Keeping your classes engaged and motivated is a big achievement. However, not all teachers excel at this part. Most of them find it difficult to interact with their online classes in such a way as to boost students’ interest in the curriculum and topics discussed there.
Motivation is one of the few reasons people might choose to do something. In e-learning settings, students need the motivation to meet their educational goals and to enjoy a complete e-learning experience. And sadly, some students can easily lose their motivation to learn when they’re in a setting without face-to-face interaction.
However, no matter how disinterested your online learners might seem at times, you can grab their attention and raise their interest. Here are a few tips on how to do exactly that:
Grab their attention in multiple ways
Before students choose to get involved in an activity of any kind, it has to raise their interest, to grab their attention. All e-learning material has to be interesting enough to turn out effective. All successful e-learning courses tend to follow the same pattern:
- Get their interest;
- Stimulate inquiries;
- Maintain attention.
Although many teachers rely on attention-grabbing phrases like “Important”, “To Remember”, “Please Note”, and others, in most of the cases, these are not as effective as other methods when it comes to making your e-learning material entertaining and interesting. To effectively bring e-learners closer to you and your learning material, try the tricks below:
- Incorporate visual variety in your courses. Just like imagery can grab the reader’s attention in online articles, it can work the same in terms of online courses and learning sessions. To make the most of the first minutes of your e-learning sessions, stimulate your students with some vivid imagery. Generally speaking, the more visually-pleasing it is, the more engaged students will become. As a general rule, you should try to find images that fit with the context of your course.
- Interactivity works best. Interactivity has been introduced in different learning environments, including in e-learning. But its efficiency depends on how successfully creators use this feature. For instance, interactive videos offer an immersive learning experience and support the learning process throughout all its development. To grab your audience’s attention, offer them the opportunity to explore and expand their horizons, tempt them.
- Multimedia content. Students have different learning styles or preferences. This means that e-learning experiences must be tailored to accommodate these all. A good way to grab their attention would be to incorporate multimedia content from the beginning of your course. For instance, animations and podcasts are great tools to introduce students to different topics and concepts.
- Proactive questions. Keep learners engaged and interested by asking them witty and fun questions. Proactive thinking is a learned skill, and this may be the perfect time to grasp it. Sparking learner’s curiosity through similar questions will influence how they react in the future to challenges.
- Games. Learners are generally very interested in games. While you can use this method to make them more interested in your courses, you can also use it to offer them short refreshments throughout the course.
Try to find the right balance between the methods above, and your students will be eager to discover the more complex parts of your course.
Raise engagement levels
Student-centered learning content is the key to student motivation. Content creators should try to develop their courses in such a way to boost engagement levels.
Engagement stems from emotion and the feeling of usefulness. To raise your learner’s engagement levels, you have to create material that can be easily applied in practical situations. Make your content go beyond theory, and learners will be able to relate to it with more ease.
By doing so, they will be eager to learn more on the topic and see in what other practical ways they can apply the information they have.
Alternatively, you could try to approach the emotionally-driven method. This method keeps learners more connected to the course and helps them feel engaged and eager to learn. Storytelling is a great emotionally-driven learning method. To use this approach with higher rates of success, try to make the main character as relatable as possible. The story your scenario follows should be as realistic as possible, too. This will contribute to the overall motivation levels of your learners.
Help them become more confident
A confident learner is a motivated learner. With this in mind, you should work on boosting their confidence levels. “E-learning experiences should offer students the feeling they can achieve the goals described in the course”, says Amy Richardson, head of the career development department at Top Writers Review.
Another great way to motivate your learners is being as specific as possible about the end goal of the course. Don’t limit your instructions for the end part of your interactions, but try to guide them from the beginning.
This way, e-learners know what your standards and expectations are, making them feel more confident in their ability to reach them.
Give them choices
No matter the age, people want to feel like they are capable and allowed to make their own choices. A surefire way to make e-learners lose motivation is depriving them of choices.
Effective e-learning experiences, on the other hand, offer a series of options to choose from, depending on their current level of knowledge, their skills, background, and aspirations.A sense of control will make them more likely to interact with your content on a more positive note.
Besides, by offering students choices, no matter how big or small, you offer them a sense of control. This way, you allow them to plan on their own the entire learning process.
Peer interaction, to spice things up
Learning motivation, no matter the setting, stems from the opportunity to bond social relationships. The downside in e-learning settings is that learners feel they are deprived of this opportunity. However, there are suitable solutions to allow them to socialize and bond relationships with their colleagues and peers.
E-learning chat rooms and online discussions are perfect settings to get them more involved with each other. At the same time, e-learning platform developers can also integrate collaboration tools which come in handy for this purpose.
Give and ask for feedback on a regular basis
People love to receive feedback regularly. Offering students constant feedback will help them identify correctly what improvements they should seek. Otherwise, they are very likely to lose interest and motivation.
Even students that don’t require intervention still need feedback on their evolution and achievements. It will offer them a sense of control and that they matter.
Similarly, try to ask for feedback every chance you have. There may be concepts or topics your e-learners have a hard time understanding and they may be too shy to come to you with such matters. Making sure students meet their educational needs may be one of the easiest ways to improve motivation levels.
Making e-learners interested in the topics discussed within courses depends on a lot of variables. But no matter how difficult it may be to achieve student motivation, the tips and tricks above will certainly come in handy.
Daniela McVicker is a professional blogger and editor. She has a Masters degree in English Literature, and she is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with students helping them to reveal the writing talent and find one true calling.