Motivation in a virtual classroom setting is not always that easy. It is difficult to assess their interest and focus while the course is on-going. This is mainly caused by the lack of physical interaction between the instructors and learners. In a real-world classroom setting, you can easily see if they are losing interest in the lesson. You can quickly do something to make things more lively and interactive so you can regain their attention.
In an online classroom, this is very difficult to achieve. You have no way of measuring the level of interest of the learner. That means you cannot act according to their reactions to the lesson.
While it is admittedly difficult, that does not mean you cannot make the lesson motivating. Instead of thinking about what you can do during the learning process, you have to think way ahead. You need to start in the planning process. While creating the course for the virtual classroom, you have to think about how you can keep them motivated to complete the course.
Here are a couple of tips that will help you keep learners motivated while learning through a virtual classroom.
Make it challenging.
There is nothing like a good challenge to keep someone motivated. When it is not challenging, it can become boring. This boredom can hinder the learners from being attentive. Place challenging activities at regular intervals during the course. You can also ask questions that will force them to think. Encourage them to discuss their thoughts on a forum or community board. An activity that stretches their skill and knowledge will not only keep learners engaged, it will also help them practice.
Do not rely too much on the content.
This may seem to contradict most of the elearning articles that put content at such a high regard. While content will always be important, the learning experience also plays a vital role in making the learning process successful. Do not focus too much on the content and in making videos, graphics, or animations to make it interesting. You should also spend the time to give the learners something to do. Spoonfeeding the content is usually not effective. You can give the learners questions that will motivate them to explore the answers through resource links that you will provide. Or to make it more challenging, let them seek out the information on the Internet.
Tap into their emotions.
Another tip that you can do is to making the course emotionally appealing. People who are emotionally invested in something are usually motivated to succeed. Place relevant facts, stories, and real-life accounts in the course. You can also encourage the learners to exchange their own stories as it helps build the relationship between the group members. The deeper the relationship among the people in the virtual classroom, the more emotionally invested they will be in the course.
Keep the difficulty level steadily increasing.
When the challenge is increasing steadily, you can expect learners to maintain their attention and focus on keeping up with the lesson. If you make it repetitive it might make the learners bored with the course. Just make sure to keep the difficulty within the capabilities of the learners. Motivation is good but you might overdo it. The course might end up frustrating the learner.
Give the learners control over their learning experience.
Finally, you should give the learners control over the learning experience. Give them choices. Allow them to go back and forth in the lesson so they can strengthen the retention of previously discussed ideas and concepts. Allow them to seek out other resources by providing links to authoritative sites that can expand their knowledge of the lesson.
These tips should help you build a virtual classroom that can motivate the learners and make them fall in love with the learning experience.
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