Online learning has become an essential part of corporate training in recent years. However, just like its traditional in-classroom counterpart, it accompanies a few cons, such as poor eLearning engagement, that create barriers to implementing it effectively or quickly.
Every team or department contains a mix of employees with different skill sets, roles, and productivity/performance levels. In terms of learning, you have those always ready to participate in upskilling or reskilling programs and others who hesitate to engage in training programs.
Whether this is due to introversion, workload, or a lack of interest, modern L&D teams need to solve the problem of disengaged learners, especially in online or virtual environments.
Are You Worried About Learner Disengagement in eLearning Courses?
Here are 5 amazing tips to boost learner engagement and participation online:
- Prioritize just-in-time bite-sized learning
- Stimulate Deeper Discussions with Blended Learning
- Encourage collaboration
- Ask for regular feedback and address technical issues
- Make courses interactive and rewarding
In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the challenges of online learning that lead to poor engagement and satisfaction. We’ll also share five tips or strategies L&D teams can use to address these issues.
The Paradox of Corporate eLearning
Online corporate training came to the rescue for thousands of businesses during the pandemic lockdowns and closures. It allowed businesses to equip their remote teams with the tools and solutions they need to carry out their daily tasks.
Moreover, video conferencing, chat, and other collaboration solutions, such as Microsoft 365, Google Workplace, Zoom Meetings, etc., enabled management to facilitate near-real-time information exchange.
Whether through a dedicated microlearning course or short VILT sessions, remote training has clear advantages. These include quicker rollouts and updates, anywhere-anytime access, and self-paced learning. However, they come with a few challenges of their own in terms of engagement, such as:
1. Lack of Interaction
Undoubtedly, self-paced learning from anywhere is incredibly convenient. However, we cannot undermine or overlook the isolation it brings, especially for remote workers who already have to spend a considerate amount of time in front of their screens.
Yes, VILT sessions help teams engage, but even then, many employees feel left out if teams don’t provide sufficient interaction opportunities, such as group projects, Q&A sessions, and sharing.
2. Online Distractions
While passive learning isn’t always unreliable, it can slow down knowledge transfer. When learners don’t have to interact with the content or instructor, they’re vulnerable to distractions and going down the digital rabbit hole for hours at a time. This is mainly because traditional eLearning design isn’t dynamic. Therefore, employees have little or no interaction opportunities.
3. Poor Digital Literacy
The pandemic showed that apart from the Gen Zees, most employees had a difficult time adapting to remote technologies and infrastructures. From a learning perspective, not being able to use learning management systems or microlearning courses effectively can derail the learning experience.
Moreover, many traditional eLearning solutions are outdated. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to expect full engagement and participation without facilitating a seamless experience.
How to Increase eLearning Engagement, Participation, and Performance – 5 Tips and Strategies
Now, that you’re up to speed with the key challenges of remote or online learning, let’s check out some highly sought-out ways to address them:
1. Prioritize Just-in-Time, Bite-Sized Learning
One of the main drawbacks of traditional online courses and sessions is their duration. In the post-pandemic digital age, employees already have busy routines and piling tasks to deal with. Adding a long, complicated training program on top of that will only demotivate them. Even if it doesn’t, the overwhelming amount of information will be too hard to retain, recall, and apply in real-world situations.
This is why microlearning has become so popular, as it offers just-in-time, bite-sized learning. So, you can leverage a powerful authoring tool for making short videos, infographics, and other digital learning assets to ensure learners only have access to short, concise information at their fingertips. Popular tools include EdApp, Vyond, Animoto, Canva, Crello, etc.
2. Stimulate Deeper Discussions with Blended Learning
One of the best ways to eLearning engagement is to complement your course with in-person or virtual sessions. This blended approach effectively combines synchronous and asynchronous communication you can use to stimulate employee discussions during the learning process. For instance, you can offer them a digital course for self-learning and summarize the concepts during VILT or chat sessions.
Many tools, such as EduMe, allow L&D teams to create microlearning courses and facilitate internal communication via chat or conferences in the same solution. However, you can easily use conventional solutions, such as Microsoft Teams or Google Workplace products (Meet, Docs, etc.) for this purpose.
3. Encourage Collaboration
One of the main reasons online learners don’t actively engage or participate in training is the lack of connection. Therefore, you need to facilitate a virtual training environment that helps employees communicate and collaborate with their peers.
Moreover, you don’t have to compromise on interactive or personalized learning elements due to the influx of modern solutions that can replicate and even enhance the perks of traditional learning. These include:
- Online discussion forums or boards for real-time formal or informal communication.
- Text, audio, and video-based feedback for clarifications and peer expertise.
- Simulation tools, such as Adobe Captivate and ITyStudio, enable scenario learning with zero risks.
- Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex can facilitate online presentations, debates, discussions, and online projects.
4. Ask for Regular Feedback and Address Tech Issues
One of the main reasons learners don’t engage or participate in eLearning courses or programs is simply because they’re unable to. Modern solutions can be extremely tech-heavy. Thus, you have to proactively work on your team’s digital literacy to ensure they’re ready to use the required solutions to improve their capabilities.
Secondly, you need to address other concerns your team may be facing by asking them. However, this doesn’t mean you need to ask them directly every time. You can create a short survey to chat session to get their views and use your LMS or authoring tool to modify your content accordingly.
This way, you give employees more control over their learning, which can raise their attention spans and improve engagement quickly.
5. Make Corporate eLearning Interactive and Rewarding
Leveraging gamification into your delivery or assessment strategy is another great way to boost eLearning engagement, participation, and performance. Gamification may sound daunting at first, but some tools can help you accelerate the process and upgrade your course with gamified quizzes, branching scenarios, progress-based rewards, and leaderboards.
Popular options include SAP Litmos, TalentLMS, eloomi, CoreAchieve, and uQualio, to name a few. Besides keeping employees motivated and engaged, gamification enables instructors to keep tabs on their performance to incentivize them further using fun and healthy competitions.
So, there you have it – 5 ways to solve the problem of disengaged online learners. You can maximize eLearning engagement, participation, and performance to support your business goals and objectives with this information. At the same time, your team can overcome the challenges they face when learning remotely and improve their capabilities quickly and more effectively.
With hybrid or blended learning becoming a norm in the post-pandemic digital age, you can only find what works for you and your team in maximized engagement by testing different strategies and solutions.
If you are planning to go for blended learning as your corporate training strategy, download this eBook to unravel the secret formula to arrive at the perfect blend.