How to encourage student participation in online classrooms

April 6, 2023 By Sonya Trivedi

There’s nothing more perplexing than posing a question to your class and returning to your online learning platform to find that no one engaged with it.

Many students start with a tremendous desire to learn. But over time, they lose focus and motivation to be engaged in the class.

We looked into the topic in more detail and compiled five great ways to encourage student engagement online. In the following article, we’ve also highlighted some helpful features in Moodle LMS to bolster further participation.

Why student engagement matters

Online education materials have been around for decades. The internet has enabled students worldwide to break geographic barriers and learn new, wonderful things. But it also quickly became an overwhelming content library with endless educational materials not catering to learners’ experiences and needs.

Furthermore, the lack of communication and feedback in online learning settings could make students feel left out without access to materials when needed. According to a Statista study on how technology supports college-level learning experiences, 53% of students responded with either “Not as good” or “About the same” compared to offline learning.

At Moodle, we are committed to enabling teachers and learners to do better. Creating an interactive and engaging learning environment for students is essential for their development and this is at the core of Moodle LMS.

Moodle is based on social constructionism, which is the idea that people develop knowledge in a social context. Moodle advocates for creating a collaborative community of learners where they learn by observing, participating, and engaging with their peers.

To implement this concept into the platform, Moodle combines key elements of synchronous and asynchronous online learning methodologies, providing a platform that encourages student interaction yet allows learners to proceed at their own pace. Creating an interactive and sociable learning environment for students is essential for their development.

How to boost engagement in online classes

Here are some of the key ways to help you boost conversations and increase ‌engagement in your online classes.

1. Initiate seamless conversations

Provide autonomy to students by asking for their opinions on the platform’s discussion forum. Make sure you frequently post thought-provoking questions to keep the conversation flowing. Utilizing your LMS’ message boards and forum spaces can help participants interact and exchange knowledge in a safe and nurturing environment.

Intuitive plugins like the Moodle Board ‌allow students to share their findings with others in a fun, easy-to-access manner.

2. Gamify the learning with badges and certificates

Gamifying your learning is likely to boost engagement and prompt students to be proactive. Fill your learners’ journey with interactive quizzes, badges, certificates of accomplishments, and leaderboards. The friendly interface and dynamic rewards are excellent ways to motivate students to engage more with their peers because they will showcase their efforts and make them proud of their achievements!

Additionally, design your LMS interface to be more user-friendly, considering different relevant themes and plugins. The Ludic plugin, for instance, helps you develop ‌course content and navigation screens with engaging visuals replacing the plain buttons and drop-down menus.

Make sure the experience is fresh and snappy to enhance collaboration. Learning is a lot easier when you’re having fun!

3. Show, don’t tell

Following best practices popular in storytelling, we recommend to use visual elements as much as possible to aid your textual or verbal descriptions. Whiteboards, simple graphics, and topic-based videos capture attention and tend to keep participants more engaged.

However, one should be careful not to overstimulate the students. Maintain a steady pace throughout your class and encourage feedback in real-time.

You can use tools like Moodlenet to curate a compilation of resources for students to access easily. Learners can follow along with these collections and keep themselves informed on the topics without waywardly wandering the web to find relevant materials.

4. Monitor student progress and communicate

Most LMS tools usually have detailed user data tracking and monitoring features. These can include reports on course completion, ‌status, student activity, etc. Metrics like these can be valuable indicators of areas where students excel and those where they seem to be struggling.

Some of the alarming indicators can be as follows:

  • Individuals spend excessive time on a particular aspect of the course
  • Individuals may not engage with important materials at all because they are skipping them.

These indicators can help you identify which students are probably disengaged from the activities on the platform. You can then take steps to reach out to offer assistance to make sure they have a fruitful and enjoyable learning experience.

5. Be Social

We recommend creating a social media group for the learners to connect outside the online education platform. Nowadays, everyone is on mobile, and you shouldn’t miss the chance to be too!

Encourage them to interact and share interesting aspects of their regular life, such as hobbies, hidden talents, fun things, etc. You may need to lead the conversations first, but learners tend to quickly open up when they see your genuine efforts for their success.


Maintaining an engaged community of learners on an online learning platform can be challenging. The lack of a shared physical space can be daunting for most students and teachers. We hope you got some insightful tips on increasing student engagement.

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