How to keep degree apprentices engaged: 5 top tips

Follow these 5 top tips to keep your degree apprentices engaged.

How to keep degree apprentices engaged: 5 top tips

Degree apprentices spend most of their programme learning at work, and just 20% of their time learning on campus or via virtual classrooms. This means keeping degree apprentices engaged is even more important – and a little more difficult – than with traditional undergraduates.

Here are 5 tips you can follow to make sure degree apprentices stay engaged:

1. Invest in apprenticeship software

Without an apprenticeship software or eportfolio, it’ll be difficult for you to contact your apprentices while they’re off campus – you’ll need to call them or arrange a meeting. But with an eportfolio, you can contact learners to set tasks, schedule reviews and provide support online. A great system will also have tons of built-in features designed to engage learners – like progress dashboards, journals and communication tools.

2. Encourage self-directed learning

In life, we've all become accustomed to self-serve – from self-service support to online banking. We don’t want the inconvenience of calling customer service or visiting the branch when the task can be completed online – and the same can be said of degree apprentices.

With an eportfolio, you can set activities for apprentices to complete online in their own time. They can plan their study around their working week and find all the support they need online – from accessing learning resources to messaging their tutor. Apprentices can also track their own progression, complete self-evaluations and reflect on their own learning – helping to increase engagement and improve knowledge retention.

When apprentices play an active role in their development, they’re more engaged in their programme. Self-directed learning is also a requirement for many degree apprentices to attain a distinction, is considered during Ofsted inspections, and increases the efficiency of your delivery.

3. Monitor progression

Using progress dashboards or reports is a sure-fire way to increase learner engagement. When students can see exactly how they’re progressing, they’re more motivated to complete work and see their totals increase.

If you use an eportfolio, you can set alerts to let learners know what work they have to complete, and if they finish before the deadline, you can set more activities to keep the momentum going.

4. Provide personal support

When tutors show a personal interest in their apprentices, they're more likely to stay engaged in their course. If you use an eportfolio, you can see how all your apprentices are progressing and message them online to offer personal support. You can also use a gap analysis tool to find any gaps in their learning and set specific activities to help them reach their goals.

This level of personalisation not only keeps apprentices engaged, they’re also more likely to complete their course faster and achieve higher grades.

5. Support student wellbeing

Now more than ever, apprentices may need a little extra support and safeguarding. Taking the time to check on learner welfare can really impact an individual’s life – and increase engagement.

With an eportfolio, you can send announcements to all learners offering wellbeing advice and links to services. You can also message any at-risk learners to check in and provide support. Apprentices are more likely to share any issues they’re having and access support online, so your apprenticeship system is a great tool to support both learning and wellbeing.


As you can see, using an apprenticeship software is the best way to keep degree apprentices engaged. OneFile’s apprenticeship software has all the built-in features you need to deliver degree apprenticeships and keep apprentices engaged – from progress dashboards to communication tools. That’s why over 30 UK universities already use OneFile to deliver degree apprenticeships.

To find out exactly how OneFile works and how it’s proven to increase learner engagement, download your ultimate guide to degree apprenticeships.

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.