Among the many challenges that COVID-19 has posed to the education establishment, how to keep students engaged in online learning is a key question for educators, parents and even learners themselves. With added distractions and the lack of human contact, course structure and content has to work doubly hard to engage all users, with fragile students needing even more support.

Keeping Students Engaged in Online Learning


With planning, modified course design and educational technology tools, courses and their delivery can be structured in a way to help those with difficulties in staying focused and engaged in material. Shorter classes, more frequent check-ins, guiding questions, action-oriented tasks and moments of social exchange are all important factors to consider when designing an online course. As Poverty Action Lab states, one of the steps to keeping students engaged in online learning is to maximize access to material for all students. 

Structural tools can be used to make content both accessible for those with difficulties and engaging for everyone. Audio is one of these. Along with recorded classes, audio and voice enhanced content plays an important part in online course design for remote classes. Having text read out loud relieves learners with decoding issues so they can concentrate on the content, and allows those that prefer to listen the chance to engage in the material in various ways.

Text to Speech is Effective in Keeping Learners Engaged with Content

More than just for traditional school structures and distance learning, voice is an effective tool to keep students engaged no matter where they are, what they are studying, or what resources they are using. Whether for post-graduate, continuing or corporate education, audio allows users to remain engaged and focused on content. Text to speech enhances a wide variety of content, such as coursework, publishing resources, personal reading and textbooks, corporate archives, manuals, and any type of online learning text.

Moving forward from the COVID-19 period, as education gradually returns to normality, and students, administrators, teachers and parents embrace the advantages of blended learning that we have discovered during this period, and begin applying them, the use of text to speech will grow as a way to keep students engaged in online learning.

Download our ebook ‘Designing for Difference’ for more information on how to design effective online courses:

Read the White Paper