7 Steps to Successful Online Student Engagement

online student engagement

With the explosion in online learning in recent years, educators have faced a dilemma: how to improve online student engagement with video content. As online classes, blended learning, and flipped classrooms have become the norm, educators have sought ways to effectively integrate video content into classes to improve learning outcomes.

Today's learners are digital natives; they grew up in a world with internet-connected mobile devices with instant on-demand video. They view video as integral to their daily lives, prefer YouTube lessons to traditional textbooks, and will watch videos online when they want to gather information or learn something new.

Educators recognize the importance of using video to connect with this generation of learners, with the vast majority agreeing that video plays a critical role in learners' academic experience. When used correctly, video can increase student engagement with course material and reinforce what they've learned in class. With all that in mind, here are seven tips to help you maximize online student engagement at your institution.

1. Integrate Video into Your School's LMS

Integrating video into your school's LMS allows students to view relevant videos alongside their course materials, including assigned readings, assessments, student groups, and class projects. LMS integration gives educators the tools to organize relevant videos by lesson, along with other course materials, so students have a central access point with all the information that they need.

Furthermore, within the LMS, instructors can include a brief description that includes the length of the video and information about the topics covered so students can organize their time accordingly. Some students may prefer to watch an entire video in one sitting, while others may watch it in parts. A video platform for education that integrates seamlessly with your LMS will give your school the necessary tools for enhancing student engagement with your video content.

2. Use Video Clips

Studies suggest that the average member of Generation Z has an attention span of only eight seconds, with engagement in massive open online courses dropping significantly after six minutes, making it essential for instructors to create video content that entices learners from the beginning.

Keeping your videos short is one of the best ways to ensure that learners engage with video content. While making classes available through lecture capture is important, instructors can also create bite-sized video clips to highlight important material.

However, instructors don't have to give up on long-form video content. Generation Z is more likely to watch longer videos than Generation X. When it's necessary to use long-form video content, instructors should ensure that it offers value, is interesting, and is entertaining, if possible.

3. Have Asynchronous Video-Based Discussions

Creating and sharing videos that encourage discussion with students effectively promotes online student engagement. Instructors can organize text-based talks about video content and allow students to post responses to the LMS' discussion board or forum.

Another way to improve engagement is by encouraging learners to create a video response to questions posed in a video that they've viewed and to post it to the discussion forum. Instructors can also assign video presentations that students can post to the LMS, so other students can ask questions and offer feedback.

Warpwire's contribution mode enables non-admin users, including students and trainees, to upload content to media libraries, giving instructors the flexibility to allow learners to post their own content. These strategies can help enhance engagement with video outside of traditional classroom hours.

4. Have Real-Time Video-Based Discussions

While asynchronous video-based discussions are helpful outside the classroom, real-time video-based discussions are crucial to online student engagement. These enable educators to immediately address students' questions and concerns and explain topics that they may have difficulty understanding. Moreover, real-time discussions give students opportunities to participate in groups where they can collaborate with other learners and solve problems.

5. Capture Lectures

Instructors can optimize online student engagement by using lecture capture software to record classes and share them with students. Lecture capture gives students the flexibility to study at their own pace and helps remove geographical barriers to learning. When students can't attend an in-person class or want to review previously taught material, they can view it online at any time of the day, as often as they'd like.

As they rewatch a lecture, learners can pause the video to take notes, write down questions, and revisit topics that they found difficult to understand. Video platforms for education like Warpwire have multi-source capture, enabling users to capture and upload lectures using smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

6. Optimize Video Content for Playback

Your institution's students won't always use their laptops or desktop computers to access video content, so it’s essential to convert videos to a format that enables them to be viewed across all devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Instructors can also facilitate learning by using tags and metadata to make it easy for students to find videos within the school's LMS. Tags enable users to organize videos in playlists and sort them by lesson.

Media libraries play an essential role in optimizing video content for playback by enabling educators and learners to upload content to folders based on subjects, themes, and courses. When students want to access a video, they can find it in a central location.

7. Encourage Students to Create Content

Giving your students the tools to be creative can help improve online student engagement. You can do this by asking students to create video recaps that summarize what they've learned and post them to the class chat so other students can comment on them. Since many students prefer videos to textbooks, you can take advantage of this preference by assigning video-based assignments as an alternative to text-based tasks. Encouraging students to create groups to share videos is also an excellent way to increase engagement.

Final Thoughts

Improved academic performance is one of the best arguments for using video content in the classroom. Studies show (and faculty agree) that video improves academic achievement and increases student satisfaction. Videos also tend to be more effective than text alone, and students engage with video more than any other content type. Institutions of higher education want their students to succeed, and video content is one of the most effective ways to improve student engagement inside and outside the classroom.

Warpwire’s video platform provides analytics to help you track media assets, media libraries, and system-wide usage. Designed to explore engagement, Warpwire’s reports provide deep insight into how your institution interacts with media.

To see how we can help you better leverage your video content, get in touch with us today!