So, you have a Moodle site and have your course content ready. But now comes the challenge of making your courses attractive and engaging so that your learners want to learn. This task can be harder than you may first think. But the good news is I'm here to help! I've listed 7 key considerations for when you are creating your courses in Moodle to keep those important learners engaged.
Gamification is a common buzzword around eLearning. It's a great way to motivate your learners by using game thinking and game mechanics (such as levels, progression and rewards).
Using this approach you can prevent access to content until certain conditions are met in the course such as a specific grade in a quiz. Your students will be encouraged to work through and complete parts of the course to unlock currently disabled content. You could even link the unlocking with Badges. Consider using Gamification plugins, such as Level Up! which can award points based on course achievements of your learners and display a ‘high score’ table to encourage competition.
2. Show progress
The ability to show progress throughout the course is a great way to captivate your learners and encourage them to continue. You can do this by:
- Completion tracking - so that students feel they’re making progress;
- Course Completion status block;
- Progress bar plug-in;
- Restrict Access (and show the restrictions) – this encourages students to “unlock” elements in the course.
3. Chunk it up
Break your learning content up into bite-sized chunks. This not only makes it more manageable, but also easier for your learners to remember. This “microlearning” means that the learner can make progress in the course when they get a spare moment rather than having to dedicate a specific time to the learning.
There's a fine balance when considering the size of your chunks: too long and learners may become distracted by external factors or generally disengaged; too short and the learning content may not carry enough depth.
For learners trying to fit their learning around their current daily commitments, this can be ideal as the course feels less intimidating. Coupled with completion tracking (as mentioned above) this can give the learner the feel-good factor that they are making progress, even though they have only dedicated time here-and-there rather than specifically scheduled a time for their learning.
4. Think out of the box
By using the Random Glossary Entry block (used to display random entries from a glossary) you can come up with 'Word of the Day', 'Interesting Fact of the Day', 'Employee database' (featuring an introduction to other team members) or even a random picture gallery. Another great way to create interest and engage your audience.
5. Link to the real world
Relating your course to the real world emphasises the relevance of the learning. You can connect to online resources that provide an RSS feed by adding a Remote RSS feed block to your courses. Alternatively, the HTML block could be used to link to a feed from a Twitter account or even to display the results of a hashtag search on Twitter – ideal if there is an event or trending topic that fits perfectly with your learning content.
6. Get connected
If students are accessing the site remotely then make them feel part of something by incorporating some collaborative activities in your courses.
- Forums are a great way of meeting and networking with like-minded learners; they provide a place for learners to support and bounce ideas off each other, proposing solutions for shared challenges.
- The Choice activity is an easy way for learners to vote on a single question and the results can then be used as a springboard for discussion around a topic, encouraging differing views and perspectives.
7. Presentation of your site and your course
Don’t under-estimate the value in the look-and-feel of your site. Applying an engaging, attractive theme can work wonders in encouraging your students to access their learning. Your design could be in-keeping with your organisation’s branding or you may decide on something completely fresh-looking! At HowToMoodle we’ve worked with many clients to create a variety of engaging themes for their Moodle sites.
For more advice on how to create attention-grabbing eLearning content, get in touch with our eLearning content experts on 0330 660 1111 or contact us via http://info.howtomoodle.com/contact-us to discuss your project.