Captivating Your Online Learner with Engaging Course Visuals: 7 Easy Principles

In an online environment, keeping your audienceís attention and focus on the critical concepts can be a challenge. Visuals are one of the most powerful ways to engage online learners, especially those from the upcoming generations. We will discuss how the visual design quality of course materials impacts student learning and describe seven simple design techniques that educators can use to create clean, clear, and uncluttered visuals.

Tips from the Pros: Use Mistake Detection Videos to Improve Learning

Mistakes are an important learning device, and good teachers will actually induce mistakes as a teaching device. Military training often puts recruits into situations where mistakes are inevitable so that the recruits can learn from them. Similarly, NFL rookies are often told to not worry about making mistakes in practice because that is how they learn the game.

Add Interactions to Your Online Videos

Frequent interaction with learning content is critical to learning and retention because it is needed to move information from our working to long-term memory. That is why it is a good practice to add interactions to videos every five minutes or so. These interactions can involve answering a question or lending a comment, and there are a variety of methods for adding either type to a video.

Encourage Your Students to Copy

Go to an art museum and you will frequently see art students sitting in front of a painting with an easel making a copy of the work to learn their craft. Similarly, a common photo out of an NFL training camp is a line of quarterbacks dropping back in unison to pass in unison, each looking at the one ahead of him. The young quarterbacks are learning the proper steps by copying what they see from the veteran quarterback at the front.

Online Discussion Protocols for Better Student Engagement

When I first began teaching online, I instantly recognized online educationís potential to provide deeper discussion than face-to-face learning due to the greater thought-time to craft a comment and unlimited comment length. I saw students often expressing more insightful comments than I received in my face-to-face courses.

Flipgrid—A New Way to View Online Content

Flipgrid ( is a new collaboration system thatís drawing quite a bit of interest in education circles as of late. Flipgrid provides an alternative way of displaying content from the traditional LMS discussion forum. An LMS forum is linear, with each posting falling below the prior one in a tree. Flipgrid displays postings in a grid pattern on a single page. Moreover, Flipgrid is designed for video posts, whereas the LMS forum is designed for text postings. Finally, the presentation is closer to what students are used to seeing on a webpage, with different elements arranged together in an appealing design. The LMS creates a very artificial presentation that is foreign to most viewers as it isolates each contribution from the other in an open and close view.