Learning Engagement as a Key to E-learning Platform Success

Due to the very rapid development of technology, new opportunities for different areas appear. With online learning platforms, education has become more accessible. You can learn anywhere anytime. Are you busy working? Don’t waste your time — listen to a lecture on the go. Do you have free time during the day? Do practical exercise. In today’s world, continuous development is essential. Therefore, the e-learning value is very high today.

E-learning allows you to stay up to date with the latest developments in any industry. It is an excellent opportunity to improve your professional skills without even stopping working while studying. The coronavirus pandemic boosted the development of this industry. Carefully designed e-learning programs allowed not to stop the learning process for schoolchildren and students.

But what major factors influence e-learning? We’ll investigate this question in this article.

Why learner engagement is a key to e-learning platform success.

In any learning process, whether online or offline, learner engagement is vital. Engagement is the student’s desire to interact with the learning process, the teacher, to use materials until the learning goal is achieved.

There are three types of e-learner engagement:

  • Cognitive engagement. An active approach to the presentation of information should be taken. Learners are highly interested and can apply new knowledge. During training, students structure the information they receive and practice to memorize it.
  • Emotional engagement. A leaner feels connected to other participants. In contrast, consider a sense of emotional isolation. Students can be attracted through a carefully designed program and social features of the platform. In turn, the teacher should provide thorough feedback. The use of various webinars or discussions also encourages emotional engagement.
  • Behavioral engagement. It is the easiest to identify. Learners tend to be present at all lectures, perform all tasks, and participate in discussions actively. However, they can still be passive. Behavioral learner engagement is necessary to learn all the course material. But only emotional and cognitive involvement will increase the effectiveness of learning, the level of understanding, and the ability to use new knowledge.

The main and the hardest thing for e-learning systems success is engagement. After all, a person isn’t present at a lecture physically surrounded by the same students. Learners get distracted, tired at work, and miss the lecture. Therefore, it is essential to pay special attention to the program to achieve all three types of engagement.

Is there a difference between success in learning online and offline?

E-learning can be as effective as offline courses. The main difference is the location. To study offline, students need to go to places where lectures are held (e.g., universities, business centers, training rooms, etc.). To study online, only a computer, smartphone, tablet, and a good internet connection are needed. As a result, online learning is more flexible. Online training takes the form of either webinars or already recorded lectures. During the webinar, you can ask any question, and the lecture can be seen at any time.

Factors affecting the success of learning:

What factors of e-learning success should you consider while planning? Let’s have a look at some essential aspects:

  • Focusing on students’ demands.
    To structure the course information as effectively as possible, look at it as a student. What do you want to learn? How long does it take to complete this task? These questions will help you understand what the user needs. If the course program is tailored precisely to the students’ needs, the level of engagement in e-learning will increase several times.
  • Organizing your work carefully
    After determining your target audience and program, move on to the planning phase. Determine the learning objective, think through the curriculum down to the smallest detail, and consider the technical issues, choose a proper learning management system. It is very important that learners register and, if necessary, install the application quickly and easily. Arrange for quality support for students. They will be pleased to know that they can ask any question at any time and get help.
  • Learning pace differentiation
    Try to structure the curriculum as comfortably as possible. In some courses, you only can access the next lesson after you’ve completed all the tasks in the current one. This creates additional challenges for students. Those who do not have time to complete the lesson, start to lag behind the others. If this structure is not urgently needed, it is better to avoid it. This way, students are less stressed, and therefore more emotionally involved.
  • Acknowledging students’ success
    People learn most effectively only when they are involved in the process. This means they are interested in and enjoy learning. Consequently, they need to make less effort to remember something. Because it’s easier to remember something you really like. When designing your learning program, take into account your learners’ abilities and personal preferences. At the beginning of the course, identify the goal that will be reached when you complete it.
    Think of a system of evaluating their success. These could be additional bonuses or social media scores, perhaps some useful recommendations of the most successful online students to prospective employers.
  • Cross-platform accessibility
    Most people who learn online are adult working people. They are usually busy, making it challenging to dedicate time to learning. To provide flexibility, you should make your material available on different devices. It is very crucial to have a possibility to open them in good quality both on a desktop and smartphone. A special mobile application can also be used for this purpose. Another essential feature is to be able to postpone viewing the lecture or to stop and review it later. This will help people with a busy schedule and a fast pace of life to learn successfully.
  • Simple and interesting program
    Modern people are overwhelmed with different information and tired of bright pictures and viral headlines. Thus, information is no longer perceived so well. Offer your students an alternative with a simple, user-friendly interface, clear course structure with concise lessons. Organize the information into small blocks — this will help students to understand the material better. Small chunks of information at a time will not overload and tire the students out. So they will stay interested as long as possible. While developing visual material (slides or pictures), make sure not to put too much information on each slide.

