Ratings And Reviews In eLearning: 8 Reasons Why They Are Important

The Importance Of Ratings And Reviews In eLearning

eCommerce websites have long since sworn by ratings and reviews to increase traffic and conversions. For nearly 3 decades, reviews have been every shopper’s go-to resource while making a purchase. When it comes to eLearning, however, many of us don’t take course ratings and reviews as seriously as we would for a product. Perhaps, that is because of the belief that students are able to judge the quality of the course by going through the course material, so why bother with a review. This belief is, however, completely false.

Ratings and reviews matter in eLearning. A lot.

The eLearning market is projected to reach $182 billion by the end of 2017. There are over 700 Learning Management System providers alone; the number of eLearning websites is measured somewhere in tens of thousands! In this crowd, creating a mark of your own is no longer a piece of cake.

The eLearning scene is witnessing competition more intense than ever, and ratings and reviews are central to the picture.

Want to know how? Here are 8 reasons why ratings and reviews are important in eLearning:

1. Reviews Create Your Online Reputation

Ratings and reviews are instrumental in creating and maintaining your online reputation. Every review added by your current, or past students, about your course helps build transparency between your potential students and the website. In fact, even a few negative reviews do not go amiss either, rather, they add to the authenticity of the course. The way you handle negative reviews is also a marker of the professionalism of your website, and influences your online reputation.

More than 80% users say that they trust online reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation. eLearning thrives on personal recommendations. If connecting to 10 students gives you another 50 leads at the very least, think what a genuine review could do for your course!

2. Ratings Are A Proof Of Reliability

Unlike a physical product on an eCommerce website, where customers can view photos of the product or even request a demo, eLearning courses have only their content to rely on. In such cases, people naturally become hesitant to shell out money for courses that seem unclear or ambiguous. Ratings lessen this seeming unreliability by providing a clear view of what the course entails and whether or not it fulfills its claims.

Going one step further, ratings and reviews also provide a proof of the authors’ teaching capabilities and whether the course material, teaching methodology, and course management are suitable to a particular person.

3. Reviews Help Online Branding And Marketing

Ratings and reviews are a free marketing tool for your eLearning website, provided you are keen to add genuine reviews. As the number of positive ratings and reviews increases, so does the student enrollment, which ultimately translates to increased website presence. Reviews are by themselves an excellent way of showcasing the best qualities of your course, without spending a dime on boosted posts and Google Adspaces. Way better than paying someone for writing a positive review that sounds fraudulent, eh?

Reviews on external websites add even more value than those on your own website. For instance, if a review for your course is featured on Quora, or any other third-party review website, your online presence is effectively doubled.

4. Ratings And Reviews Improve Search Ranking

Have you noticed, whenever you search for a particular product, some of the customer reviews about the product feature in the search results as well. Go on, try it out. I’ll wait.

The same holds true for eLearning as well. In fact, at times, the review even features before the actual course page does. This is because the review automatically targets all the right keywords that your potential students are looking for.

In addition, Google considers all reviews are original, rich content for the keyword in question, which increases the likelihood of ranking better in organic search results.

5. Ratings Affect Conversion Rate

In a continuing vein, the high number of reviews and a better Google page rank ensure that the conversion rate on the website increases, as well. It is necessary to understand that conversions do not occur only due to positive reviews.

As a matter of fact, 87% of the customers trust an average 3/5 rating more than they would trust a 4/5 or 5/5 rating. On the flipside, too many negative reviews can also be off-putting, as they can raise questions about the credibility of your course. Striking a balance is the key here.

6. Reviews Increase Student Loyalty

Genuine reviews offer a clear glimpse of the virtues and the flaws of the course. Your students are perfectly aware of what to expect from the course and what not to expect. Since there are no hidden surprises, they love you all the more (not that a good surprise is unwelcome :P).

It is observed that when your reviews reflect the transparency of your course, student retention is more. In addition, they have no qualms about recommending it to their friends, which, in turn, improves relevant traffic and generates leads.

7. Reviews Aid Market Analysis

An indirect use of ratings and reviews for eLearning is that they help in analyzing the market you are creating courses for. For instance, if you notice a number of students adding the same suggestion in the review/feedback, you know you need to incorporate the feature as it increases your student reach.

In addition, the relative number of ratings for your courses can help you gauge student interest, and design courses accordingly. You could even accidentally stumble upon a great idea for a course from the reviews for your existing courses!

8. Reviews Encourage Reviews

Lastly, reviews encourage reviews. Your students are eager to share their experiences, good and bad, with the world. Give them a chance to do so. Not only is it beneficial for your potential users, but you can learn quite a bit about the course yourself too. A third-person perspective goes a long way in increasing the standard of your courses, and ensuring that it does well over time. Ratings and reviews in eLearning are like an avalanche, they need that first boost to get rolling.

Endnote

It is evident from this discussion that ratings and reviews have an important place in eLearning. Integrating ratings and reviews into WordPress LMS plugins like LearnDash, or even a standalone Learning Management System, like Moodle, can go a long way in increasing the trust factor of your website.

What do you think? Any other reasons to include ratings and reviews in eLearning? Let us know in the comments section below!

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