Online Learning – 5 Things you Must Fix to avoid Poor Engagement

Largely due to the current crisis forcing many workplaces, universities and schools online, there has been an explosion in the level of interest in online learning.

On the surface online learning is the perfect solution to a very modern problem: It’s easy to access, economical, flexible, convenient and perfect for the remote worker and the hybrid team.

However, there’s a major drawback that you must urgently consider before investing in this prettier, perkier, more modern answer to training because most organisations don’t achieve the traction they hoped for.

Attrition (course dropouts) is a significant factor in online learning. Research has shown that for MOOCs in particular, the completion rates may be as low as 3-5%.

Similar research in the corporate sector has shown that completion rates (for non-
mandatory learning) fare better at around 22-30% with only the very best eLearning programmes reported to be over 50% compared with 85% for classroom-based training. This demonstrates how complex a challenge engaging learners in online learning can be.

So why the shortfall in engagement with online learning?

There are a number of problems that reduce learner engagement with online learning:

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TOO MUCH FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility is a key advantage of online learning but with great flexibility comes great accountability. 81% of online learning is self-managed however without learner accountability these high levels of flexibility can lead to learner procrastination and very slow progress.

 

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ABSENCE OF PERSONAL ATTENTION

The best online courses are learner-centric, interactive and integrate 2-way tutor support however online learning often lacks these personal touches that help to connect and engage your learners in their learning journey.

 

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LACK OF COMMUNITY

Building a sense of community is more important than ever in an online world and how effectively your online course facilitates questions and feedback and encourages collaboration will determine whether or not it fully engages your learners. Sadly, this idea of ‘community’ is overlooked in many online courses.

 

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MEDIOCRE COURSE CONTENT

Learning online is a very different experience and requires a strong blend of bite sized learning activities to make it work. If your online courses rely overly on the format and content taken from traditional classroom-based workshops, they are unlikely to land well in a digital context or capture the imagination of your learners.

 

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TOO THEORETICAL

Online courses must get results; they must be highly-relevant and have a pragmatic application in everyday life to ensure high engagement levels; however most online learning courses fail the 70:20:10 test due to lazy instructional design resulting in overly theoretical, boring and ultimately futile learning experiences.

But don’t worry, these problems are not insurmountable. In fact we’ve solved them all. So don’t settle for poor engagement rates.

When we designed the award-winning 100% virtual, fully-blended management development programme STAR® Manager to help Managers transform their leadership and management style, we knew that it had to ‘pack a punch’ and be able to outperform our ‘live’ programmes and ensure lasting personal benefits for learners and also commercial benefits for their organisations.

Over the past couple of years and after millions of pounds of investment, we’ve researched and found the answers to all the hard questions that prevent online learning from attaining its full potential and we’ve integrated these robust solutions into STAR® Manager’s fun, flexible and highly engaging learning environment.

In fact, a Notion client recently reported they had achieved a 90% Engagement Rate and a 75% completion rate for our STAR® Manager Programme in stark contrast to their usual engagement rate for online learning which was a very low 18%.

That’s a whopping 4X higher than their online learning usually achieves and far higher than the typical completion rates for online learning programmes in general.

So what’s behind STAR® Manager’s impressive engagement rates?

For starters, the programme comes with a dedicated Learner Support in the form of our Client Success Team who are on call to support your progression and quickly resolve any of your technical issues at whatever stage you are at in the programme.

The Client Success Team also act as Course Shepherds, offering you advice and helping you to keep your learning goals top-of-mind as you make progress through the programme in easily digestible bite-sized chunks that require no downtime.

Within the programme, you’re introduced to multiple expert tutors each bringing with them vast experience, as well as leaders, managers and colleagues from the virtual Rocketco Company who develop their management skills alongside you. With multiple chances to speak directly with the tutors in the highly-interactive Live Learning Stations, carefully positioned throughout the programme, you get the extra support you need, when you need it.

In the Live Learning Stations, you’ll also virtually meet with other real-life learners going through their own learning journeys and get the chance to bounce ideas off each other and build a sense of shared experience and community.

Crucially, the STAR® Manager programme contains a special blend of 18 different learning activities that work perfectly in the digital world and can translate easily into the real world. In many ways, these blended learning activities offer you a much broader and deeper learning experience which engages your unique learning style and helps to embed and accelerate your learning.

To further embed and transfer your learning into your real-life, you’ll regularly complete Live Missions in your workplace (or in your personal life) and spend time reflecting on what happened, what you learned, and what personal and commercial results you achieved.

There’s nothing futile about the STAR® Manager programme - you’ll receive rewards throughout the programme to keep you motivated and at the end of the programme you can also achieve a prestigious OFQUAL Level 3, 4 or 5 management qualification for simply diligently completing the programme.

If that doesn’t keep your engagement rates sky-high - what will?

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