Increasing Engagement with Interactive E-Learning Content

Studies show that more than 41.7% of global Fortune 500 organizations already use some form of self-paced e-learning. Moreover, the corporate e-learning market is expected to grow by over 250% between 2017 and 2026. However, despite the rise of e-learning as a valid learning modality in most organizations, driving learner engagement remains a challenge. In fact, a study of 200 organizations using 28 different learning management systems shows that driving engagement is the number one challenge that 71% of organizations face when deploying e-learning programs. In this blog post, we’ll take you through a few tips to help you increase your learners’ engagement with the content of your e-learning programs.

First things first, why care?

The Importance of Engagement

Before we dive deep into how to build content engagement, it is essential that you understand why it even matters. Now, to understand the value of engagement in learning, you need to be acquainted with the psychological theory of flow.

Psychological theory of flow Update

According to positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, flow is the state of mind a person reaches when they become fully immersed in an activity. At flow, you lose your sense of time and become deeply engrossed in what you are doing. Flow brings the best work out of you, helps you overcome challenges, and spurs your creativity. Flow theory has long been associated with intellectual and creative pursuits, but its application to learning is of no less value.

In the learning context, flow helps learners stay focused on the learning activity, overcome learning challenges, gain new skills, retain learning, and, more importantly, enjoy the experience. So, how can you create e-learning content that helps learners stay in a state of flow?

Flow can only be achieved in the golden mean zone, which lies between the ‘low-stress zone’ which induces boredom and the ‘high-stress zone’ which induces anxiety. Keeping your learners in that ‘flow zone’, therefore, boils down to maintaining a healthy balance a balance between challenge and comfort. Let’s see how you can build both into your content.


Driving Engagement by Building Challenging Content

To drive learners to a state of flow while engaging with your content, you need to make the learning content challenging enough but not too challenging that it leads to de-motivation. The crux of this equation is to understand well your learners’ current level of knowledge and their desired next step. Here are practical ways you can use to achieve just that.

1. Correct Placement

Have a level placement testing methodology in place to ensure you are setting your learners to the appropriate learning paths for them. There is nothing more boring than having to go through two hours of content you already know. A crisp placement test centered on real-life knowledge and skills goes a long way to save you this trouble.

2. Leveled-Up Programs

Building on the previous tip, ensure you design your learning content in a layered format where learners progress from one level to another. There are two ways of building levels into your content: linear design and circular design. In linear learning design, you create your learning levels in a way by which the higher levels contain ‘more’ terminology and concepts that are not included in previous levels but build on them. In circular design, you create your learning content in a way that all terms and concepts are covered at all levels. However, there is ‘higher contextual depth’ as learners progress through the levels. 

Which methodology to use will be a question of the knowledge or skill area your learners aim to learn. Language, for example, is a skill area that is better suited to a circular design, while engineering, for example, is better suited to a linear design.

3. Personalized Learning Paths

Once you have designed your content in a level format and put a placement methodology in place, it is essential to recognize that even at the same level of knowledge, learners will have variations in what they know or do not know. Therefore, try to leverage AI-powered learning platforms that automatically build personalized learning paths for every learner. If such technology is not available for you, simply provide learners the freedom to choose what to learn. A simple ‘skip’ button can help learners choose what they want to learn.

4. Real-Life Applications

To add a sense of challenge to the learning content, learners must feel that the content can help them overcome some real-life challenges or problems they face. You can make your learning content challenging to the current level of learners by adding interactive scenarios, simulations, or project applications that help challenge them to move to the next level of real-life skill.

Driving Engagement by Building Challenging Content

Driving Engagement by Boosting Learners’ Comfort

To reach a state of flow, learners must not feel overwhelmed by the level of challenge in the learning program. You can ease learners’ tension and make them feel more comfortable with the learning process by following some of these best practices.

1.  Microlearning

Microlearning is the practice of chunking down learning content into bite-sized pieces that can be learned in under 10 minutes. This practice helps decrease your learners’ cognitive load and enables them to benefit from mind breaks as they progress through the content. So no matter how complex a piece of information is, your learners will have the energy to go through it because of a rested mind. Leverage the pause points that come with microlearning to provide learners with ample opportunities to rethink and reflect.

2. Gamification 

The gaming industry is estimated at a staggering US$ 202.7 billion worldwide, enjoyed by children and adults alike. And this is no surprise! Games are fun, competitive, and totally exhilarating. You can achieve a similar level of fun and engagement in your learning programs by designing them around game models. To instill gamification in your programs, you need to build into them these three elements: competition, leveling, and rewards. Consequently, you will have training programs that not only increase learners’ comfort but even excite them.

3. Focusing Objectives

An excellent way to capture your learners’ attention is by starting every module with a focusing objective. And please do not confuse them with learning objectives. Learning objectives are what instructional designers need to design successful programs; focusing objectives are simply-stated objectives that help learners understand what they will be ‘focusing’ on in the module. 

Stated bluntly in a statement format, focusing objectives can be less impactful. In fact, a more effective strategy for focusing your learners is to start your modules with a case study, scenario, quiz, or game that highlights a learning gap they have. This should be sufficient to focus their attention throughout the module and drive their engagement.

4. Frequent Feedback

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘practice makes perfect’? Well, it’s wrong. Practicing mistakes makes you only perfect at making mistakes. Likewise, effective learning requires constant feedback to drive positive behavioral change. Not only does constant feedback drive learning effectiveness, but it also boosts learners’ comfort. Learners feel supported when they get constructive feedback and encouraged when they receive positive feedback. Add feedback to your games, case problems, scenarios, etc. to increase learners’ engagement. It also helps if you can provide learners with a mentor or learning support specialist to answer their questions and provide guidance when needed.