Critical factors of e-learning system success

The success of the e-learning system is influenced by human and non-human (technical) factors. Here is a list of the most important ones:

  1. System quality
    The system quality consists of three parts: technical, educational, and support system quality. From a technical point of view, the platform should be reliable, available for all students, and easy to use. The quality of education depends on teaching methodologies, communication with students, presentation of material, and program learning assessment. Lastly, support system quality corresponds to ethical, legislative, and promotion issues of the e-learning platform.
  2. Service quality
    It consists of how the course program is presented to the user, the support given, and material comprehensibility. Make sure you provide your students with all necessary guidelines and prompt feedback. The quality of the service affects the usefulness and satisfaction of the user and, as a result, increases e-learning ROI.
  3. Content quality
    Here is a checklist with the features of quality content for the success of e-learning systems:
  • Up-to-date curriculum. All selected topics must be strictly related to the subject. Irrelevant content will confuse users;
  • Relevant information. When choosing the material for a lesson, you should pay attention to the relevance and accuracy of the information; otherwise, the course will lose its usefulness for the user;
  • Concise and engaging content. It will help to remember the information faster and better, increasing involvement;
  • Interactive exercises. Use content that lets you interact with users and build emotional bonds.

4. Perceived satisfaction
Various methods are used to achieve user satisfaction. First, the quality of the content has a big influence on the students. On the other hand, customer satisfaction is influenced by the quality of the technical system. In other words, how reliable and user-friendly the system is.

5. Perceived usefulness
This e-learning success factor can be considered as the most important one. The usefulness factor has a positive impact on other factors, such as user benefits, use, and satisfaction. Such attributes will help you assess the usefulness of the course:

  • Material quality,
  • Styles of teaching,
  • Effective communication,
  • Interactivity,
  • Ethical and legal issues,
  • Trends.

6. Benefits for users
The user benefits can be placed at the top of the factors of e-learning system success. All previous items should be aimed at ensuring that the user gets the maximum benefit from the educational process.

All of these factors are closely interrelated and affect each other. Make sure to use them all to achieve maximum efficiency in the course.

How to increase e-learner engagement

The success of the e-learning system is influenced by human and non-human (technical) factors. Here is a list of the most important ones:

  • Make the visual materials attractive
    Use the pictures, videos, and texts attractive to learners. There are many resources where you can find images for visual material. Use picture and video processing tools and design text to make it appealing to the students. The picture should match the topic of the lesson. This will help students create visual associations and memorize the material faster. Video usually has a high level of involvement. Prepare visual material for each lesson. Allow the students to save it and use it to revise the lesson.
  • Make a user-friendly layout
    The most important advantage of e-learning is flexibility. Thanks to the user-friendly application, students can learn at any time they want. The platform must be adaptive with an intuitive interface. The student should not spend a lot of time figuring out the tabs and settings. You may also implement an AI-based personalized recommender system to engage students in other courses that match their true interests.
  • Use social networks and forums
    Social networks should be used for communication between course organizers and learners. You can also create a private group, post material for lessons, and initiate discussions. Learners can ask questions that were not mentioned in the lesson. This will increase students’ emotional and behavioral engagement.
  • Try different teaching methodologies
    The use of different methods in one course makes it more lively, engaging and increases the e-learning system success. Include interactive work, practical exercises, audio, video, surveys, tests. It is much easier to memorize information submitted in different ways. And the result is a high level of learning engagement.
  • Integrate gamification
    Games are always associated with entertainment and recreation. Add a little competition to the training — and it will be much more engaging. While playing, students relax form learning the material. People love to earn points, solve puzzles, compete, and get prizes. Choose a game tool that will be relevant throughout the course. The easiest way to add a game to the course is to collect points for completed tasks. Try to add a small game to each lesson.
  • Give feedback
    By receiving permanent feedback, students can become aware of their successes or weaknesses. Consequently, they pay attention to certain topics accordingly. You can also ask your students to leave feedback. This will help you develop your course, clarify your students’ needs, and adjust the program accordingly.

Final thoughts

The most important thing when planning online training is to consider critical success in online education. Taking this into account will help you make a course that benefits people. The Fayrix development team will help you create a user-friendly and functional platform for digital education. Feel free to share your idea with us.

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