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A quick guide to learner engagement - header

A quick guide to learner engagement

Keeping learners engaged is a major challenge for L&D.  Our most recent blog “A quick guide to learner engagement” looks at how you can employ to boost engagement by applying the right learning strategies.

Countering disengagement

We quickly forget what we learn if we don’t practice and apply it.  Yet all too often training consists of one-off events with little follow-up on how effective they’ve been.  The focus for a lot of training is completion rather than successful application in the workplace.  If training is disconnected from work, learners will fail to appreciate its relevance and switch off.

To tackle learner disengagement, you need training material that is enticing, stimulating, and relevant to the work learners do.  It needs to be continuously and easily accessible and sit within the workflow.  Switching its focus to application and performance makes learning more relevant and engaging. 

12 strategies to promote engagement

  1. Set clear goals: Learners need to be clear about what’s in it for them.  Set transparent goals and objectives.  Once learners know what training involves and why it’s relevant to them, they are much more likely to engage.
  2. Incentivize Reward engagement.  This can be in the form of digital badges or CPD points.  Give these rewards currency by linking them directly to career development and personal performance plans.
  3. Digitize learning: By using digital learning to deliver your training you appeal to the way modern learners prefer to learn.  Incorporate interactive elements like quizzes, role plays, and scenarios.  With digitization learning is liberated from the classroom, becomes widely accessible, and can be moved into the workflow.
  4. Appeal to the senses: Digital learning delivers training in a variety of media.  Video and animation make learning visually attractive and stimulating.  The more senses you appeal to the more information is likely to stick and the more learning preferences you cover.
  5. Make learning a game: Introducing game elements like challenges, scores, instant feedback, and goals stimulate the desire to learn and perform.  Badges can be awarded for the achievement of tasks and points recorded on a leaderboard introducing an element of competition.  Gamification has been shown to improve motivation and make learning more attractive and retentive.
  6. Personalize: Tailoring learning to individual learners’ needs makes it more relevant.  This requires identifying what a learner needs to know to perform a task, their previous experience, and their training record.  Based on this data you can create personal learning paths with access to a wide array of content that allows learners to chart their own way through training programs.  
  7. Give learners control: Digital learning gives people options about how, where, when and the pace they learn at.  It gives learners more control over their development making them more responsible for their progress and more likely to engage in training.
  8. Adopt microlearning: Try microlearning as an alternative to unwieldy and impenetrable traditional training programs.  Delivering learning in small chunks that can be searched for and accessed at any time better suits the needs of busy employees who want to learn that is time sensitive.  Microlearning can be used as part of spaced practice to fix learning in the memory.
  9. Improve access: Make digital learning available on mobile devices.  Mobile learning connects people with information no matter where they are.  Training becomes accessible within work and is directly linked to the context in which it’s applied.
  10. Learn together: Performance improves when people work and learn together.  Use apps and learning platforms with social channels to facilitate collaborative training activities and assignments.  Social learning promotes teamwork and sharing knowledge, experience, and expertise reflecting how we learn in our non-working lives.
  11. Evaluate training: You can use analytics tools to monitor uptake and engagement with digital learning.  Analytics allows you to assess what’s working and what’s not and make adjustments and interventions.  Trigger automated notifications, reminders, and recommendations based on data gathered from learner interactions to nudge learners to engage more with the training they require.
  12. Embrace continuous learning: Improved access to and delivery of resources plus the ability to take control make learning a continuous process instead of an episodic event.  Learning becomes part of employees’ general working objectives and the barrier between training and working disappears.  A culture of learning encourages positive learning behaviors.

The rewards of greater engagement

Improving the scope, quality, and relevance of learning makes it more effective and helps learners see its relevance to their jobs and career development.  Adopting digital learning improves access to content, delivers personalization, and brings training into the workplace.  With open access to learning resources employees can take charge of their own development making them more engaged and improving their morale.  Making learning continuously involves a commitment to engaging learners and inspiring them to perform better.

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