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Free eBook: 68 Take Away Tips for Online Student Engagement

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Prevent Sleepy Elearners with Tips for Online Student Engagement

“Engagement is a critical element of learning. If we can get people to pay attention to what we’ve developed or what we’re saying and engage with us, the content, and each other, learning follows.”
That’s how Chris Benz, director of online events, introduces the eLearning Guild’s new free ebook for online course designers: “68 Tips for eLearning Engagement and Interactivity.”
This free ebook is worth hitting the download button. It’s a treasure trove of practical advice on techniques that can help improve your elearning course design skills.
The end game: design ever-better elearning that engages and retains adult learners online.

How to Boost Online Student Engagement

Benz is dead on when he writes about elearning communication and involvement: “Gaining and maintaining engagement in the physical classroom seems straightforward: If students look bored or inattentive, we adjust our training style on the fly or call on people to recapture their attention. But in elearning, especially self-paced elearning, driving engagement requires much more planning, monitoring, and, most of all, creativity.”
How do we drive engagement in elearning and mlearning? There’s no one magical way. In fact, this handy free ebook curates advice from 11 tipsters. It catalogs these tips into five critical design areas.
A one-person course designer may devour all the tips. Most instructors however, will cherry-pick tips, taking away only an idea or two to help move their online design skills forward.
Eleven experts, most with a decade or two of experience of elearning development for adults, provide 68 tips for driving engagement in elearning and mlearning.
The advice is divided into five categories: content, interface, interactivities, visual design and gamification. A sixth category focuses on tips for measuring engagement and comprehension assessment.
Download this great little ebook guide to create your on-the-fly cheat sheet.
This resource is also a great freebie to add to the resources section of any MOOC or training course for future elearning course designers or instructional experts.
Below are my three favorite tips.
“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.”
Amy Leis, Program Manager, Janney Montgomery Scott
Amy Leis has 15 years’ experience in training; her interests include adult learning theory and the intersection of technology, training and social learning.
“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.’”
Cammy Bean, Vice President of Learning Design, Kineo
An instructional designer with 15 years of experience, Cammy Bean has created software simulations and learning games for a variety of clients.
“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.”
Kevin Siegel, Founder and President, IconLogic
Kevin Siegel has written more than 100 books, including Essentials of Adobe Captivate 5 and Adobe Captivate 5: Beyond the Essentials. He has more than two decades of experience as a print publisher, technical writer, instructional designer and eLearning developer.
Crave more teaching tips for online student engagement? Check out the Get Educated free ebook “Motivating & Retaining Adult Learners Online: A Journal of Research Articles and Practitioner’s Tips” for advice on engaging adult learners.


Vicky Phillips, Founder of Get EducatedVicky 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