There are many reasons why you might want to teach online, but you may also have a few concerns.  You may wonder, “How can I keep learners engaged when teaching online?”.

You want them to be active participants in the discussions and other components. Though this may sound difficult, I’ll show you how to involve learners directly in a way that will positively impact your experience teaching online.

 

Encourage Activity Participation

 

Online courses have presented challenges in learner engagement by removing the face-to-face component found in the classroom setting. As a result, it has become necessary to reinvent the process when teaching online . Wondering how to do that? Begin by incorporating activities into the mix that promote direct interaction with course content, peers, and instructors.

One way to do this is by having your learners implement what you’re teaching as they learn it.  For example, after a few modules have them try out what they’ve learned and then come back and share their outcomes with you and their peers. 

 

Start with an Easy Interface

 

Create a simple training environment to start.

Create a simple training environment to start.

When it comes to your online course design, the KISS method is the way to go This promotes learner engagement by making the course simple to navigate and follow. Present the information in a straight-forward manner so it can be easily retrieved.

Break the course content down into modules and, when appropriate, lessons beneath each module.  This helps clearly outline the expected outcomes. The lack of clutter also makes each element easy to find.

Once you’ve taught your course online a few times, you’ll start to get an idea of what works and doesn’t work for you and your learners.  You can then add (or remove) features as needed.

 

Use a Variety of Mediums

 

Just like in the traditional classroom, when teaching online , different learners will have different needs. Some will be visual learners while others will respond more to reading and writing, or kinesthetic learning.

Visual Learning

You can engage visual learners by using videos, pictures, graphs, and charts to relay information in a way that makes it easier to understand. This is an effective means of teaching online  because it provides a visual representation of the points you are trying to convey.

One example where visual learning would be effective is where numbers or statistics are involved. Learners may find graphs or charts more engaging because they physically show a pattern or trend in a way that makes logical sense. The same is true of manipulatives that you might normally use in the classroom setting.  While you may be several states (or countries!) away from your learner, you can visually demonstrate how to use manipulatives on video.

Reading and Writing

Some learners respond well to training that requires them to read and write. Reading inputs the information into the brain while writing helps keep it there.

Written assignments are one example of the use of this method. Having quizzes that check for understanding, for instance, require learners to process material through reading and writing.

Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic learning utilizes a wide range of tools to provide a more hands-on teaching experience. This strategy is focused more on doing, and uses tools like reflective exercises and direct involvement to relay information.  You can also interject some fun into your training with activities where learners create their own manipulatives or find suitable stand ins. 

The key to keeping learners engaged when teaching online  is to use a number of methods for involving all students. This brings all types of learners into the mix while adding variety to the training modules.

Interaction is also an important part of direct engagement. The more learners are able to work with the various types of content used in the course, the easier it will be to keep their attention.

 

Add a Live Component

 

How to keep learners engaged - with Video Conferences

Live interaction via video is a great way to supplement your content and increase engagement.

Much of your content is likely to be delivered via video, audio or one of the other methods mentioned above.  Adding a live element further encourages engagement, builds relationship and helps to establish trust with your learners. 

For example, you might consider holding weekly ‘office hours’ where learners can ask you questions about the material or have scheduled coaching calls or Q&A sessions to supplement the content in the course. 

Allowing direct access to you goes a long way toward building trust and establishing a relationship even when it is online.

 

Ready to start training online? Click Here to find out how I can help you successfully bring your in-person training online.

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