How to Improve eLearning Course Completion Rates
Feb 28 2019 - 5 MINS READ

After you’ve gotten employees or students enrolled in your eLearning courses, there remains one more obstacle to overcome: keeping them motivated and engaged enough to actually complete the course. Let’s talk course completion rates.

Recent studies indicate the average completion rate for online courses for training and education are 40% or less.

It’s easy to simply say every learner is different and you get what you give when it comes to any class or training, but these kinds of statements indicate an unhealthy and unproductive mindset.

Finding ways to support students throughout the learning process is critical to their successful completion.

Honestly, your direct support is more than likely the only way that they are going to finish what they started and recommend your products to friends and co-workers.

Here’s the catch: you can’t just give that followup and support lip service or automate it via a software suit or web app.

You have to create word of mouth buzz about your courses, and you have to create genuine engagement between students, their classmates, and instructors.

Not sure what that looks like? Here are some top tips for improving your eLearning course completion rates.

Establish a Supportive Online Community

In the age of social media, Facebook and Slack groups are the new hangouts between classes.

For those who are furthering their education, developing their skills and completing job training online this is especially true.

Strong extra curricular groups to discuss the class, get extra help, compare notes and celebrate accomplishments are an excellent way to help your learners stay motivated.

More importantly, you’re creating an opportunity for them to connect with you as their recognized authority, and when you join in celebrations and discussions outside of class it only makes that communal bond stronger.

Offer Incentives For Completion

It never hurts to sweeten the deal a little bit as far as making completion feel like a major accomplishment.

For some learners, it’s all about making their accomplishment tangible.

They love printable certificates they can print up at home or work to frame and put up on the wall.

Others value one-on-one time, and so a phone call, Skype or Zoom conference where they get to pick your brain for thirty or so minutes is their ideal reward.

Basically, the greater the value of the incentive to the learner, the higher your completion rate.

Make it about earning and winning a tangible benefit, and you’ll see greater persistence from your learners.

Encourage The Use of Mobile eLearning

Another critical aspect of increasing completion is offering and encouraging your learners to take advantage of mobile-friendly or mobile designed eLearning content.

One of the greatest drawbacks of traditional education and training is it has been fettered by specific timelines regarding when learners were given access to content in class.

Mobile learning allows them to pick up and put down their content whenever it’s convenient for them.

For busy learners who are working full or part-time while taking your course, this can be the key to their completion.

More importantly, everybody needs to take a break on their own schedule, and mobile eLearning creates those opportunities without compromising their ability to stay current and finish the course.

Check out our explainer video for an entertaining rundown of the many benefits of mobile.

Start Live AMAs And/Or Prepared Q&A Sessions

The power of Facebook Live and Zoom video conferencing has been making waves in all sectors of business, and it can prove equally powerful in the world of eLearning.

Schedule live events students can attend if they have completed specific modules in your course to ask questions and provide feedback or get answers about content they may not have mastered just yet.

Whether you run it round-robin where each user logged in gets to ask one question or just go all out free-for-all, your students will feel they actually have some skin in the game.

Personal connections matter, and students need to feel like they are not learning from some faceless entity.

Celebrate The Incremental Victories Along The Way

Among the most important tips for increasing completion rates, celebrating each students progress matters.

Everyone needs recognition for good work, and in an eLearning course that can be difficult to achieve since the learner and instructor rarely connect as a rule.

Achievement badges and progress bars that show learners they are getting closer to the next milestone have proven to be a powerful motivator.

It may not be completely tangible, but recognizing even minor accomplishments of progress along the way helps many learners stay motivated to see their course through to the end.

Final Thoughts

Boosting your completion rate is all about recognizing achievement, celebrating success and monitoring progress.

Start by creating a community that celebrates success and supports the journey of every learner, offer incentives that give learners a stake in successful completion and you will start to see your completion rate rise.

If you need help harnessing the power of mobile to dramatically increase your student satisfaction, we have an excellent, detailed guide here.