Dornubari Vizor May 23, 2023

12 Solid Ideas: How to Engage Students in Online Learning and Keep Them Hooked

How to Engage Students

Online learning has come a long way: better online courses, more e-learners, and improved approaches. Plus, we have advanced solutions such as **GroupApp** for community-based learning. However, some concerns regarding online learning remain the same. We are talking about

The Big Question: How to Engage Students in Online Learning?

Student engagement remains a big concern for online teachers, course creators, and coaches, especially beginners. Around 71% of professors expressed concern about increasing student engagement.

I understand that online learning is a broad term. It comprises online courses, live sessions, coaching programs, online learning programs, etc. Moreover, the nature of student engagement varies depending on the nature of online student learning.

We are here to answer the big question.

How to Engage Students

To get some solid strategies for engaging students in an online learning environment, I reached out to my GroupApp Community of online coaches, entrepreneurs, experts, and online course creators. Luckily, I received 12 strategies and ideas that I’m glad to share with you. Without further ado, let’s start with the first strategy I recommend.

1 – Create An Online Learning Community

Good News: This strategy naturally helps increase student engagement!

You can create an online learning community around your courses. Alternatively, you can offer courses or live sessions for your learning community.

The idea of community-based learning is rapidly gaining traction. In fact, 38% of online students agree that it is easier and better to learn in a community. Plus, Harvard Business School experts saw an 85% course completion rate with community-based social learning.

There’s more. Around 45% of students reported having learned as much from a teacher as they have from a community of students.

That means it improves learning outcomes, ensures student success, and helps encourage students to engage.

An online learning community is a group of like-minded students with shared learning objectives who come together on a digital platform. The community is led by an expert in a particular field or niche.

An online learning community enables online students with the same learning goals to interact. That leads to networking, online discussions, 1:1 meetings, and the exchange of ideas. That creates a healthy online education environment. Moreover, it fosters social learning, analytical teamwork, and better problem-solving.

Thankfully, we have dedicated learning community platforms such as GroupApp. It is trusted by 967+ experts and creators to host their online learning communities.

How to Engage Students

2 – Hold Virtual Office Hours

Do you remember visiting your teacher’s office if you had any concerns or confusion? It’s a great way to motivate students, connect with them, and help them with learning concerns. Why not do the same when teaching online?

Yes, that’s possible if you are on platforms such as GroupApp that allow you to engage students outside of your online classes and courses. It offers a dedicated feature called Channels to hold discussions. You can set up a period as your virtual office tour. You can have one or more students to interact with you.

Students can ask direct questions, share feedback, and talk about their concerns. This strategy makes online students feel valued. What’s better than that?

3 – Take Your Students on Virtual Field Trips

Great news! You can hold virtual field trips for your students through an immersive experience. This is one of the best active learning strategies that helps you boost student engagement in your online class.

Plus, it ultimately gives you an edge over teachers using traditional online teaching methods. There are 100s of virtual field trips available online. Moreover, many platforms host virtual educational events that you can attend with your students.

For example, Discovery Education often holds virtual events and field trips for educators and online students. Moreover, the famed Metropolitan Museum of Arts holds a dedicated virtual field trip for students named #MetKids Time Machine. You can go into different historical periods on different continents. How cool is that!

How to Engage Students

Other virtual tips can take students to historical sites, and even to space. The overall experience goes to another level if your students have VR sets.

4 – Assess Student Performance Regularly with Feedback

The best way to increase student engagement is to assess their performance regularly with feedback. That keeps the student proactive and reminds them of what’s expected of them.

This is very important in online learning, where student accountability can easily slip. Now, if you are using a robust platform such as GroupApp, you will get access to student performance analytics in your dashboard. You can create measurable learning outcomes.

That can help you understand how a certain student is performing by tracking their progress and identifying weak areas for improvement.

This strategy helps to develop a sense of ownership and accountability in students leading to more engagement.

5 – Offer Micro-learning with Bite-sized Content

This strategy helps you create ease for your online students, which ultimately leads to more engagement and satisfaction. In fact, microlearning boosts student engagement by 50%. Moreover, micro-learning modules are time-saving and can be created at 50% less cost than a conventional online course.

Microlearning is all about breaking down complex topics into bite-sized content. It is ideal for asynchronous online learning. Small and visually appealing learning modules are easier to consume without sacrificing crucial information.

Microlearning is more effective too. It helps you convey knowledge better by 17%. Plus, it reduces cognitive burden and increases retention. Overall, it’s a great approach for boosting learning quality and student engagement.

It’s a must for online educators to ensure success. Check out 5 examples of Microlearning.

6 – Offer Drip Course Content

Once again, I have an idea to not only boost student engagement but also increase student retention. It is applicable to both synchronous and asynchronous online learning.

You can offer drip-course content to your students. What’s that? Drip content refers to the process of making content modules available to students after a specific period of time.

Basically, it’s a time-based delivery of online course content.

Drip course content prevents your online students from being overwhelmed by course content all at once. Moreover, it is a well-suited idea if you are planning to offer memberships. Plus, it helps with information retention and completion rates.

