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08 Nov 2022

Why is Student Engagement Important in Online Learning?

Why is Student Engagement Important in Online Learning?


Learners' engagement in learning virtually has become a matter of huge importance, especially during the post-pandemic times. This learner engagement helps in boosting learners’ motivation and improves learner satisfaction. It also helps reduce the feeling of isolation and enhances learners' performance in online programs. Making sure that the learners remain engaged throughout their virtual programs can help foster their interest in learning. This can also be guaranteed by the subject being taught and the teacher guiding them.

It becomes very challenging to facilitate learning in an online classroom environment as the learners sometimes get distracted. So, it becomes important to enhance the learner's engagement to prevent them from isolating themselves from the rest.

Why Is It Important To Ensure Engagement Of Learners In The Virtual World?

Just like in matters concerning our everyday lives, we can get distracted for even a matter of seconds while learning virtually. This is one of the many challenges faced by learners in online education.

The three steps by which we can state how learners tend to face problems in engaging in online learning are:

Step 1- The learners tend to switch on their devices, be it mobile phones, computers, or laptops, for the purpose of attending their online classes.

Step 2- They log in with their credentials to begin their virtual learning.

Step 3- They get distracted and immediately scroll through social media platforms.

When several types of research were conducted on the same, many learners described online learning as “boring,” “too many lectures,” “monotonous,” and whatnot.

So, if learners are willing to be engaged during the entire learning process, they must keep participating. Top-quality online learning can only be achieved if learners participate in virtual activities and interact with each other for the better.

The Barriers To Online Learner Engagement And How To Solve Them?

1. Social Barriers

While some learners do not prefer online studies as a whole, others might feel isolated because they do not get the chance to interact with others, be it their instructor or other peers. So, it is best if the teachers play their part by contacting each and every learner personally and asking them to engage. If the instructor makes online learning fun and interactive, we can guarantee that learners will get more enthusiastic about learning.

The teacher can also organize an introductory activity that the learners can make use of as a panel to encourage discussion. Peer-to-peer discussions can help encourage online learning as the learners will be allowed to share their views and personal objectivity.

2. Motivation Barriers

Learners often begin procrastinating and eventually get distracted if proper motivation is not provided to them. So, if one does not get appropriate motivation from their instructors or fellow learners, they may often find it difficult to cope with online studies. For starters, one must avoid crowds of information. Instead, they must break down chunks of information into smaller parts so that they can easily organize their studying schedule.

Also, if the instructors are creating presentations in the form of videos, they must now make them longer durations. Make videos of 5 to 7 minutes so that the learners do not feel burdened while watching videos and instead find them interesting.

To help promote better learner engagement, learners must keep on getting reminders. Reminders like completing assignments or not forgetting to study a particular chapter can help learners remain informed at all times. Also, make use of modern tools like whiteboards, screen sharing, and other advanced technologies to help learners pay attention more.

3. Administrative Barriers

While you already devote time to online learning as an instructor, you must also take some time out for the learners. You can provide your email address or phone number through which the learners can personally contact you about their doubts. This particular facility provided after “office hours” can help in boosting engagement in online learning. You must also help the learners answer their personal questions so that all issues can be resolved at any time.

Steps To Ensure Learner’s Engagement

Preparations To Be Made

  1. Make sure that the learners have a thorough knowledge of the hardware or software they are using. This is because if you suddenly go offline while attending a virtual class, you can easily miss out on some valuable lessons.
  2. Keep sending updates to learners, informing them about the time the class will be held. Keep them updated a few days, hours, or minutes before the online class to make sure that all of them attend the class at an accurate time.
  3. Make sure you sign up for high-quality audio, strong lighting, sensible framing, and a clear image to avoid any kind of visual or audio-related emergencies.
  4. If you offer professional teaching services, make sure to hire a tech specialist. They will help in making sure that all the learners are not facing any difficulties while logging in. They can also assist in ensuring that all the learners are present during the duration of an online class.
  5. It is always best to perform dry runs before you host the class to avoid any network disruptions or other problems. This way, you will not face any issues and will be able to conduct a virtual class smoothly.

Steps To Ensure Learner’s Engagement

Step 1- Help learners set up their virtual class and instruct them on how to do it. In order to do this, you can create an introductory video explaining how learners can avail of their online class.

Step 2- Design certain activities and lessons while involving the participation of learners. This way, they can learn how to interact more, channeling their knowledge to others for better use.

Step 3- Encourage learners to make use of question tools and raise their hands to engage better with others.

The Bottom Line

You can promote better learner engagement by opting for specific techniques. Helping learners interact better with others can increase your chances of training better in an online environment in no time.

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