How To Improve Learner Engagement With Your LMS

Today’s blog comes from Totara’s very own Kayleigh Tanner – find out what Kayleigh has to say about learner engagement and your LMS and some of the simple changes you can make to improve it.

Well done, team! You’ve created an amazing learning management system, it looks beautiful, it’s up and running and… nobody’s really using it. This is an all-too-common problem for many organisations – they can build the best LMS in the world, but if learner engagement is low, was it really worth the time and money?

The good news is that all is not lost – you already have an LMS filled with great content, so now you just need to make sure the right people are using it. There are many reasons for a lack of learner engagement.

Do they know it exists?

Often, learners aren’t even aware the LMS exists. They may be turning to Google or their colleagues for answers they could easily find on your own system, or may be struggling to acquire a new skill independently when there’s the exact e-learning course they need a few clicks away.

If this is the case, it’s time to launch an internal marketing campaign. Promote the LMS in your internal newsletter, on the intranet or in dedicated mailshots. Ideally, this would be part of your pre-launch activities to raise awareness before it’s even live, but you can also start post-launch to drive engagement. You could even put up posters in the kitchen or meeting rooms to catch people’s eye – sometimes traditional methods can stand out against all the digital noise your learners will come up against every day.

Do they know why it matters?

A key reason many learners don’t engage with an LMS is because they don’t understand why it’s important. Perhaps your organisation’s culture doesn’t typically focus on training, or maybe they feel like they already know everything they need to do their jobs. If this is the case, you need to show them how the learning will benefit them. Consider enlisting some early adopters to provide testimonials explaining how the learning has helped them.

You could also pull out some impressive statistics from your LMS’s reporting block to demonstrate how the courses are helping people improve their performance – for instance, saying ‘60% of people who took this course received a promotion within a year’ or ‘Mastering competency x enabled 85% of learners to achieve y’ is much more compelling than simply telling people to do the training.

Are there technical issues?

Sometimes, technical issues are the reason engagement rates remain low. Can everyone access the LMS from their various devices (particularly if you operate a BYOD strategy)? Are there browser compatibility issues? Can your IT infrastructure support the learning? Are there security risks?

Ensure your L&D and IT teams are in constant communication throughout the LMS design, implementation and rollout process – they may spot a problem you may not have considered. They will also be able to ensure all of the systems integrations are working properly, meaning important data isn’t lost between systems.

Are they motivated?

No matter how well optimised your LMS is, sometimes the learning content itself is boring, uninspiring or irrelevant. Think about adapting your learning with multimedia content, real-life scenarios, quizzes, gamification and seminars. Having to work through content they already know can also be demoralising for learners, so consider putting diagnostics in place to ensure everyone only sees the learning they need to do. Setting goals within the LMS is another way to encourage people to progress through their learning plans, giving them a tangible end result and a better understanding of how the training ties into their overall performance.


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