Learn about ways to increase an online class engagement and online student engagement activities you can implement to make your e-courses stand out.
Your online class is ready for take-off, but are your students?
As an online tutor, you must have noticed how easy it is for everyone to come in all excited and geared up with the “can’t wait to do this!” spirit.
But eventually, the energy begins to fade.
At that moment, you start to wonder, “how do I keep my online class engagement high?”
Well, you’re not alone in this.
You see, your students are also people, and they do get busy and tired.
They have a lot of other stuff screaming for their attention and they may find it hard to make it for class and keep up with the course work.
In many cases, students lack support, and when they don’t get the support and encouragement that they need, they lose the motivation to carry on.
The reality is, online learning has a great advantage over the traditional brick-and-mortar setting, but well, it comes with its challenges.
The lack of face-to-face interaction makes it far easier for an online student to quit half-way without anyone noticing, as compared to a student with a teacher present in real-time.
If your online course must stand out from the competition, it must go beyond providing only information.
You must differentiate yourself in the online marketplace by offering online courses that engage, connect, and transform your students.
Remember, when students enjoy your course, and find it engaging enough to complete it, you enjoy the rewards from their return business and referrals.
Motivation and discipline are must-haves for every online student if they are to learn in their own virtual space, with no monitoring or interaction.
So, just how do you get your students engaged all the way?
What are the steps you need to take to make your online classes more engaging for every student who attends?
Well, worry no more!
In this article, we will show you 11 ways to increase your online class engagement.
Table of Contents:
11 Ways To Increase An Online Class Engagement:
- Introduce Students To The Online Learning Experience
- Use A Variety Of Teaching And Learning Methods On Your Course
- Apply Engaging Teaching Tools To Your E-learning Course
- Use Google Forms To Create Interaction
- Adopt Social Media Tools To Boost Learning And Engagement
- Energise Learners With Learning Breaks
- Include Activities And Learning Games
- Provide Various Communication Avenues
- Personalize Learning
- Create A Bite-sized Digestible Lessons
- Invest in Your Self-image and Course Presentation
Let’s get started!
1. Introduce Students To The Online Learning Experience
Keep it in mind that you will mostly be dealing with students who are used to learning in a classroom or meeting room setting.
These students may have a little tough start adjusting to the online learning experience.
So to help them have a better learning experience, you can start your course with an introduction to online learning, your association’s Learning Management System (LMS), and the online course outline.
We advise that from the very first registration you get, you should encourage each and every student to go through the concept of online learning before starting your course.
Explain to them how online learning is a bit different from the traditional classroom experience and provide them with tips on time management, planning, goal-setting, and prioritizing work.
Make sure to take them on a brief guided video tour through your LMS, while pointing out the different features and functionalities it offers.
Take them through everything; from how to find materials, to assignments and assessments, and how to communicate with their instructor and fellow students.
Review the course requirements to ensure that every student goes through the introductory videos and provide estimates on time that they need to spend every week on the course.
You might want to give your introductory videos your very best shot because a good introductory video can also serve as a promotional trailer for your online course!
2. Use A Variety Of Teaching And Learning Methods
As an online tutor, you cannot settle on one teaching method.
If you rely only on one teaching method, your students are bound to lose interest soon.
You have to be able to present your materials and concepts in a variety of ways.
For example, if you used a textbook to introduce vocabulary in the previous lecture, then in the next one, you can have your students draw out the words for you.
The more you employ variety and embrace creativity, the more engaged your students will be.
As an online teacher, you should never get tired of exploring new teaching methods as there are different kinds of learners among your students: the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
Encourage your students to learn with different mediums, such as writing, music, videos, and many more.
This will keep them more interested in the class, enough to complete your course and return for more.
3. Apply Engaging Teaching Tools To Your e-Learning Course
Teaching online might have its challenges, but it’s also given you a whole lot of amazing tools at your fingertips to explore and use to your advantage!
You have discussion boards, pointers, virtual games, text editor, drawing tools, file editors, screen-sharing tools, breakout rooms, and so much more.
You can use the technology you have to add up spice and liven up your lessons to keep your students better engaged.
All you need to do is simply make sure you know how to use these virtual tools, and many of them are easy to use.
When you’ve gotten the hang of it, think of how you can use them to make your online class more fun!
4. Use Google Forms To Create Interaction
It’s no secret that Google applications not only make work a whole lot easier for online teachers today but also increase its effectiveness.
Google forms simplify administrative tasks and also helps you to connect better with your students.
