INTERACTIVITY IS THE KEY TO CREATE ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT IN E-LEARNING

Strategies to increase engagement in E-Learning…

E-learning is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 17.81 percent between 2016 and 2020, according to the Global E-learning Market 2016–2020 report. As the online education market grows, e-learning businesses will need something to set themselves apart from their competition and help their students learn more effectively. Interactivity is the key, with studies showing that students engaged in interactive e-learning programs retain between 50 and 90 percent of the coursework, compared to just 5 to 30 percent using more passive programs. Online schools can make their programs more interactive using a number of innovative strategies.

Add Quizzes Using a Host of Multimedia

Quizzes are a great interactive tool for teaching any subject because they encourage students to think about the information they’ve learned and applied it to the questions. Instant feedback alerts students to topics that need revision and rewards their mastery. It also reinforces the information they’ve learned by encouraging active recall. In addition, quizzes help online schools evaluate how effective their courses are.

Quizzes with text-based questions and radio buttons for multiple choice answers are easy to create and a great start on the path of interactivity. However, to really engage students, make sure that you mix things up. Add audio and video clues to draw them in. Create point-and-click games related to the course to let them have fun with the topics they’re studying.

Play on Your Students’ Emotions

Generating an emotional response is one interactive strategy many online educators overlook. However, it can be a powerful tool for engaging students and improve lesson retention.

Passively reading dry facts is boring for most students. Learners often struggle to relate the lessons back to their own lives, so they switch off. Material they connect with on an emotional level can help wake them up and recharge their batteries.

Find human interest pieces that relate to the coursework and weave them through the program. For example, teaching students about Anne Frank, a girl that was perhaps of a similar age to the students themselves, as part of a history component can be much more compelling than tales of the faceless victims of the Nazi regime. Add videos, images, and audio clips that illicit an emotional response to bring this topic to life.

Just make sure your chosen emotional content is relevant and not too shocking. Otherwise it could overshadow the core lesson objectives.

Use Video Conferencing for Real-Time Interaction

People love videos. That’s why YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, only bested by internet giant Google. Teens and adults spend as much time watching online videos as they do watching television programs. Every day we’re consuming nearly two hours of online videos on our smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and laptops.

Videos aren’t just popular though; watching videos is also a proven effective way to learn. Studies show 90 percent of all information sent to the brain is visual. Our brains also process visual information 60,000 times faster than text-based data. So it’s little wonder that students tend to learn and retain subjects taught with video more effectively than text-based topics.

Video lessons are a good start, but to be truly interactive a video shouldn’t just be viewed. Otherwise, it’s no more interactive than sitting at home watching TV. Streaming video chats offer two-way communication in real time. Many online schools employ tutors that students can video chat with when they have questions about their coursework or need some educational guidance. These tutors help bridge the gap between an e-school and a traditional classroom by providing personalized support when students need it.

Streaming video conferences where a teacher presents a lecture for a class of online students can also be interactive. Most video conferencing programs have chat facilities that let students type in questions about the material presented. Online teachers should read and answer these questions during their presentations.

Streaming video conferences would suit any topic, but they’re ideal for subjects involving practical demonstrations like chemistry. Students likely won’t have access to the chemicals they need to perform popular experiments, but through video conferencing, they can see the reactions when chemicals combine in real time.

Create Immersive Environments for Improved Engagement

Often in e-learning, there is a disconnect between the student at home and the information he or she sees on the screen. An immersive environment bridges this gap and helps the student feel like part of the program, much like the way a gamer becomes part of the action in a video game while they play.

Immersive environments suit a variety of subjects, but they’re ideal for language studies, as Lingoland shows. Lingoland is an English-language program modeled on role-playing games like Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts. Just like in these games, players from around the world complete quests to progress. However, their quests take place in English-speaking cities like San Francisco, New York, and London. There, students visit key destinations and tackle typical tourist concerns like ordering a meal or calculating tax in a store. In these digital environments, students interact with Lingoland’s tutors, who help them through the scenarios in real time.

This kind of interactive environment works because it helps students feel comfortable. They might feel intimidated speaking up in a traditional classroom, but they lose their inhibitions playing computer games. Using a program like Lingoland with an avatar also brings a welcome degree of anonymity for shy students.

Lingoland relies on Agora.io for its real-time communications. “We looked at various VoIP technologies, and we liked that Agora.io has a strong Chinese footprint. That’s super important for us because obviously, looking forward, China is the biggest market,” Tony Diepenbrock, the founder of Lingoland said. “We needed a product that works well in China and in Korea and Taiwan, and Agora.io has done a great job and they have great support.”

Using our innovative Agora.io SDK can help your e-learning app find the proper level of interactivity for your learning model. Through a variety of interactive strategies, online educators can separate themselves from other e-schools and help their students learn more effectively.

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