See No eLearning, Hear No eLearning, Speak No eLearning
The statistics surrounding learner engagement with eLearning remain very concerning. According to the CIPD’s latest report on eLearning, whilst over three quarters of organisations are now utilising eLearning, only one in three report that most employees take it up, and only one third of these complete their eLearning. These results show little improvement from the CIPD’s 2011 study.
So how can we ensure our eLearning programmes generate learner engagement and the productivity gains desired? No rocket science is required, rather just the thorough application of a common sense, people centric mindset will ensure you of the best outcomes.
Here’s our top 10 tips to maximise learner engagement in your programme:
- Use blended learning models delivered through a centralised LMS – stop focusing on eLearning and design and develop a learning strategy that utilises all available learning modes to best effect to support your specific learning objectives and outcomes.
- Provide clear positioning and communications with visible executive support – as with any learning and change programme you need to invest efforts in reaching out to your learner audience to provide the important business context for the learning and, of course, the WITFM (‘What’s In It For Me?’).
- Hold learners accountable for progress and performance – blended learning models offer the opportunity for you to empower learners to take more accountability for their own learning and its outcomes and people will typically be much more committed to something they feel they own for themselves.
- Offer interesting, relevant, high quality content – content, content, content is the key. The ease of production of eLearning often means that quantity prevails over quality. Resist this temptation and invest the same rigour on the design and production of an eLearning course as you would an instructor-facilitated workshop. Make it 100% relevant, keep the production quality high, and make it interactive.
- Bitesize, just-in-time – people are increasingly time pressured and they want what we call ‘J3 Learning’, that is just-in-time, just-enough, and just-for-me. Avoid unnecessary content and remember that pictures can paint a thousand words.
- Mobile access – as time constraints become harsher we all try to maximise the use of our time away from our normal place of work and this is where mobile really helps us make use of otherwise downtime.
- Build in diagnostic and mastery feedback mechanisms – help people understand what they don’t know/need to know and give them the opportunities to recognise what they have learnt. Knowing what you don’t know saves you wasting time and evidencing your improvements motivates further learning.
- Gamification & rewards – we all like a challenge and an element of competition, and no more so than in our learning endeavours.
- Make it social – we can often learn more from our peers than the experts so provide people with the opportunities to network and learn from each other.
- Make it mandatory – Left till last but this is the surest way of maximising learner engagement but it’s not always possible or appropriate. Research shows that if eLearning is mandatory then typically two thirds of the intended audience will complete the learning.
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