In this 3 part series, we’re exploring how to reach the highest level of engagement from your learners in their digital learning experiences. We believe in the concept of facilitation, the process of supporting and guiding learners as they develop and apply new skills and behaviors. Great digital facilitation is cyclical in nature and includes three different parts: planning (described in part one), doing (explored in part two), and measuring (this post) which also leads back into planning for your next course iteration. Learn more about the metrics that matter most to facilitation below.

Facilitation Blog Series: Part 3 – Metrics that Matter

The time is here. After thoroughly planning your facilitation, choosing your facilitator persona and actively engaging with your learners, you’ve finally reached the most fun part of the facilitation cycle –

Ask yourself “was my facilitation successful and how can I improve for next time?”

Our students aren’t the only ones who learn during a course experience. Learning in the flow of work applies to digital facilitators too. Whether you’ve done a little facilitation or devoted a whole team to it you can answer the above question by focusing on three key metrics: completion rates, engagement results, and survey feedback to determine the effectiveness of your facilitation. And remember, great digital facilitation is a cycle! While learning more about the metrics below use the data to inform your facilitation plan for version 2.0 of your course experience.

Course Completion Rates

A high course-completion rate is a coveted metric among learning and development professionals. If learners aren’t completing your course they aren’t making any behavior changes! Even basic facilitation of your online course can lead to an increase in your completion rate by increasing learner motivation and accountability. How can you improve yours?

Course completion by itself is an important metric, but it can also be illuminating to get more granular by asking a couple of questions:

  • How many people were “non-starters,” and never engaged in the material even after intervention emails? Sending out some individualized intervention emails can help here.
  • Did you see spikes in course progression and completion after you sent out certain communications?
Weekly engagement report for our Foundations of Learning Experience Design course

Learner Engagement

High course completion rates don’t happen magically. They are usually driven through high learner engagement and motivation – what facilitation is all about! Depending on the structure and content of your course, there are many ways you can measure the engagement.

Here are a few questions we like to ask our data to learn more about this important metric:

  • Was there more community interaction (discussions, comments, questions asked during the live events) each week? Compared to the last course run? An example of what such an analysis may look like is shown below.
  • Did learners continue to complete the assignments each week?
  • Did you have high attendance at your live events?

Learner Satisfaction

Learner satisfaction in online courses is intimately tied to how likely a learner is to apply what their new skills to their jobs. Great online facilitation should increase this metric. To measure this, there is nothing more valuable than a well-crafted survey. Give your learners permission to tell you how you did. When crafting facilitation effectiveness survey questions, think back to the facilitator persona you chose from blog post 2 and the specific actions you took.

Here are a few great survey questions to dig into the effectiveness of your facilitation:

  • How would you rate the effectiveness of the teaching team’s emails? (1-10)
  • What did you find most valuable about the community and what could use improvement? (text field)
  • How valuable did you find the live events? (1-10)
  • What enabled or prevented you from reaching your learning goals? (text field)
  • How likely are you to recommend this course to a friend or colleague? (1-10)

What did YOU learn?

As management thinker Peter Drucker says “what gets measured gets improved” and online facilitation is no different. In addition to the above metrics, you gather once your course is complete, make sure you take time for some self-reflection as well. Were there certain activities you really had to coax people to complete? Did your facilitation plan run smoothly? Did you put in as much time as you wanted to?

Remember, facilitating is an iterative experience. Each time you facilitate an online course, re-read this blog series to find ways to experiment – come up with a new plan, try a different facilitator persona, or find new metrics to measure. Just imagine how successful your learning experience could become!


Want to learn more about how to create engaging learning experiences and see the best practices of digital facilitation in action?

Enroll in our free, 5-week online Foundations of Learning Experience Design course and join a group of 8,000+ alumni from across the globe who have gained core competencies in creating effective learning experiences for their organizations using digital pedagogy and instructional design best practices.

If you enjoyed this content, be sure to read our Engagement Plan article.