How to improve your course completion rates?
How to improve your course completion rates?
Over the years, online learning has risen dramatically, creating a huge opportunity for people who want to provide online courses and commercialize their knowledge.
Every year, more and more education entrepreneurs launch online courses, but a worrying trend has emerged where most students never complete them.
There are online learning statistics that suggest that the completion rate for online courses averages just about 5%-15% and it is increasing up to 40% and beyond in some cases.
Although there are some issues with how the course completion rate measure is defined, you should be concerned if your course has a low completion rate.
Besides the fact that you are more likely to receive negative feedback and refund requests, you will also miss out on repeat purchases and word-of-mouth marketing.
It will be impossible for students to achieve success unless they complete your online program, even if we discount all of that.
Let's discuss why students drop out before we discuss strategies to improve your course completion rate:
- • Students become preoccupied with other activities and may entirely disregard your course.
- • Your students will lose interest if the content is not engaging or the course is too long.
- • They become lost along the route and are hesitant or unable to seek help.
- • Students are unmotivated and perceive little value in completing the complete curriculum.
- • As a result, they had unrealistic expectations about the course and even the level of work involved.
- • Students have difficulty accessing course content due to technical difficulties.
- • They only require a short portion of your course and are finished with it.
Students drop out for a variety of reasons. Identifying specific blockers for your students is important, and we'll cover that later in this guide.
Now, let's turn our attention to the tactics that can assist you to enhance your course completion rates by addressing these issues.
1. Maintain Consistent Communication with Your Students
This is the most successful and simple interaction method. However, I find that many creators either completely ignore it or underutilize it.
A proper follow-up strategy can address some of the common dropout reasons discussed in the previous section, like students getting busy or losing motivation.
Following are some examples of common engagement emails you can send to your students:
Welcoming your students
When someone signs up for your online course, you should send them a welcome email with their login information, the course schedule, information on how to join the course community, and contact information.
For example, online school EzyCourse lets you send a welcome message to your new students.
Welcome emails should be used to deliver details on what they should do next.
Reminders should be sent.
Because of how busy and stressful daily life may be, it is very easy for anyone to simply forget about their online commitments. Sending regular reminders can help you capture your students' attention and attract them back to your course.
You can now send reminder emails once a week or only when new content is published. It all depends on how your course is set up.
In terms of what to include in a reminder email, you can begin by reminding them of why they signed up for the course, and then share information about their progress or what to expect in the new module, and so on.
Email may now be used to motivate your learners rather than just deliver reminders and notices.
You can, for example, send a congratulatory email to your students after they complete a module or pass a quiz to encourage them to continue their studies.
Email can be used in a variety of ways to engage your students. Examples include sharing success stories or collecting feedback from them via email.
2. Make an Online Community
Students can use online communities to connect with others, receive comments and support, ask questions, and share their successes.
If a person is a member of a social group, they tend to spend more time on those sites. They can discuss their concerns and gain from the knowledge and experience of others, which keeps pupils from becoming stuck.
Furthermore, making their commitment public on a social platform can help learners be more accountable, increasing goal achievement by 33%.
As a result, there is a compelling reason for you to include a community component in your online course. You can run your community on a social media platform like Facebook or Slack, or you can create a community area on your own website.
3. Provide an Incentive for Completing Your Course
It's kind of nice to get a little more for our efforts. As a result, including an additional reward at the end of your course may encourage more students to complete it.
Certificates are a typical type of incentive. Certificates offer value to students' resumes and serve as a motivator for them to complete their studies.
They are especially effective as an incentive if your course teaches a professional skill.
Online schools like EzyCourse let you issue a certificate for students after every course completion. You can choose different types of certificates and customize them as per your choice. After issuing a certificate students will be able to download it from their dashboard. It will help you to motivate your students even more.
Other forms of incentives might be provided for your course as well. As an example, you might provide anyone who completes your whole course an exclusive discount on your next course or admission to your mastermind group. Or you can provide them coupons for various types of discounts as EzyCourse is providing. With EzyCourse you can set coupons for all courses or specific courses or products. You can also add up to 20 add-on items per product and give unlimited product access to your students. No one has done this ever!