Create Custom E-Learning Content to Increase Learners’ Engagement

These were a few tips that can guide you in building learning programs that help learners achieve a state of flow. In XpertLearning, we create highly interactive custom e-learning content for you. If you’re interested in knowing more about our custom content solutions, check out our wide array of offerings here.



The Benefits of a Student Information System

With more than 1.54 billion students worldwide in K-12 and Higher Education, it is easy to imagine the level of administrative work that goes into managing the information of this massive number of students every year. In fact, although the recommended student-to-administrator ratio of an educational institution is 12:1, schools in the US alone, for example, have a student-to-administrator ratio of 230:1.  Student Information Systems provide the optimal way to streamline educational administration to ensure your institution can focus on the most important aspects of student management. 

Read on to find out what a Student Information System is, what the benefits are, and how it can help you manage the influx of data that comes with managing student records. 

What is a Student Information System?

A Student Information System (SIS) allows you to store, manage and access all student information throughout the entire lifecycle, starting from the day a student applies to join your institution until they graduate and become alumni. Using a Student Information System is the optimal way to introduce efficiencies in processes and provide your students with a seamless and modern experience that complements rather than distracts from their student experience.

What’s the Difference Between a Student Information System (SIS) and a Learning Management System (LMS)?

What’s the Difference Between a Student Information System (SIS) and a Learning Management System (LMS)?

It is essential, first, not to confuse a Student Information System with other education technologies an institution requires. An SIS is different from a Learning Management System (LMS) although we commonly hear the two confused.   

The SIS’s main use is to manage the information and interactions within the Student Administration lifecycle for all constituents handling aspects such as admissions, enrollment, fees, exam boards, and a suite of online services for learners to engage with.  

An LMS, on the other hand, manages the teaching and learning journey for a student through their program of study. Mainly used by academic staff and learners, it is where you’ll find course content, engage in topic discussions, submit assessments for grading, take post-class surveys, and provide course evaluations, for example.  

Both an LMS and SIS provide an institution with data-based insights for decision-making. However, whilst the two systems are essential for any vocational and higher education organization, they are complementary and do not provide insights into the same decision-making areas. 

What are the Benefits of a Student Information System?

What are the Benefits of a Student Information System?

A Student Information System is an investment that an institution makes, but the investment is often returned and exceeded swiftly. The ROI can be determined in a wide array of benefits, unimaginable with the use of traditional, manual processes. Here are a few of the key benefits;

1. Administrative Efficiency

According to research, academic staffs spend around 5-10% of their work time on administrative tasks. Adding to this the fact that they spend 13% of their time keeping order in classrooms, educators are stripped of up to one-fifth of their teaching time every year. Not only do educational institutions lose teaching time to administration tasks, but they also have their administrators’ time lost in tedious and laborious tasks. Time spent on administrative tasks comes at a high cost. In fact, a recent study by the University of Rome has revealed that the process of verifying diplomas costs the university more than $20,000 annually, corresponding to about 36 weeks of work. 

A Student Information System significantly reduces the time spent on those tasks.

By introducing online services, workflows, and automated notifications to support administrative processes such as applications, enrollment, fee payments, and graduation, the processing and communication time for each of these tasks significantly drops. This, in turn, helps in reducing queues at Student Support counters, minimizing data entry tasks for all, and providing timely updated information   all of which are crucial at key points within the academic calendar. 

2. A Smooth Student Experience

If you work in a Higher Educational Institution, you know that your students are your customers. A positive student experience provides the highest endorsement on educational institutions for peer references, which is arguably one of the most vital lead generation sources for your institution.

Not many students will enjoy the necessary administrative processes a university requires. However, by providing a personalized portal for students to engage with at their convenience 24/7, students can stay updated on their online application progress, enroll online, pay tuition fees, receive class timetables, view their grades and progress online, or even raise a request all without attending campus! Best of all, a leading SIS doesn’t require an institution to re-enter information from scratch in each engagement, making the processes far quicker and more efficient than manual forms and disparate systems.

3. Valuable Insights for Decision Making

Like all powerful management systems, a Student Information System enables you to get more than just the job done. With a Student Information System, administrators’ work is less about handling tedious paperwork, providing more time to complete ‘value-add’ activities to improve institutional efficiency and the students’ experience. A Student Information System provides administrators and management with ample data-driven insights about students’ demographics, attendance, academic performance, payment status, engagement, etc., enabling the enhancement of institutional policies and processes to continuously improve the student experience. 

4. Managing Regulatory and Mandatory Requirements

Nearly all countries have a level of regulatory requirements for institutions to provide ministries and government departments with statistical information about their student population – a task that is becoming increasingly complex year after year.  A leading SIS will support many of these requirements as a standard or provide the ability to extract information via inbuilt reporting tools allowing an institution to maintain compliance for data and audits key for maintaining reputation within the sector

5. Higher Learning Outcomes

Research shows that attendance in class is positively correlated with academic performance, explaining 11.8% of variations in academic performance. Student Information Systems, when linked with campuses’ in-class tracking systems, enable real-time attendance tracking, helping educators stay on top of the student’s attendance performance. The availability of this instant data can have a significant impact on students’ commitment and performance.

Not only does a Student Information System provide the source data required for student attendance tracking, but it also helps educators track their student’s academic performance, providing alert mechanisms to trigger early interventions and ensure students stay on track.

Do you have the right Student Information System for your Educational Institution?

If you’re interested in knowing more about how your institution can benefit from an SIS, you can check out our Student Information Systems solutions here. Alternatively, if you’re interested in exploring other academic education solutions for your institution, you can refer to our offerings here




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