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Make Your Online Courses More Engaging

We all have them.  Courses that provide valuable information but fall short of engaging the learner.  They can be…. well, boring! Even when time and budget are limited there are still simple ways to remedy this. Here are a few:

  • Trigger prior knowledge - Building off existing knowledge is motivating to the learner.  

  • Use real life scenarios - Create higher engagement by using applicable life experiences.

  • Keep it relevant to their role - Consider offering different versions of the same material.

  • Use humor and make it fun - Create identifiable characters to illustrate points, exaggerate, or use personification.  Well sprinkled humor will keep the learner’s attention.

  • Use pictures or videos - Capture familiar scenes and recognizable employees to keep it relevant.

  • Focus on the most important points – Use bold, colors, or underline to highlight key words.

  • Use gamification - Allow learners to make choices for fictional characters presented in the material.

  • Provide feedback during tests - If the learner gets it correct, use praise or provide additional information that affirms the choice.  If incorrect, reinforce why the selection wasn’t the best one.

  • Engage other senses - If you are narrating the course, display only the key points.

Sometimes it takes getting creative people together.  Consider forming a short-term committee to discuss ways to display ideas to your learners and choose the best two or three to focus on for your next education year.  Be selective on topics, if it’s not tied to real performance improvements or relevant job goals then it might not be worth building.

If you are currently not using online training, or find creating courses with your current Learning Management System provider cumbersome, the Arkansas Hospital Association, AHA Services, Inc., offers careLearning.  careLearning allows you to create an unlimited number of courses, the tools are fast and easy and offer group collaboration during the creation stages.  Best of all, careLearning offers clients free access to thousands of courses on a national sharing library so that you do not have to start each time from scratch.  For more information, contact Tony Wegmann at 304-353-9754 or email twegmann@carelearning.com.