16 Jun Engage or Leave: How To Turn eLearning Into A New Hobby
How many of your employees willingly pass the online training courses integrated into your eLearning management system? 30%? Or 50%? How about 80 to 90%? Some would say those figures are just nonsense. And they may be totally right unless they know how to engage.
Here is a funny thing about online training courses: companies usually provide their employees with quite useful and informative content but all their efforts just go wasted once they realize their employees show no interest at all to the training process. At the end of the day most managers realize that it is not only about how sophisticated your courses are, it also matters how engaging they can be. And it matters a lot.
There exists a non-limited list of ways to turn your LMS into a real trend among your employees. In general, the level of their engagement can be enhanced by means of increased interest to the courses as well as employees’ realization how the courses can make them more effective and educated. Four key aspects of online training courses that can bring out both the interest and the sense of effectiveness are motivation, gamification, interactivity and variety. Each of them may seem rather obvious while most companies tend to consider these elements as supportive and do not pay enough attention to their development in the learning programs.
Motivational tools that influence employees’ willingness to participate in the online training programs imply all kinds of attributes of the LMS as well as guiding efforts. Thus under the LMS attributes we understand interface friendliness as well as built-in reward programs. Surprisingly digital play money sometimes may be even more excitable than the real one. Though no one of course would deny the effect of the real life reward, be it financial or just recognition among the colleagues / top management. As for the guiding efforts, people always agree to something easier if they are shown how to and when to. So little reminding notifications and guiding instructions can increase the engagement level a lot.
It’s no wonder that gamification has become very popular recently. We stay children forever, and games still excite us whether we are five or fifty. Saturation with play element may differ according to the course type. Thus if the course structure allows there can be a complete imitation of a computer game. If not there can be business cases where you have to try some role play or there can also be competitive attributes.
The courses would also benefit a lot if they include interactive elements. Employees tend to get bored very fast if they just need to listen to the instructor on the other side of the screen. They need to feel that they have to react somehow to the words of the instructor influencing the course of the learning program depending on the way they digest information.
The last element that would eliminate employees’ boredom is variety. And it’s not only about the variety of subjects and topics. Different types of information demand a variety of formats. Some pieces of information should be visually compelling, therefore theoretical presentations together with lectures can be of use. Others need to place the learners in the circumstances where they have to try their skills on practice, so business cases and simulations would be better.
Those four elements (motivation, gamification, interactivity and variety) may be indeed supportive, of course they cannot compete with the content and quality of LMS, but online training courses is still a two-way action, and the engagement level always steadily rises once all of them are considered.