How to Boost Online Student Engagement
“An eighth grader should be able to navigate your module and understand the concepts. Your subject-matter experts (SMEs) are just that—experts—and have more knowledge than your audience. Your module is for the people who want to learn about the topic, not the SMEs. SMEs can give you information and advice, but ultimately it’s up to you to determine the level of difficulty of your content.”
“Always remember there is a human being who will be sitting at that computer, working his or her way through that content you have so lovingly crafted. Pretend you’re having a conversation with that person in a coffee shop, and then write it that way! Forget the passive, intellectual academic speak of learning objectives and corporate communications. Instead, make your learning experience a personal one and talk directly to the learner. When we feel like an online experience is a conversation, we tend to pay more attention. So instead of saying ‘This lesson covers three tips for writing better emails,’ say ‘Let’s look at three tips you can use to write better emails.’”
“When it comes to adding audio to an eLearning lesson, voiceover audio has been shown to improve the learner experience. However, consider not using background music throughout the presentation, because music is often considered a distraction.”
Vicky Phillips was cited in 2009 by US News & World Report as “for 20 years the leading consumer advocate for online college students.” In 1989 she designed America’s first online counseling center for distance learners on AOL. In 1998 she authored the first print guide to online graduate degrees, Best Distance Learning Graduate Schools put out by the Princeton Review. In 2001 she authored Never Too Late to Learn the Adult Student’s Guide to College.