It’s the E word again! Libby Webb gives TJ five ways to improve your learner engagement.
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For most organisations, determining the success of a training program comes down to the calculation of its Return on Investment (ROI) and whether employees’ newly imparted skills have affected their performance. But for many others, there is one other thing that separates an effective training program from a not-so-effective one – engagement.
Student engagement is a widely discussed concept for both online learning and face-to-face learning in the classroom. Student engagement tends to be viewed as the level of interest students show towards the topic being taught; their interaction with the content and their peers, and their motivation to learn and progress through the course.
Enhancing learner engagement
Engaged students become active learners and a lot of the techniques implemented for face-to-face learning can also be used for digital opportunities. By ensuring your organisation offers compelling learning experiences, you can help students to master content to then apply what they’ve learned in the workplace.
Engaged students become active learners and a lot of the techniques implemented for face-to-face learning can also be used for digital opportunities.
There are many learning analytics tools on the market which help organisations observe when learner engagement drops off. And whilst this goes a long way in helping to inform future learning design, there are also a handful of other strategies that can help ensure the content and courses you deliver assist in enhancing learner engagement.
Facilitate social learning
Social learning functions, such as like/share buttons, chat forums and message boards go a long way in helping learners to test their knowledge, share their expertise and take ownership of their learning.
It has been a characteristic of digital learning opportunities for many years and is often favoured as a way of enhancing learner engaging because of its learner-centric approach, its competency to trigger effective collaboration/teamwork within the workplace and its ability to encourage self-organisation among learners.
Use a variety of teaching materials
For effective workplace L&D, the ‘one size fits all’ approach really doesn’t work. Personalisation for online learning has become one of the industry’s biggest trends over the last couple of years – and with good reason. The learners within your organisation are likely to favour a different learning technique to their peer.
By moving away from a purely content-driven learning experience, experimenting with other rich media formats, such as videos and podcasts, you can ensure a learning program that appeals to the majority.
Use a variety of teaching techniques
Just as most learners respond differently to certain learning materials, the same can be said of the various teaching techniques available for digital learning. From self-directed and micro learning, to goal-based and problem-based learning, there is surely something to suit everyone, each of which come with their own benefits for retaining information and enhancing engagement.
Encourage reflective practice
Encouraging reflective practice at the end of a course, module or even a piece of content is a great way of increasing user engagement, ensuring users are interacting with the material on the course. Reflection can occur in many forms, for example, ‘liking’ a piece of content or writing a description of what they liked/disliked about it.
This sees learners thinking back on what they have learned, how they might perform their new skills in the workplace and what other information might be helpful to further impact their learning journey.
For workplace training, particularly sales training, gamification techniques which play on a person’s competitive streak have proven to encourage learners to consume another piece of content or complete another activity.
Small incentives, such as badges and leaderboards, add a sense of fun to the whole learning experience and see more learners moving onto another activity where they might have otherwise dropped off.