GroupApp enables you to easily drip course content. You can embed videos and learning resources. Further, you can set a release date and time according to different membership levels.

How to Engage Students

7 – Create A Gamified Learning Experience

Why not make online learning more exciting with gamification? It is ideal for learners at all levels.

The best thing is that this strategy is primarily focused on increasing engagement in an online classroom. In fact, 67% of students agree that gamification is more engaging and motivating in online learning.

Moreover, 80% of US workers agree that game-based learning is more engaging. In addition, 74% of online instructors are already using a game-based approach to enhance learning.

You can hold online quizzes and an online scavenger hunt. You can also create challenges within your community and create groups to compete.

Plus, you can share team progress in your online community. To increase engagement and response to gamification, you can set up a reward for the winning students or teams.

8 – Include More Solved Problems in Online Learning

Yeah, it’s the other way around. Usually, online teachers give students problems to solve. However, I received this one from an online teacher at GroupApp: we should incorporate more worked-out examples in your online learning program.

This is the opposite of what’s done conventionally. According to a study at Middle Tennessee State University in 2017, students learn and correspond better to solved problems than unsolved problems.

I think that is because when you give your online students problems to solve, it can challenging for many students. Not all students possess the same level of expertise and ability for problem-solving. Plus, it can overwhelm a student, which can potentially lead to a loss of attention.

When an online teacher includes more work examples and explains them gradually, a student can grasp the concept. It induces more confidence, and gradually they develop a familiarity with the concept of problem-solving.

It also helps to keep the student engaged rather than distracted by the inability to solve the problem.

9 – Assign Group-based Projects

Just like you would do in a physical classroom! Assigning group-based projects offers an array of benefits. However, the biggest and primary benefit of group-based work is increased engagement.

Plus, it’s a great icebreaker. This strategy lets students socialize and network. Moreover, it creates a healthy sense of diversity of ideas and opinions. That ultimately leads to better critical and analytical discussions.

According to a study by APA (American Psychological Association), 97% of students reported that working in groups has enhanced their learning experience. This boosts student satisfaction as well as student engagement in online classes.

10 – Create Ease for Your Online Students

I cannot stress too much about this!

You need to create an effortless learning experience for your online students. Even a bit of complexity can lead to a loss of student retention and engagement.

Your online students are your paying clients. You need to value them by creating a user-friendly experience for them.

The biggest factor in this case is the choice of your platform. It’s the software or platform that you use to host your online courses, live classrooms, course material, and learning programs. It has to be user-friendly and simple.

Many course creators make the mistake of choosing 2-3 platforms. They use one platform to host their courses, a second one to host their community/group, and a third one to host their course material.

Plus, they need an additional platform to hold live events or classrooms. There’s more. Such creators will need another platform to create online courses.

It only leaves online students jumping across platforms. You don’t want that. That’s why you must pick an all-in-one platform. In that case, you must opt for an all-in-one online learning community platform. Need an example? Consider GroupApp.

GroupApp Review

It cuts the hassle by allowing you to host your online courses and community in one place. Plus, you can host your course material and create live classrooms using its built-in event feature. Moreover, it has an in-built course builder. In addition, it offers an Android and iOS Mobile App. That sounds like a perfect deal.

Having a platform like that saves cost and time not only for you but for your valued students as well.

GroupApp also comes with a Content Library for hosting course material. You can offer an easy access to course content to students set according to different membership levels.

How to Engage Students

11 – Hold Guest Webinars

Yet another brilliant idea to increase student engagement and interest in online learning. Regularly holding guest webinars can help you create a diverse learning experience. Moreover, it helps students engage with industry experts and network with them.

A great idea would be to conduct student voting to select a guest speaker from the potential options available.

Guest speakers can enrich students with precious knowledge and opportunities. Moreover, communicate with your students about the value and benefits of attending guest webinars. Plus, it makes your position more credible and brings a new perspective.

Important – Do not forget to hold a Q&A session at the end for students to engage with the guest speaker.

Another tip: you need to make sure that the webinar is not longer than 60 minutes, which is the expert-recommended duration.

To create a webinar, you will need a third-party tool or a separate platform. For example, many platforms require a Zoom integration to conduct live webinars.

However, if you are using GroupApp, you do not need a third-party app integration. You get an in-built event feature. You can create an online event with invites and automated reminders.

How to Engage Students

12 – Don’t Forget the Fun Activities

Lastly, let’s not forget that online learning can be fun!

According to a survey, 61% of students agreed that having fun activities in a learning experience makes it easier and more enjoyable. As an instructor, it’s your responsibility to incorporate fun and engaging activities.

However, do not shy from asking your students for fun activities they would like to have. After all, it’s about them. You can set aside 10–15 minutes for students to share funny stories and events. Plus, you can ask students to share their unique and weird talents.

For example, ask if anyone can mimic someone famous. There are several other fun things you can do.

Good Luck!

With these 12 solid ideas, you will be able to engage students in online learning. Please note that not all of these ideas will be suitable for everyone. You need to experiment over time with what works best for you and your students. Moreover, focus on using a user-friendly platform that allows you to implement all these ideas!

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