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In simple terms, we can think of online courses as digital products. However, courses are a lot more than that. Unlike other digital products like ebooks, courses deliver a lot more than virtually packaged content. Instead, an online course aims to help students accomplish tangible learning goals, such as mastering a certain subject or obtaining a specific skill, by taking them through a multi-step journey.
When you are selling an online course, what you’re really selling is a learning experience. The better the learning experience you can deliver, the better your online course will be.
So, how can you go about improving the learning experience in your LearnDash courses? Just keep reading!
In this article, we’ll take a look at different strategies you can implement to improve the learning experience on your LearnDash site to maximize learning and boost your course sales.
What is learner experience?
A learning experience refers to the entire learning journey a student goes through when taking an online course or completing an online program. It extends beyond the content of your course to include all of its elements such as learning goals, content consumption channels, passive and active learning activities, assignments and evaluations, as well as peer and student-instructor interactions
Furthermore, the learning experience is influenced by factors like:
- The student’s engagement with course content;
- Access and comfort with the technology used to deliver the course;
- The ability of students to communicate and collaborate;
- The students learning goals and motivation;
- Opportunities for knowledge application;
- The student’s previous knowledge and skills.
Ultimately, taking into account all of these elements when creating your LearnDash course will help you create a positive learning experience, that will be both effective and enjoyable.
How do you improve the online learning experience?
After working on hundreds of e-learning sites, our LearnDash consultation experts have learned a thing or two about building successful online courses with this platform.
Here are some strategies we have seen work best for enhancing the online learning experience with LearnDash.
Encourage social learning
Communication between peers and between students and instructors is essential to the learning process, both in real-life classrooms and online learning. Open communication channels allow students to become actively involved with the learning content, by asking questions, exchanging thoughts and ideas, and collaborating on assignments. It also allows students to form better relationships with their peers.
However, while opening the doors to social interactions occurs naturally in a real-life classroom, doing so can be a great challenge in an online setting. However, there are some tools that can help you improve communication and establish a social environment around your online courses. Here are a few:
- Forums – Forums are ideal for holding online student discussions. Here instructors can post specific questions or prompts for their class or give their students the freedom to interact with each other by creating their own posts. You can easily set up private for your forums using bbPress and the bbPress LearnDash integration.
- Shared assignments – A great way to get your students to socialize is to get them to collaborate on their projects, note-taking, and assignments. You can easily add features that support peer collaboration to your LearnDash courses using the LearnDash Buddy-up add-on. Using this tool your students can pair up with their peers, share course notes and progress data, compare quiz results and submit group assignments.
- Live Chat – In a real-life classroom, students are able to talk to each other at all times. Adding a live chat box to your courses can help you recreate this same social environment. One tool that will help you accomplish this is the LearnDash Group Chat add-on which allows your students to communicate in real time with their peers and instructors or reach out to each other through private messaging.
- Activity streams – It’s easy to catch up with what everybody is doing in a real-life classroom and there’s no reason why it has to be any harder with an online course. With the LearnDash Activity Timeline add-on, you can quickly monitor what everybody is doing by adding an activity stream to your courses, just like you would on any social media platform. Since most students are already familiar with social media streams, they will instantly feel comfortable navigating this option.
Break down content into smaller chunks
Improving the learning experience is all about making the learning journey more appealing, manageable, and enjoyable for the student.
In an age of abundant distractions and ever-diminishing attention spans, getting a student to willingly sit through an hour-long lecture is a long shot. Long-form content is far from attractive for the modern student and can make the learning experience unnecessarily boring and tedious.
Instead, we recommend splitting your course content into bite-sized chunks that are easier to digest and complete on the go. Simply break down an hour-long lecture into separate 5-10 minute topic-specific videos or evaluate your students with focused 5-question quizzes rather than long tests.
Collect student feedback
Don’t know how you can make your courses better? We can bet your students have some things to say. No one can give you better insights about what your students find more entertaining, appealing, or useful than your students themselves. For this reason, it is important to establish open communication channels that allow you to collect feedback from your course takers. By examining their user reviews you’ll be able to identify your course’s greatest strengths and weaknesses and help you make the most convenient adjustments.
A simple way to set this up is to use the free LearnDash Feedback add-on, which allows users to rate your course using a star rating system as well as submit written reviews.
Use gamification to increase engagement
E-learning gamification consists of the application of game-like elements to online courses. This contributes to making the learning journey more fun and enjoyable for the student.
Gamification has been proven to have a positive effect on the learning experience driving LearnDash LMS itself to recently incorporate gamification features in the form of their free LearnDash Achievements add-on. You can also build a more complex gamification system for your LearnDash courses using the LearnDash BadgeOS integration.
Some ideas you can try include:
- Reward your students with badges when they complete a certain number of lessons, passing quizzes, or finishing a course.
- Award points for meeting a certain score on a test and deduct points when a quiz is failed.
- Create a ranking system to establish a hierarchy among your students based on their course performance.
Make your eLearning site user-friendly
Your students’ only concern when taking your online course should be absorbing its content. A student that is stressed when browsing through your site will hardly be able to concentrate on learning materials.
If you’re looking to improve your user experience on your LearnDash courses, here are some tips we recommend you try:
- Choose a good LearnDash theme such as BuddyBoss, Astra, or eLumine.
- Minimize on-screen distractions using LearnDash Focus Mode
- Opt for clean page layouts with plenty of white space.
- Choose a simple and intuitive option for your site’s navigation.
- Make sure the pages that are most relevant to your students are easy to access.
Ready to improve learner experience on your LearnDash courses? Putting these ideas into practice you can make a great difference in how much your students get out of your online courses.