So, today we would like to discuss about a very important topic that has kept each and every learning and development professional awake at some point of time.
If only it were as easy as rubbing an old lamp, and the Genie granting us three wishes. Learners in eLearning are quite similar to the audience / movie lovers. Each person has his / her own taste and the director-scriptwriter etc. all plan and try to incorporate elements that cater to different people in order to gather more audience.
eLearning plays a similar role in L&D. Where classroom training / instructor-led training fails to catch the attention of the learners, eLearning has the capability to pique their interest to a certain level. However, there are certain aspects that need special attention when it comes to using eLearning to increase Learner Engagement. Here are a few pointers.
- The Subject Matter and its Relevance
So, you have this really great eLearning module that you purchased and wish that the employees would really make use of it. But, in all that excitement maybe you forgot to check what the eLearning module is for? Do your employees even need to learn from it? Or is just for the sake of showcasing that you have deployed eLearning?
For eLearning to be engaging, at first it has to be relevant in terms of the knowledge it can impart. The subject matter/content should be created in accordance to the level of knowledge the learners already have, and it should not be too easy or too complex to handle.
- A Lively Outline – The Goal / Objective / Outcome
What do the learners know about the module /eLearning they access? In some cases, the eLearning just directly jumps into the content, asking the learners to randomly pick a topic and continue. What might happen here is that the learners lose interest from the very onset.
eLearning isn’t always just the catch phrase for learners to be engaged. Learners are people with cognitive ability, so instead of pushing them into eLearning, give them the choice to understand what they are going to achieve by going through the module. Creating a preface, an outline and telling them what to expect as a part of the entire process is a good way to generate interest and in turn ensure that the learners play an active role in learning.
- Advertisement – Market It Well
eLearning doesn’t have to be engaging just because it is deployed on a computer or a smartphone. In order to increase learner engagement, the eLearning has to be packaged and promoted well, or else it would be just like a movie directed and shot well but yet a failure due to lack of publicity.
Create a little hype about the eLearning before it is actually deployed. Internal games, promotional mailers etc. can act as great ways of creating curiosity amongst the learners which in turn can be the key to learner engagement. Many client’s do get stuck on this point and making hype is very important for the success of the course.
- Knowledge Level of the Learners
Don’t go about with the assumption that learners are laymen. Having worked in a certain field for couple of days/months/years, each learner has a different level of knowledge. A generic eLearning module that covers everything from the most basic to complex concepts may seem boring to some. Instead try to assess the audience first. Categorize them to different levels and use separate eLearning modules for different levels.
For some learners, this may act as a boost of self-confidence, or self-realization knowing where they stand and what they need to achieve. This in itself will drive their interest towards eLearning.
- Recognitions & Rewards
Well, eLearning modules have inbuilt capabilities of conducting assessments, grading, awarding badges, and sharing those on the learner dashboards. But, at times those virtual recognitions may not be the only things learners need. What they also need is a face-to-face recognition, a pat on their backs. So, try to organize small yet significant congratulatory events. Just handing over a physical badge can make a huge difference in driving learners towards learning. Today many LMS would have gamification feature which can be leveraged for this.
As L&D professionals, we out to understand that learner engagement actually starts from us. The efforts that go behind it have to be heartfelt, in order to create a connect with learners, more the reason why eLearning content creation cannot be automated.
So, the next time you sit to create eLearning, think what you would like to see and learn before getting started. And if you need some help with brainstorming, you know just where to find the Knowzies Team.