One of the best ways to measure the success of a virtual classroom is when it becomes memorable. This means the retention rate is high. This is an indication that it was influential enough to leave an impression on the mind of the learners.
Fortunately, it is not that difficult to make online learning memorable. There are various strategies to use. The problem is not the lack of strategies but determining which is the right one to use. The best way to find the perfect strategy is to understand the goals of your online course and to study who the learners are. Once you understand both, you should be able to choose the right strategy that will make your virtual classroom memorable and effective.
Here are 4 strategies that will increase the retention rate of online learning.
This is a type of strategy that presents learning in a game format. According to reports, gamification is expected to rise this year – specifically in online higher education. We all know that using games as a mean to teach concepts is effective because it makes learning fun. What is great about using games is you can shape it according to the demographics of your learners. There will always be an appropriate game for kids, teens, and adults. Choose the right game mechanics and you should be able to motivate the learners to participate and pay attention to the lesson. It can be as simple as a rewards system or be more complicated to involve simulations. Any of these can work as long as it is aligned with the goals of your virtual classroom.
Another great strategy to make online learning memorable is storytelling. The great thing about stories is they make it easier for you to input an emotional element into the lesson. And when you make something emotionally compelling, it is easier for the learners to relate to it and keep it in memory. The truth is, our memories are mainly triggered by our emotions. Of course, there are more reasons why you need to use stories and it goes beyond the emotional element. You can also use the personal stories of the learners to get them involved in the lesson. Let them tell tales of their own struggles that are relevant to the course. This will make the virtual classroom more real and relatable. Let them reminisce, reflect, and engage in forums. You can use these materials to get them to learn from each other.
Using social media in the virtual learning process makes the experience more entertaining. We all have social media accounts and we love to browse through it. Using it as the platform for some of the activities in the virtual classroom should motivate learners to participate. It is not just a great option to communicate with each other. It can also be utilized to be a source of new ideas and concepts. Pinterest, Reddit, and Instagram can be a great source of inspiration. Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube can be sources of information and can also be used for communication purposes. The list is endless if you know that specific targets of the online lesson. The best part about this strategy is it can be accessed on the go. It is very mobile after all. You get to connect with each other even outside the learning environment.
Finally, the virtual classroom can be memorable if you use the right visual design strategy. We are visual people. It is easier to stimulate us or make us interested if we find something visually appealing. Make sure the layout of the course is easy to navigate and free from distractions. And while the aesthetics are important, functionality is also vital to the success of the online lesson. Believe it or not, this will have a huge influence on how the learners process the content that you will be delivering.
Consider these 4 strategies when you are creating a memorable virtual classroom. Take note that you do not have to stick to one. You can combine two or more if that fits the goals of the elearning program.