Did you know that 93% of students never finish a course they’ve enrolled in…
Student engagement is one of the hardest things to maintain. People are bombarded with so many different sources of information and so many shiny things these days that keeping your student’s attention so that they actually get the results they desire can be a challenge.
So, how do you make sure your students are both engaging with your content and enjoying their course coaching experience? How do you make them more likely to both stick around, finish what they started, get the outcomes they want AND recommend your course to others?
Well, here are some powerful ideas to make sure people want to stick around and complete your online course!
Ways To Keep Students Engaged In Your Online Course.
Action Starters are all about getting your students to implement and apply what they just learned. What activities or resources can you provide to help them take these actions?
- Resource Guides
- Swipe Files
make it stick strategies.
Make it Stick Strategies are designed to help students review, retain and reflect on what they have learned and reinforce habits that actually create long-lasting behavior change.
- Office Hours
- Reflection Questions
- Social Learning
Engagement Amplifiers significantly increase the likelihood that your students consume the content, follow-through on it, and interact with other members to boost confidence.
- Community Forum
- Facebook Group
- Accountability Partners
- Q&A/Office Hours
- Regular Livestreams
- Graduation Bonus
- Course Completion Certificate
- Contests and Giveaways
- Breakout Rooms/Work Sessions
So now that you have some ideas of what you can integrate into your online course to keep your students engaged and moving toward their goals, let’s dive a little bit deeper into some of the most effective engagement starters.
create a community.
Creating a community for your students, such as a forum or Facebook group can be a great way to get people more engaged with both your content and each other.
Accountability is a HUGE part of what makes people successful and when you can give your students the support they need to get things done, it can make a big, big, difference.
One of the benefits of creating an online forum or community for your `students is that they feel compelled to check in and see what’s happening, which can lead to students consuming your actual course content more frequently. There’s also more likelihood that students will engage in the course longer because as they see other members within the community engaging, getting results, and sharing their wins, they’ll be inspired to do the same.
Another factor to keeping students engaged with your course through a forum or online community is that students will build up relationships not only with the course creator but with the other community members as well, which keeps them hanging around!
So, how do you actually create a community for your online course?
Setting up an online community for your course students is pretty simple. The easiest way is to set up a Facebook group. It’s free, it’s easy to launch and it’s a great way to service your students from a platform they are more than likely already on.
Now the downside to creating your community on Facebook is that not everyone is on Facebook (contrary to popular belief!) and you are also subject to themercy of Facebook, which can change the rules at any time.
So, if a Facebook community is a no-go and you want to have more control over the design and customer experience, then you may want to look into Invision Community, Xenforo, or the popular free WordPress plugins bbPress and BuddyPress. The combination of these plugins will give you an onsite forum (bbPress) and also give you the ability for members to have complete student profiles, private message each other, see a Facebook-like activity stream, add statuses, see a members directory and even create their own subgroups.
Now, when it comes to building an online community, be prepared to put in a lot of effort upfront to create momentum and get people in the habit of engaging. It’s important to teach people how to get the most out of your community. Because maintaining an online forum or FB group can be a major time suck, if your goal is to create passive income or build a freedom-based business, you may want to think twice about creating a community because it can turn into quite the time commitment!
gamify your course.
I know, I know, it sounds kind of technical huh! But, adding gamification to your online courses allows you to boost engagement using techniques that reward your students for reaching certain milestones or taking specific actions throughout the duration of your course.
Gamification is a great way to make your course interactive and increase participation with your content. Most leading LMS plugins integrate with at least one gamification plugin, which makes this strategy easy to implement.
For example, you can incentivize your students when they complete a module, finish the course, turn in assignments, add a certain number of posts to your community or forum, or invite new students through an affiliate program.
Rewards can be as simple as seeing their name on a leaderboard or having a badge that sits next to their profile. You can also add in tangible rewards, like a student spotlight, gift cards, cash prizes or physical prizes.
Some gamification tools you can look into are:
competitions, giveaways and challenges.
Competitions and challenges can be a really great way to keep your students motivated and digging into the content. Depending on the type of course you have (live vs self-paced) running a competition or challenge during the length of your course can improve engagement and get members taking action on your content. When you can get your students to take action this drives results and the better the results the more likely students are to complete the course and share their success with others. So it’s a win-win for everyone.
How to launch a challenge:
Challenges aren’t difficult to set up. All you really need to do is pin a challenge post to the top of your FB group feed or send a challenge announcement to your students via email.
It could be something like a 15 Day Quick Start Challenge the first week your course goes live where everyone sets their goals for what they want to get out of the course or if your course is about growing your audience on Instagram, then you can have a challenge where students post a caption once a day and you keep tabs on who is posting and how much by tracking a challenge hashtag!
You can choose whether or not the challenge will have a winner, but more often than not, your course challenge(s) will be designed to create a sense of support and camaraderie (everyone’s in this together) within the community.
How to launch a competition or giveaway:
Competitions involve students competing against each other for a final prize or set of prizes – it could be a physical prize, a cash prize or free coaching sessions! Typically there will be a set of rules that involve points given for performing specific activities – for example uploading a video, posting completed assignments, etc. and a winner will be chosen at the end of the competition. Depending on the type of competition you’re running you may need to invest in additional software to help you run your competition more smoothly. I use a software called GroupLeads that automatically approves and adds new FB group members to my email list.
So, there are just a few options you can consider to take your online course up a notch! Which one do you think would work for you?
If you’re thinking of creating your own passive income-generating online course, be sure to check out additional resources at the bottom of this page. You can also join us inside of the FREE WomanpreneuHER FB Group for more tutorials, tips, and training on how to create 6-figure success with online courses and digital products.
Here’s to your 6-figure future!
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