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How to create engaging e-learning courses

10 effective strategies for e-learning professionals

When you create an online experience (wow that term!), which engages and connects learners with your online content, the learning is simple, natural and effortless. And it works.

Motivating and engaging learners is the main battle in the learning and development process.

Whether we focus on partners, customers or employees, engaging our learners is the ultimate goal. The learning process becomes more difficult the more the audience is not involved with it.

So how can you create interesting and engaging e-learning experiences?
In this article, we will share 10 effective e-learning strategies for creating learning programs that excite, motivate and engage learners, whoever they are.

1. Research and get to know your students
This should be clear, but have you really taken the time to get to know the students?

The goal of any curriculum is to connect with your audience, but it's hard to connect with someone if you don't know anything about them.

Analyze your audience to learn about the characteristics, habits, behaviors, and learning needs to know exactly what your students expect from e-learning.

Are they smart enough to respond well to the new technologies you want to use? Do they have a heavy workload and therefore cannot spend much time studying? What is the educational status of students, their learning abilities and preferences? Different people learn in different ways, and unless you know exactly who you're creating your e-learning courses for, you won't be able to find the elements that contribute to their compelling learning.

2. Set clear learning objectives
Why would anyone be interested in learning anything unless they know exactly what they will need the information for?

Setting clear learning objectives at the beginning of each course will help learners see the benefits of their training, how it will help them develop and improve their skills. Create an appropriate environment for student engagement.

Compliance with learning objectives will not only add value to your training programs for your learners, but will also help you significantly in creating a clear course structure.
Once you set goals, all other aspects of your content development strategy will fall into place.

3. Make your learning programs interactive
Incorporating interactivity into your learning programs is an important factor in helping learners take an interest in what they are learning and stay focused as they progress through the course.

Both elements increase engagement, as boredom and distraction are the worst enemies of engagement.

There are several ways to develop an interactive e-learning strategy, from adding simple drag and drop interactions to turning your presentation into an interactive e-learning course and designing an interactive virtual classroom environment. Just remember that your goal is to get your audience interested and engaged - the more you know about your learners, the easier it will be to find the interactive elements that keep them fascinated and engaged.

4. Maintain structured e-learning courses
Speaking of a clear structure, organize your e-learning content so that it helps you avoid cognitive overload, which prevents learners from engaging and focusing on key points.
Make sure you prioritize - what are the most important messages you want to send? Which courses are mandatory and which are additional?

Consider using action mapping to organize your topics and provide them in a logical flow to enhance knowledge penetration. Well-organized learning content will not only help learners learn the material more easily and quickly, but also allow you to disseminate information in effective ways that are in line with your e-learning objectives.

5. Keep training modules short
Infinitely long content is the fastest way to bore your audience - no one has unlimited time and patience to devote to learning, especially if they lead a busy life.
Maintaining short learning modules will not only show learners that you respect the fact that their time is limited, but will also help them engage more easily with the material, as it is easier to absorb small pieces of information than endless stories, videos and pages.

The best course of action is to break your content into short sections, provide quick exercises, and if you use presentations, be sure not to overload your screens with text.

6. Make your e-learning course is visually appealing
Can we use the word attraction at the place of engagement? Visual design is a great way to get your learners' attention and interest. If you don't know where to start, remember that less is more. Keep your text short and use white space balance for a harmonious effect that makes reading easier. Choose quality images, animations, avatars and high quality videos and feel free to use great design for your online tests.

Focus on the attractive virtual environment and take full advantage of the proven power of aesthetics that not only initiates but also maintains engagement.

7. Speak to the curiosity of your audience
When you give students something they are curious about, you increase their interest and thus their levels of engagement.

Get their attention with well-chosen visualizations, and then create an environment that stimulates their curiosity with thought-provoking questions and challenging questions. Use e-learning games.

Any kind of exercise that introduces conflict and dilemma will encourage your audience to think and reflect on what they are learning. Remember that your goal is to engage learners, and nothing can engage them more than curiosity, as curiosity continues to lead people on new paths and creates a thirst for knowledge.

8. Make your training meaningful
Why meaningful? Because finding meaning in new information helps learners not only to connect more easily with it, but also to acquire knowledge in an easy way.
To create meaningful e-learning, you need to focus on resonating with students' personal experiences and evoking their emotions.

Adopting a learner-centered approach and your e-learning strategy will help you deal with different needs and experiences, and scenarios that explore real-life situations will help your learners see how the new learning is applicable to them.

In addition, addressing your audience's emotions is one of the most effective ways to increase their engagement levels; well-chosen images, captivating stories, small doses of humor, all this stimulates interest, positive motivation and emotional connection.

Activate your learners' existing knowledge using both relevant information and their emotions, and offer them a meaningful, engaging e-learning experience.

9. Allow your students to explore
Let learning itself become research!

Your students' interest grows when they are allowed to move freely through the learning platform and search for information on their own.
Locked navigation is often a source of frustration - imagine listening to an audio file, missing a key point and not being able to rewind for a few seconds to listen to it again. Or you want to get an overview of the e-learning course and not be able to click on it unless you have completed the whole chapter or module first.

Releasing navigation gives freedom and control to your audience. It helps them build context, create their own paths, move and engage much more with their e-learning experience.

10. Be proud of the end result
You may be wondering how pride can be a strategy, but this effect of the e-learning strategy ensures that your end product is worth it.
When you feel proud of something you have created, it means that you are committed to fighting all the forces that could sabotage it. This means that you really worked hard for the result. That you have paid full attention to every detail. That you used all the means you were supposed to make it great. That you put yourself in your audience's shoes and were happy with how they felt.

If you want to provide your learners with a fascinating experience while scaling up your e-learning strategy, speeding up delivery times and automating simple tasks, talk to our team about what the distance learning systems we offer can do for you!

E-Learning courses, developed by NIT - New Internet Technologies Ltd.More...