Online courses and distance learning bring so much convenience as you can study when the time is favorable for you, save on commute time, and choose a course you are genuinely interested in.
Since online courses are motivating and exciting, you would expect that they would have an impressive completion rate. Well, that is not usually the case. The average completion rate of online courses is about 10%. Many factors like the planning fallacy contribute to the worrying statistics.
You have probably had the same experience, downloading an eBook but barely completing it before moving to the next task. But why is it?
Why Is the Online Course Completion Rate so Low?
Course designers have a low completion rate as their biggest headache. With the possibility to hire a professional essay writer by EssayService or any other paper writing service, learners should have an easy time completing any online course. So why don’t they?
Here are some of the key reasons behind the low completion rate of online courses.
1. Lack of Engagement and Accountability
The beauty of online courses is that students have the freedom to learn at their own pace. This, however, has a downside, which is the lack of accountability. This means course completion relies heavily on the students’ attitude towards the process.
No one follows up with the student to check how far they are with their tasks, making it easy for them to slack off. There are also multiple distractions on the internet that can affect a learner’s focus and attention.
The lack of engagement and accountability makes it so easy for students who cannot control their time and focus to drop off. (1)
2. Voluntary Enrollment
Unlike in school or college, where taking classes is compulsory, enrollment in online courses is optional. Students are free to start an online course whenever they find it convenient. Generally, the outlook on online courses is less serious, and it is so easy for learners to even forget about them.
Some will enroll in the course to satisfy their curiosity with no intention of completing it.
3. Course Design and Technical Issues
The attention span of most learners today is short, and you need to create courses that enhance concentration. Failure to keep content sharp by leveraging teaching aids like animations and quizzes will make learners less likely to complete the course.
More so, students are assumed to be tech-savvy. Courses that don’t match the technological proficiency and computer literacy skill of learners will give them a hard time, and they are likely to drop out.
Technological issues such as low internet speed also affect the online course completion rate.
How to Improve Your Course Completion Rate
1. Make the Course Responsive on Mobile
Mobile learning is a leading trend in education. Students leverage mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to access course materials, check Essay Service review and reviews of other essay help services online, and collaborate with their classmates.
You have an edge if you make your content responsive on mobile. Designing online courses that can be accessed on multiple devices will eliminate the issue that causes students to drop out.
By creating mobile responsive content, you also target learners on the go, something that can improve the completion rate of your courses. (2)
2. Create a Detailed Course Description
To make enrollment more intentional, give the learners a comprehensive course description to know what they are signing up for.
The description should include information such as the course’s technical requirements so that they are prepared.
The course length and deadlines need to be clear so that students create schedules they are comfortable with.
Include an estimated time commitment so that learners can decide if it is suitable and plan accordingly. It would be smart to highlight the course content to ensure the learners don’t drop out due to the disappointment of not getting the information they are looking for
Prerequisites are also important as they help potential students understand the skills level required for the specific subject, for instance, if the course is advanced or intermediate level. Finally, give a summary of the project assignments within the course so that learners do not feel ambushed and get discouraged.
3. Build Accountability Into Your Online Course
The lack of accountability is one of the barriers to online courses completion. Building accountability into your online course will empower students to complete it.
Track progress and students will be more inclined to participate in the course and finish it. You can track progress by sending emails or even go the extra mile and provide one-on-one support through video calls.
Encouraging learners to be part of accountability groups or have a study partner will also help. Create an online community to boost the commitment of your students. Setting personalized reminders will also help students stay on track.
4. Offer Rewards
Do not underestimate the power of rewards. Whether it is a shareable certificate, badges, or points, rewards and incentives can motivate completion. They can also increase the popularity of your online course.
Every course designer wants a completion rate of 100%. However, this is not usually achievable due to several factors such as the lack of motivation, accountability, and technical issues.
To improve your course completion rate, remember to create accountability, build a reward system, make the course accessible through multiple devices, and create a detailed description to make learners understand your course better.