A fantastic faculty or even high quality learning material may not lead to high levels of engagement and completion rates for an online program. The program has to be designed in a way that keeps learners motivated, curious to continue their learning with high involvement and provides them with tangible outcomes. This is especially important in an online environment because providing that personal touch and connection is very hard and easy to overlook.
1. Regular Communication:
- As we have discussed, providing as much visibility of all aspects of the program is very important. This can be achieved using announcements, discussions, automated reminders and during live interactions. Highlight progress of each learner as well as the batch or course.
2. Provide actionable feedback for each learner on how to make the most of the course
- Track engagement with lecture videos and program material and benchmark with peers
- Track attendance in the live virtual sessions and compare with others
- Provide continuous coaching and feedback making submissions on time
- Motivate students to keep going by resolving unexpected problems, listening to the queries , empathizing with their situations and providing timely solutions
3. Active Learning – Online learning is not only about attending sessions and completing assessments on time. There are a number of activities that can be designed to engage learners and give them opportunities to interact with each other. Few examples are
- Hands on hackathons
- Buddy or pair activities
- Group projects
4. Gamification – Faculty can consider mixing an element of suspense and fun into the learning process to improve engagement and outcomes.
- Badges that are rewarded on the basis of achieving particular competencies can be offered as a way of rewarding student performance and encouraging continued engagement.
- Awarding certificate of excellence for certain effort or accomplishment
- Using a leaderboard to showcase top performers and their
5. Emotional Connection – Last but not the least, it’s important to enable learners to connect with faculty and each other at an emotional level. Just like in the physical environment, enabling so will create a positive atmosphere for the cohort, leading to referrals and high satisfaction rates. So activities that can be done for the same.
- Online Farewell / Graduation/ Conclusion – Once program is about to end its a good practice to have end farewell check in with program managers , faculties to let learners share their experiences and their favorite memories in the course
- A discussion forum –#my favorite learning moment – Encouraging them to share their favorite moments of learning through a post in the discussion forum.
- Meetups – Organizing meetups during the program to provide them the avenue of networking with peers and opportunity to meet their mentors and faculties
- Letter for gratitude for mentors – In entire program learners mostly interact with PM’s mentors/faculties, it’s always a good gesture to share words of wisdom in form of a letter for their mentor /faculties to build that lifetime mentor – mentee relationship