How to Engage Your Audience, and Make Them Love Learning

Just completing an online course is a major challenge, let alone integrating or meshing what you learn into your life.

Or maybe finishing isn’t a big deal to you? Maybe you feel like you already got the essentials without going through all of it? What are the real reasons people don’t finish?

Let’s Take a Poll.

How To Create Engagement

Boosting engagement is going to take better coaching, and better technology.

Danny Iny of is doing it. He recently re-launched his Course Builders Laboratory, and the unique selling proposition is that its real education, not just information. Danny has clearly built a quality course, because he built a team to coach students at scale. That is admirable, but building a coaching team could be a tall order when getting started. Here’s a simple idea. Start with well structured peer groups.

Related article – Why should a course leader care if students finish?

Live events create an easy opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals who can support one another on their learning journey. So how can you create a similar environment with an online course? How can you setup a base camp so dedicated people show up and find each other?

The problems we are trying to crack are…

1. People find it hard to get to know one another without meeting them in person. True. Getting to know each other virtually can take a lot of work. So coach your students about why making the effort is import. Get them enrolled into the idea of a virtual community who can empathize with one another.

2. You have to use a variety of software. You want to make it easy for people to get to know one another. So video conferencing might seem good? Should I use GoToMeeting? Should I run a Facebook page? Not everyone is comfortable in front of their webcam. And Facebook pages are great, but they don’t help students “focus.”

Few online course software platforms make it easy to manage a course, and a community. Teachers want the best of a learning management system, like Udemy. And the social management of a Facebook page. If you are trying to figure out how to sell online courses, you are not alone, these are common problems.

My team at are working to solve this problem. The platform is in private beta. It includes features like progress tracking through lectures and action steps (assignments). The key differentiator of the Heroic platform is the base camp feature for groups. The platform makes it easy to build engagement. Afterall, half the fun is getting to know your sidekicks on your heroic journey through the course.

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In my experience, small group conference calls are the easiest way to sustain group engagement over the long run. The power of the human voice, and intentional listening is incredible.

Here’s how to get your members to the base camp. Remember, they didn’t sign up to learn how to create a team.

But you are going to make it easy for them to do exactly that. Make it easy for members to support each other’s transformational journey through your course.

1. Provide specific coaching about why groups are important, and define exactly how the teams will work.
2. Don’t suggest tools, provide the tools that are necessary to connect. Don’t make your members do any extra work.
3. Run a survey to get the information that will help you create the best teams.

Here are questions I use for consistently creating awesome groups:
• what are your best call times?
• are you ok working with just men or just women?
• do you consider yourself in a phase of discovery, or more on the scale towards mastery?

Launching structured peer groups is less intensive than building a coaching team. Remember to first enlighten your students about why teamwork is valuable. Teach them the power of keeping their word to their team. It not only creates accountability. It creates transformational results your students will love.

Stay tuned for more articles on other technical ways to engage users.

Josh Race is a writer and community leader, technologist, husband, and father. He writes about learning and innovation, especially the impact of structured groups have on personal performance. He is also the founder of The Heroic Platform for Online Course. More at