It’s no secret that learner engagement is vital to the success of your continuing education program. Learners connect with your program and vastly improve their probability for success when you provide engaging courses. This ensures greater learner retention and increased revenue for your organization
So how do you come up with unique ways to increase learner engagement and set your organization up for success in 2023? Read on for proven engagement techniques from industry experts, Rob Katsopoulos of Law Society of Ontario and Jessica Metzler of Freestone LMS
17 Tips to Increase Learner Engagement
To boost the connection with your learners during in-person, hybrid, or virtual learning programs, consider the following techniques (with unique twists from our industry experts):
1. Offer a text number for questions. To drive further learner engagement in your continuing education program during live, virtual, or hybrid events and courses, provide a phone number where people can text their questions for speakers and instructors. Their text questions would appear in your learning management software (LMS) interface, and your moderator can flag and approve questions for the speaker to answer.
2. Allow learners to virtually submit questions. Offer an option for all learners (including live attendees at in-person events) to submit questions virtually. When you provide more opportunities to submit questions anonymously. This allows shy individuals and/or those who are worried about mic sanitization in the post-COVID era to contribute to the conversation. Virtual questioning also helps with Q&A time management and keeps all individuals on a set timetable, limiting those who might ask longer questions or get distracted at the microphone
TECH TIP: Boost learner engagement at your continuing education program with Freestone LMS and the Auxiliary Viewer. With the Freestone Auxiliary Viewer, you can allow in-person attendees to virtually submit questions and chat with other attendees. You can also use the Freestone Auxiliary Viewer to create scannable QR codes and provide live polling options to drive a deeper connection with your learners.
3. Use QR codes for in-person attendees. Drive deeper learner engagement by leveraging QR codes at in-person events. Encourage learners to scan the QR code and submit their questions virtually to foster a more thorough and manageable discussion.
4. Provide live polling options. Leverage your LMS by hosting polling within the platform at your in-person, hybrid, or online events to get live feedback from your speakers and learners in real time. This creates a dynamic learning experience and keeps learners involved in the course or event.
CALL OUT: “With the Freestone Auxiliary Viewer, we set up the polling content we want learners to have access to in the room,” said Rob Kotsopoulos of the Law Society of Ontario. “Freestone allows us to get all our answers consolidated to one device display at the same time. Everyone sees the polling results. We don’t have to worry about adding on a subscription service for polling and controlling another laptop with another program. Everything is simplified in one spot.”
5. Feature an attendee chat. Offering an attendee chat is a classic technique to increase learner engagement and interactivity at online or hybrid events. To upgrade your learners’ experience, appoint a moderator for this feature who can remove chats that might be offensive. If you have a small staff and are unable to appoint a moderator, post a reminder with your community guidelines and a disclaimer that your organization is not responsible for what is stated in the chat.
6. Host a Q&A. Offer a question-and-answer (Q&A) session with your speakers to encourage thoughtful discussion. You can work with a moderator to filter the speaker questions in advance. For online attendees at a virtual or hybrid event, have them submit their questions, and the moderator can flag and approve questions for speakers to read and answer
CALL OUT: “Q&A is so important because if you have the virtual audience and the in-person audience, you don’t want the virtual audience to feel neglected or to feel like they’re not getting the same value,” said Jessica Metzler of Freestone Learning Management System. “So, Q&A is such a big part of the value of the live event. Learners can ask a question and get an answer in the moment—so really facilitating that for your speaker, making sure that they have access to the control panel is vital to the success of engagement.”
Leverage On-Demand Courses:
7. Offer all live content on-demand. Learners love the opportunity to take courses at their own pace. Providing on-demand variations for all your live content increases learner engagement in your program, maximizes the life of your content, and gives learners the ability to purchase a course and complete it when they want to.
CALL OUT: “Right now, I believe all content that we’ve ever offered with Freestone is currently on-demand,” said Kotsopoulos. “So, if somebody buys a program, they have access to it through our marketplace and our servers.”
8. Redistribute content into micro-courses. Try dividing on-demand courses into shorter micro-courses at a maximum of 15 minutes long. Introducing micro-courses into your on-demand content offering can drive deeper engagement for attendees with diverse learning preferences and credit requirements.
9. Create modules or bookmarks. Divide your longer courses into manageable chunks so learners can save their places and easily return to courses for completion. The more you assist with creating digestible content through checkpoints, modules, and bookmarks, the more successful your learning program will be.
TECH TIP: Freestone supports an on-demand learning portal and a mobile responsive, streamlined viewing experience to help you boost learner engagement and non-dues revenue.
10. Combine courses into on-demand groups: Make it easy for your learners to find the courses they need by grouping previously recorded content. Group content based on topic, certification, or career path. If your learning program attracts specialty and niche groups, consider grouping on-demand content for these learners to drive further engagement.
Rebroadcast your learning content
11. Registration numbers. Determine what programs had the highest learner registration and attendance. Then rebroadcast your most popular courses to a larger audience.
12. Exciting speakers or content. Did any of your programs have captivating speakers or compelling content? Consider which courses or events generated the most buzz.
13. Work with your marketing team. Partner with your marketing team to strategize the best time to rebroadcast your content. Consider replaying courses or events during winter break when learners need to submit credit hours before the end of the year, or in the summer months when live events aren’t as prevalent.
TECH TIP: With Freestone, you can schedule multiple rebroadcasts of your most popular sessions to provide various options for your learners. Try leveraging rebroadcasts during slower times of the year when your live events are light to keep your programming top of mind for learners.
14. Replay content from previous years. If you had successful content from years past, consider rebroadcasting to learners who might have missed the event. You can try bundling old webinars in your marketplace based on a topic to drive deeper learner engagement.
15. Offer live content options. Some learners require a variety of live and online course credits to meet their CE requirements. Rebroadcast can be considered a live course if you include elements like attendee chat, Q&A, or checkpoints. Work with your LMS to deliver these options when rebroadcasting.
16. Have speakers facilitate chats. See if your original speakers can jump into the chat to further the discussion and drive deeper learner engagement when rebroadcasting.
17. Set different air times. If you’re a large organization or have learners in different time zones, consider setting unique air times for your rebroadcast to reach more attendees and increase learner engagement.
Discover more ways to improve learner engagement
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