Virtual classrooms have now become the ‘new normal’. This sudden transition in universities, colleges and all major educational institutions has accomplished success in the education sector. But with flexibility in learning comes new challenges. The biggest challenge is to keep the learners engaged and attentive. Capturing learners’ attention has always been difficult, be it a traditional classroom or virtual classroom.
The idea behind virtual classroom software is to create a digital space that encourages learner engagement and serves the functions of a traditional classroom without requiring learners and teachers to be physically present in the same place. The new-age technology and internet have made this possible. However, it is essential to ensure learners are engaged during virtual lessons and take active participation and interest in online learning.
What is meant by learner engagement?
Learner engagement evaluates the level of engagement, interest in subject matter, degree of attention, participation, and willingness to learn while attending the class. It helps to progress in education. Learner engagement is categorised into three types – behavioural, emotional and cognitive.
- Behavioural – The learner has active participation. He/she obeys the rules and regulations and submits everything timely.
- Emotional – The learner feels an emotional connection or bond with teachers and peers. He/she maintains a positive interaction and is alert during the class.
- Cognitive – The learner has intellectual curiosity. He/she tries to think and understand what is taught and ask questions, thereby having progressive learning.
Tips to boost learner engagement
In order to create and maintain a positive and engaging learning environment in a virtual classroom, you can deploy numerous strategies.
- Prepare a classroom atmosphere – Learners might require some time to adapt to the pace of digital learning. Give them an introduction about online education and your course by creating a fun plus engaging atmosphere. Help them to get connected to you and with other learners. Conduct some fun activities in the beginning as an ice-breaking session.
- Nurture a community of learners – Engagement improves when the learners feel like part of a learning community. Create opportunities for social learning in your online course’s design and make it easy to digest. Give them time to recall and review what is taught. Engage them by delivering course content in multiple formats like audios, videos, voice-over slides and texts.
- Specify a decorum – Advise learners to maintain decorum and behave appropriately in the virtual class. Make them sit in a suitable space away from external distractions. Choose an LMS platform that provides a structured classroom environment with proper two-way communication. The LMS services should enable learners to mute and unmute by themselves, raise a question or initiate a chat during the class. The audio and video quality should be high. The language used should be polite, not rude and discouraging. It would be best if you gave opportunities to every learner alike.
- Organise course content and lectures – Course materials should be well organised so that learners can access all resources from a single access point. It also brings out clarity about the whole course. If you conduct online teaching via an all-in-one LMS platform like Mykademy, you can create courses online, upload the learning materials with the course plan, arrange them properly, and share them with your learners through the platform itself.
- Make learning interactive – In an online learning atmosphere, the chances are high that learners tend to sit around and attend the class passively. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your lectures are engaging. You can design your course accordingly. Make your learners speak up, raise hands and actively participate in the learning process.
- Always be present – Isolation is yet another negative impact created by online learning. However, you could avoid it easily by creating a rapport with your learners. Build connections with your learners and interact with them more often than how it would be in a traditional classroom. Since virtual classrooms are devoid of peer interaction and are different from a typical classroom environment, learners can quickly lose their focus. Here is where communication comes into play. Communication is the key to everything in a virtual classroom. Talk with your learners. Conduct lively discussions and debates to boost their confidence and make learner-to-learner information transfer effortlessly. Send emails, flash messages and push notifications through your portal to make your presence felt to the learners. White label learning platforms like Mykademy enable you to enhance learner engagement with a wide range of innovative features.
- Give and collect regular feedback – Feedback is the best method to understand how well your learners engage in your classroom and lectures. Regular feedback on their performance and attainment of learning objectives would aid in developing engagement. It also helps learners to identify where they are lacking and improve over time. Give opportunities for self-assessment by allowing learners to take more responsibility for their learning. Ensure to collect feedback from the learners to understand how they feel about the course. Consider conducting anonymous polls where learners can give honest feedback without hesitation. It is a great way to identify the learner’s understanding of the topic and their recommendations.
Overall success is majorly dependent on learner engagement. The higher the learner engagement, the higher the success rate. Hence it is important to apply these different techniques to teach online and earn profit. Mykademy makes things easier for you. We offer an all-in-one LMS platform that enables you to create and sell courses online. Enjoy our 14-day free trial and get your white label learning platform. Be an expert in online teaching with Mykademy today!