How to Increase Student Engagement in Online Learning?

Online learning is an exciting area of education and professional tutoring, but it comes with several challenges. Students can become easily distracted during online classes, and if your students lose focus, the session becomes stressful for both tutors and students.

But how do you increase student engagement and make the online classes engaging for students so that you can increase student engagement and retention?

Let’s take a detailed look at what student engagement is and learn tips on engaging students in online learning.

Why is student engagement in online learning important?

Student engagement is all about students’ focus, motivation and interest when attending your class. Tutors can clearly understand when student engagement is present and when it’s not. So, before learning how to increase student engagement, let’s look into why student engagement is important in online learning.

Engaging students through group discussions and activities will help them to better interact with each other.

Engagement activities also nurture the communication skills of students.

Student engagement activities can help tutors identify the students who contribute to a class and to what level.

Student engagement in online learning improves student performance and nurtures student’s creativity.

Effective ways to increase student engagement in online learning

As we have already mentioned, student engagement describes the level of attention and curiosity that learners show during the learning process. 

If you are looking for how to increase student engagement, you need to understand that engagement in online learning may take many forms. For instance, learners can take notes, exchange questions and answers, indulge in group activities, and take part in interactive learning activities. 

Now, let’s look at some of the easy-to-implement ways to engage students in online learning.

Incorporate fun online engagement tools in your classes

If you are looking for how to engage students in online learning, you must use the right online engagement tools. If you are struggling with ideas, look for activities that most of your students love and see how you can implement them in your virtual classes. 

This could be easily achieved if you use video communication software like Zoom or Lesson Space with functionalities to incorporate interactive learning.

Virtual whiteboards, breakout rooms, live polls, question upvotes, etc., are some of the features you can implement during your live sessions.

Encourage active participation and discussion

In your virtual online classes, create opportunities for your students to talk to each other and exchange ideas. To implement this, you can create small groups of 4 or 5 students in breakout rooms and ask them to review a subject that you have just discussed in class. 

You can ask one of the students to report back to the class to summarize the concepts or results.

Create fun and interactive quizzes

Creating fun and interactive quizzes is another effective way to increase student engagement in online learning. Students would love to get competitive when you give them a chance. You can add several quizzes with class tips and fun basic knowledge using multimedia like videos.

Quizzes can be used for different purposes, like gauging prior skills, monitoring and offering feedback, evaluating the effectiveness of teaching, and recalling concepts.

Incorporate asynchronous learning whenever possible

You can incorporate asynchronous learning through self-paced online courses to allow students to reflect more on their contributions and remain engaged throughout your online classes.

If you use tutoring software like Pinlearn to build your online tutoring platform, you can host both live classes (both one-to-one and group classes) and self-paced online courses.

Allow students to find solutions

Instead of offering spoon-feed knowledge, allow students to come up with solutions as well. Dedicate 20 minutes towards the end of your live session to allow students to engage in the class by solving minor problems, which will also help them track logic. You can teach basic concepts, ask them questions on complex situations, provide case studies, and allow them to create experiments.

Leverage different content formats

To boost the engagement in your virtual classes, use different content formats. As students’ attention span is less, you must ensure you catch your learners’ attention in the first 30 seconds.

You can add infographics and use different types of interactive elements like short explainers.

By using the interactive elements, you can structure the learning materials and improve learner engagement.

Add gamification for healthy competitiveness

Adding gamification elements to highlight individual students’ achievements and encourage students to perform better.

For example, you can create a leadership board and give badges for different levels of achievement.

The popular language learning platform Duolingo uses this feature that users have accepted. These features motivate learners to get badges and complete more lessons than they intended. With these gaming elements, users must aggregate points to perform specific tasks to collect points that help them rank higher.

Engage learners during live sessions with live reactions

Most online tutoring platforms allow participants of video sessions to use live reactions like emojis, thumbs up and down, applauses etc. These reactions are shown right next to their face so tutors can understand how students perceive the information.

Build communities and chat groups

Even if you use engagement elements and activities in the online classroom, you must create online communities and forums to encourage curiosity and build a safe space for questions. Add open questions for discussions and polls to keep your online community alive. You can also create chat groups, probably WhatsApp groups so that students can ask questions, engage each other and share insights.


Student engagement in online learning is as important as creating excellent lessons and learning experiences. Keeping students engaged is relatively easy, especially if you follow the right strategies and techniques and use the right online tutoring software with features that can help you increase student engagement.

Pinlearn, the advanced online tutoring platform, can allow you to host online live sessions with interactive and gamification elements that would increase online student engagement. We can help you get started; comment below to contact us.

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