How to increase engagement with personalized online courses
Personalization is ubiquitous in online services, with consumers accustomed to seeing targeted recommendations for music, videos, search results, people to follow and items to buy. Although used primarily as a marketing tool, personalization has the potential to revolutionize engagement in online courses and create a tailored, compelling experience that encourages learners to achieve their study goals.
What do you want to learn today?
A student may feel overwhelmed when greeted with a long list of lessons, wondering where they will find the time and energy needed to complete their course. A combination of micro-learning, where learning is broken down into manageable increments, and personalization to filter content to fit learners’ needs is ideal to prevent information overload.
With microlearning, a course is broken down into bite-sized chunks so that information can be absorbed and retained more readily. It offers flexibility for working professionals or students with time constraints, as they can complete a lesson without needing to commit a large amount of time at once. Personalization can further prevent information overload by narrowing down all of the content available to display only the lessons you need to focus on now. This can be determined through testing or the student can choose which areas they want to focus on, and participate in related lessons based on their relevance, skill level or area of interest.
According to Wharton research from the University of Pennsylvania into consumer purchasing patterns, there was a 50 percent increase in purchases by people who were shown personalized recommendations compared to those who weren’t. Wharton professor, Kartik Hosanagar, said this is because personalization “exposes you to a lot more items you like, so you consume more than you used to before.” When applied to online learning, the incentive to consume more – that is, complete more lessons - through personalization can positively impact course completion rates, which are approximately 10 percent on average industry wide.
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