5 Types of Online Course Tools That Will Increase Engagement and Completion Rates

As you are building your online course, one of the most important components in your program will be your online course tools.

Your online course tools are strategically placed after the teaching video components and are the downloadable pieces of your course that help your students implement what they are learning. The online course tools will help your students practice and perform their new skills so they really understand the information (and can utilize that information in their day-to-day life).

Examples of tools in an online course include worksheets, checklists, templates, case studies, scripts, and cheat sheets.

In this blog post, we will share 5 ideas for different types of online course tools you can include in your course or program to increase engagement and, most importantly, help your students get the results they are looking for.

5 Types of Tools to Include in Your Online Course

Reflection Journals

This online course tool will help your student reflect on what he or she has learned so far in the online course. Reflection journals are helpful because they connect the student to their internal “why” and will allow them to reflect on the course material in a deeper and more meaningful way.

There are many ways you can format reflection journals. For example, at the beginning of an online course, you can ask the student to reflect on why he or she is committed to learning and taking action. You could also provide a quote related to the learning material and ask them to reflect on what that quote means to them.

At the end of an online course, you could use a reflection tool to ask your students to reflect on their work in the course, including their challenges, successes, and areas they would like to continue improving moving forward.

Reflection journals are perfect for courses that include personal growth, like leadership programs.

Examples: In a leadership program, one of our clients included a reflection journal at the end of each module for the student to reflect on what they learned and how that topic plays out in their day-to-day roles.


A script is an online course tool that helps your student craft a conversation, whether it is in person, on the phone, on a video call, or by email. Scripts are valuable because they help a student prepare and practice ahead of time. They also alleviate the anxiety of having to craft something from scratch.

Scripts are a great fit for many types of courses, including courses that teach sales, leadership, personal growth, management, marketing, and more.

Examples: One of our clients, a personal growth coach for women, included a script in her online course to help her students practice crafting conversations around boundaries. Another client, a leadership coach, included scripts in his course to help a new manager interview his or her boss to understand expectations for their new role.

Examples of tools from our internal programs and our client’s programs

Role Plays

One of the best ways to learn anything is to get off the computer and try it in real time! Role plays are an effective way for your students to use the skills they have learned in your course in a fun and interactive way.

When you are setting up role plays or hands-on projects, make sure to share clear, step-by-step instructions in a format that is easy for your students to use “in the field” wherever they are completing the projects.

The key aspect of a role play or hands-on project is to provide a rubric for your student to evaluate how they performed.

Examples: In a customer service related course, one of our clients added role plays to each module to help students practice their new skills in a simulated environment and gain confidence in their abilities to handle questions and conflict. After the role play, they used a printed rubric to evaluate their performance and discuss what they learned with their partner.


Sometimes it is most helpful to see exactly how someone else would implement the thing you are learning to do! If your topic lends itself to step-by-step instruction, a video tutorial could be a perfect fit.

While video tutorials alone are helpful as online course tools, it’s also important to include time stamps and written instructions along with your video walkthrough. Course creators often leave these elements out, and with technical content, it can be extremely frustrating (and time consuming) to find a specific section in a long video.

Examples: Tutorials are a good fit for courses that include cooking demos, yoga or other exercise, public speaking, crafting or art, and highly technical course topics like coding or app design.

Infographics and Other Visual Tools

If your course includes a lot of information that is organized around a central goal, it might be helpful to provide a visual tool or infographic to help your students better understand the course content. This could include a timeline, flowchart, or other visuals that outline the key topics or themes in the course. Visuals like these are also helpful to highlight any modules or content that are related or interdependent.

Example: In our own programs, we like to include “wrap up” visuals or infographics that help participants see the bigger picture and how what they’ve learned in each module fits together.

For example, in our High-Converting Webinar Masterclass, participants use the Webinar Structure Formula (shown above) throughout the program to fill out each step of their webinars. At the end of the course, this visual becomes their reference as they record their webinars.

Next Steps

Online course tools are a critical part of your online course because they help your participants move from absorbing new information to actually practicing it and using it in their lives.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you consider your online course tools:

  • What does your audience need to reflect on in order to have a revelation around this topic?
  • Are there any activities that would help them gain real world experience in what you’ve taught them?
  • What would be most helpful as a “companion” to this teaching?

Will you use one of these types of tools in your online course? Let us know in the comments below what kinds of tools you are thinking about including in your program!

Need more examples and support around crafting tools and helping your people take action in your course?

Our Create 6-Figure Courses Virtual Bootcamp will walk you through the steps to outlining your course, choosing the tools you will create, and then creating your content so you’re ready to upload to your learning portal.

Click here to learn more about the program

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