to engage more.
- Exclusive features: Another way to entice students to participate is through offering a special incentive. You may feature your most engaged students on your social media or in your newsletters, sharing their results with others.
Strategy 6: Encourage students to share their results
And the last student engagement strategy worth trying is finding a way to hold your students accountable. One of the easiest ways to do it is by encouraging your students to share their results and successes.
For example: Let’s say you offer yoga courses. For a “Yoga for beginners” course, you could create an incentive to encourage people to share their before and after pictures of their yoga poses to show their progress. You can showcase their pictures on your social media or simply encourage people to share amongst themselves in your private student community.
Either way, your students will be encouraged to participate more and put in the effort to improve their yoga possess because they’ll want to share their progress with other people who will applaud them for their progress.
No matter how you engage your students, just be sure to do so authentically and organically.