4. Include Small Victories in Your Course
Although having a broader transformation goal for your online courses is fantastic, it's also crucial to reduce that objective into little wins that your students may achieve along the way.
Smaller victories provide pupils with the feeling that they are making progress and keep them from becoming frustrated and quitting. Gamification is an excellent method to add tiny wins to your training.
I recognize that not everyone will have the time or budget to build full-fledged points or badges in their courses.
In that scenario, you may keep it simple by sending congratulations emails to your students after each module or milestone they accomplish, reminding them of what they learned and how they can use it in real life.
If they share their accomplishments with others in the community, you can encourage them.
Regardless of how you accomplish it, what matters is that you understand the value of minor victories and incorporate them into your strategy.
5. Make it simple for students to learn on their mobile devices.
Mobile learning is no more a nice-to-have feature for your courses; it is now a requirement.
Check out the following statistics from the 2019 E-Learning Trends Report:
- Apps are downloaded by 89% of smartphone users, 50% of which are used for learning.
- Accessing training content from a mobile device is important to 64% of learners.
- Smartphone users complete course material at a rate that is 45% faster than computer users.
Hence, while researching online course creation platforms, keep in mind the availability and flexibility of your courses on various devices, including mobile.
Your course should be accessible through a mobile browser at the very least, but it would be even better if you could offer it through a mobile app as well because it results in a far better learning experience with features like offline viewing.
It is also critical that your course content is developed with mobile learners and their preferences in mind.
6. Enhance Your Course Design
The most crucial parameter for user engagement is good content design, which can have a major impact on completion rates. Apart from the quality of the content, the following methods can help you make your course more attractive and engaging:
Make use of visual aids.
Using visuals in your courses makes understanding the concepts a lot easier and more convenient than reading text. The use of visual learning is not only useful for comprehension, but also in improving learning retention and motivating students.
There are other methods to add visuals to your course design, but videos are the greatest (and most popular) medium for visual learning.
Other sorts of visual content, such as infographics, illustrations, animations, and so on can also be utilized, and I strongly advise you to employ several content formats to offer your online course.
Your course should be interactive
Your students may lose interest if your course consists solely of videos or pre-recorded information. In this instance, you should make your course content more interactive.
The simplest method to accomplish this is to use quizzes and tasks throughout your course. It helps students to receive feedback on their learning and keeps them engaged in the course.
To take interaction to the next level, consider hosting live Q&A calls or coaching sessions as part of your online program.
Make modules that are bite-sized.
A normal student's attention span during a lecture is estimated to be around 10-15 minutes. As a result, if your videos or modules are too long, it may be difficult for your students to understand everything at once.
Furthermore, we discussed mobile learning in the previous section, which emphasizes the importance of bite-sized learning modules.
7. Utilize Premium Pricing
Some students enroll in an online course despite having little interest in the course material, and as a result, they do not complete it.
Selling your course at a higher price point is one of the best ways to avoid these non-serious students.
Premium pricing, in addition to weeding out non-serious students, implies a higher investment from your students, which generally leads to a higher commitment to your course.
8. Identify the causes of student dropouts
You won't be able to enhance your completion rates unless you know where and why your students are dropping out of your online course.
Looking at your course analytics will be the first way to find out where your students are getting stuck. You should try to figure out if there are any particular lectures in your course where students are dropping out.
Alternatively, you could examine the video analytics and identify the drop-off points in your course videos.
Asking your students what's causing them to drop out is another effective way to find out the reasons why they're dropping out. Alternatively, you can send a survey to all course participants.
Instead, you might just send an email to people who haven't made much progress, inquiring about their difficulties and how you can assist them.
When you've identified the exact barriers that are driving your students to abandon your online courses, you'll be in a much better position to develop an engagement plan based on the best practices outlined in this article.
There's something very important that I want you to remember before we end. Although it is good to have a bigger goal for your completion rates, you need to remember that student engagement is something that needs to be continually improved.
As a result, you'll need to take small steps to gradually raise your course completion rate and eventually attain your objective over time.