Experts (i.e. Irvin et al., 2007) emphasize the importance of motivation in learning. Being able to learn is as important as wanting to do it. Audiovisual and interactive materials encourage the desire to learn, but this is not the only point of online learning that makes students to be more motivated. Motivation is a key element in online teaching, and online learning platforms have several characteristics that contribute to student engagement.
What are the reasons why online learning platforms increase student motivation?
#1 Time and geographic flexibility
It is common not being able to do a certain training because you cannot attend the lessons: they do not take place during your free time, the teaching center is too far or it is impossible for you to get there. In online learning, you can learn anywhere, anytime, and if you use a smartphone or tablet, you can even do it while commuting or waiting for something.
Online teaching allows students to bring learning into their daily lives in such an easy way. They can set their own schedules and choose where they want to study.
#2 Learning customization or adaptive learning
Given that each student starts from different prior knowledge, each student might take different times to learn the same concept. By using an LMS or online learning platform, each student can take the time they really need to the course and insist on those aspects that require it.
Moreover, in online training it can be easier to give the students freedom to choose what they want to learn and how they want to do it, which is a great incentive.
#3 Social learning
Traditionally, online learning has been associated with autonomous study, but nowadays technologies offer us endless possibilities to create an online student community.
Thanks to online training platforms, it is possible to create conversation groups with or without a teacher, talk with other students through chats or forums integrated in the learning platform and create communities to address topics that have no relation with the object of study. In this way, the student never feels alone, as can sometimes happen in autonomous learning.
Gamification adds learning a fun element that increases student retaining. It is an exceptional way to recognize and highlight the achievements of a student or a group of them. In online training, making the student receive a badge or trophy when they have met certain conditions. In this way, it is possible to create achievements by competences or skills and automatically make rankings among peers.
#5 Performance improvement
Numerous studies (i.e. Freeman et al., 2014) show that the use of active teaching strategies or learning by doing relates to better academic results. In turn, when students verify that their work is useful and that they learns quickly, their motivation increases.
Through a learning management system or LMS it is easy to include activities that follow active teaching strategies, that is, activities on which the student does not only receive information passively but must take part and act.
Computer Aided E-learning platforms encourage all these aspects and enhance student motivation. However, CAE understands that it is possible that the student is reassured by dealing directly with a tutor. Therefore, CAE platforms are equipped with the necessary software to teach lessons or answer questions live.