Canada Association of Tourism Employees

How To Have interaction On-line Learners

Engage your existing online learners

In her article [1], Dayna Christians mentions that there are ways an online teacher can reach their students faster than perhaps in a physical setting. Dayna argues that people might assume that technology is an obstacle to one-to-one teaching, but on the contrary, it can be an asset. In fact, if you can use the technology effectively, you can achieve higher levels of learner engagement than you would in any physical classroom setting.

So what are the tricks of the trade?

Minero (2020), in their in-depth article on the subject [2], emphasizes two main aspects of teacher behavior during a live class session and a recorded video session.

Catchy introductory video

Modern online learners are addicted to interesting videos. Simple yet personal introductory videos on courses can not only be a great advertisement for your online course, but they can also set the tone for learners.

Dayna believes that 2-5 minutes of short introductory videos are enough to get learners’ attention.

Live discussion sessions

Minero (2020) shares the value of discussion sessions among learners. In her opinion, a successful way to engage students is to allow them to participate in live discussions.

Instead of the teacher talking all the time and making it a one-way process, it is important that the learners participate equally. The author believes that encouraging students to communicate online creates a sense of community within the digital academy and thereby makes them more involved in the learning process.

Sometimes you can break up your Zoom session into smaller rooms and allow students to interact and brainstorm with each other, and then later present in the main room in front of the teacher and the other students. This type of activity will keep the online learners in suspense and they will not assume that it is a relaxed scenario.

Track student performance

In an online learning environment, it becomes much easier to keep track of each student’s progress. Using a good online teaching platform will allow you to monitor the progress of each and every student.

  • You will learn which students are actually watching your online course video and for how long. You will find out if they saw it all the way or went halfway.
  • You can also check when they watched the video so you can instantly know if they watched it or not.
  • And of course there will be quizzes and custom results for you to review and track.

All of this monitoring enables you to understand which of the learners are really making progress and which are in need of special attention. This allows you to come up with new plans and methodologies to engage the learners who are not fully immersed in the curriculum.

Without this tracking process, you won’t know which students will be leaving your course in the future. Online teachers often feel blinded when it comes to the sudden disappearance of students or the lack of new registrations from the current learner pool.

This type of tracking allows them to understand the learner’s psyche, and based on this assessment, they can develop strategies to pique the disinterested students’ interest in the program.

Constant feedback and chat support

The availability of the teacher is another crucial aspect for the overall success of your online academy. Students will be more interested in your courses when you are more interested in them.

In a sense, this is a cyclical process. When students know that you are available as a teacher, they will feel more connected to the courses. You will get to know the human side of an online teacher, which is often a challenge, especially when it comes to online video lectures.

In addition, small feedback in the form of written notes or video clips can also suffice. You can email them directly or post them on your online academy’s discussion forum.

Student retention is very important to the success of your online academy. By keeping your existing students on, you can magically approach the sales of your online courses. Proper student engagement strategy can create a good mood in your online academy and therefore your students will keep coming back to learn more.


[1] 3 strategies for engaging students in online courses

[2] 8 strategies to improve participation in your virtual classroom

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