With Google forms, you can do the following now:
– Create assignments for students
– Solicit feedback from students
– Collect web-based assignments
– Build easy-to-use rubrics that can be shared with students
If you haven’t employed this tool, you should definitely check it out!
5. Adopt Social Media Tools To Boost Learning And Engagement
With Social Media buying the hearts of so many, a lot of online instructors are using social media as a way to spice up their courses and engage students better.
You can consider adding a Twitter badge to your course homepage and then using hashtags to push relevant course content to your students.
If you use social media effectively, you can help to build a sense of community right in your classroom, among your students, and between you and them.
6. Energize Learners With Learning Breaks
It can get tempting to ask, “Why do I have to include the breaks? They take up valuable time.”
If you are thinking to exclude lesson breaks from your course, then you should know that studies show that learning breaks can boost a student’s level of understanding and engagement in a class.
Learning breaks can help your students emotionally and physically.
When we take a break from an activity, our brains don’t become idle, rather they’re processing what they have learned.
This time is crucial for reflecting on experiences and memories during the lesson as the brain is highly active at this time, compared to when we’re engaging.
Mid-lesson breaks allow your students to soak in what they have learned.
However, not all breaks are the same.
Knowing the right breaks to use at the right time is key to increasing engagement in your online class.
7. Include Activities And Learning Games
All work and no play still makes jack a dull boy.
Students are people, and routine can often get boring for people.
Now and then, allow your students to enjoy some friendly competition.
Give them opportunities to play games and let the whole class review and practice what they have learned.
Using the vocabulary example again, if you’re dealing with vocabulary, depending on your students, you can use Charades and Pictionary to review vocabulary.
Just get creative with it!
Besides, technology gives you excellent opportunities for interactive reviews.
If the entire class performs well, they win, if not, they learn.
This is another great way to build community spirit among your students.
8. Provide Various Communication Avenues
A great advantage of online learning that you should explore is the provision of multiple venues for communicating with students.
Discussion forums and course emails are usually the standard but don’t get stuck there.
You can make use of embedded audio and video, home page announcements, chat rooms, instant messaging, and broadcasting text messaging.
You can also use explanatory screencast videos; students usually receive this well and they are not expensive to create at all.
9. Personalize Learning
As an online teacher, you should find ways to relate your course material with your students’ lives as much as possible.
When you do this, the lesson becomes more engaging.
Let your students interact with the lesson in ways that they can relate with.
If for instance, your students indicate interest in a TV show or a certain music artist, you can find creative ways to incorporate it into your lesson.
This will grab their attention and keep it fixed throughout the course.
Find out what your students are passionate about and look for ways to add it to your online class with them.
School is a lot more enjoyable when the students find the teaching relatable.
They pay attention better and can promise you a boosting engagement.
10. Create A Byte-Sized Digestible Lesson
You should know by now that online courses can be a lot to swallow.
You don’t want to make your course so much bulky that your students get overwhelmed by just looking at the outline.
It’s best to work on your timings.
When it comes to online teaching, timing is crucial, and you might need to break up your online lessons differently than you would in a face-to-face setting.
As a general rule, it’s a great idea to keep a fast pace and break down information into small chunks that are easy to digest.
This means no lengthy explanations and over-worded slides!
You don’t want your students to check the time now and then while at your course, so you can add a variety of activities to make the time fly for them.
11. Invest In Your Self-Image And Course Presentation
It’s time to tell you the truth.
You may have a course that can transform the most basic dimwit into a genius, but if you look like a clown or dress like a zombie, you might as well forget about engagement.
Every online teacher needs to consider how they present themselves in the classroom.
Try to look neat, organized, and confident.
This will inspire a sense of respect from your students and they will perceive you qualified for the job.
If your students can see you via webcam, make sure you don’t just look presentable, but your location looks presentable as well.
Also, if you show them your face (which we recommend), it’s going to be motivation x100!
Another quick tip: please ensure that you teach your lessons somewhere where the internet connection is reliable.
An unsteady network is a turn-off and your students will switch off quicker than otherwise.
Engagement is a must if you want your online course to be a success.
Not only it will give you recognition as an online teacher, but will also pave way for high engagement on all your future courses!
All you need to do is to plan a course and follow these simple tips!
We hope you found this article useful!
Please let us know in the comment section below.
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Anita is a part of Weshare’s writing team. She has social media marketing experience for over 4 years and has been writing in-depth guides and articles about marketing, social media, and online education for the past 7 years.
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