Welcome to Part 4 of the 5 Tips to Rock the Learner Experience blog post series.

This blog post series explores learner experience design practices that every course creator should master if they are serious about creating profitable, high-value online courses.

Learner experience design is the process of creating online learning that provides meaningful and personally relevant experiences for online learners.

Why? Because the learner experience is vital to the instructional design process and product.

So today we’re going to explore yet another aspect of learning design that will help you significantly improve the learning experience for your online students – The Course Social Experience.

But before we start, just a quick recap. In Part 1 of this series, we dissected the Course Kick-Off Experience. In Part 2 of this series, we examined the Course Visual Experience. Part 3 focused on the Course Instructional Experience. And in the Part 5 of this series we’ll cover The Course Instructor Presence Experience.

Okay, let’s get down to business and take a deep dive into…

Tip #4 – The Course Social Experience

Let’s get one thing clear. Learning is not an individual achievement. Learning is a social achievement.

This is as true today in our advanced technological era as it was when Socrates tutored his pupils under the olive trees, (or at least that’s how I like to imagine it).

So how can you create a learning environment that fosters social interaction and community engagement in an online course?

This is probably the #1 question that I get asked by my learning design clients. Many of them are convinced that if they move their face-to-face classes or live training events online, they will sacrifice the social aspects of teaching and learning. And they are generally skeptical when I assure them that this doesn’t have to be the case. It just requires adding specific ed tech tools and activities to an online course.

So here are some of my favorite activities for promoting social interaction and community engagement in online courses. I’ve also added some tips for tools that support these activities.

If you want to get your online students socially engaged and create a community ‘feel’ in your online courses, these suggestions will help you achieve those goals.

Social and Community Engagement Activities and Tools for Online Courses

Okay, that wraps things up for Part 4 of this five part learner experience series. Be sure to tune in for the last installment in this series when we’ll look at the The Course Instructor Presence Experience.

Please share your learning design for instructional experience tips in the comments section below. Have a question or comment? I’d love to hear from you.

Got a learning design, online course or web design project you want to talk about? Let’s chat about it!

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