Tut tut…can we be honest? Yes, I’m talking about how hard it is to keep learners motivated and engaged in an eLearning course. If you have been using online training to train your employees, you already know how quickly learners can lose interest in the course and become passive learners. That’s the main reason for including interactivities and other forms of engagement in online courses. And to compensate for the lack of an in-person instructor, of course.
Want to Make eLearning Engaging and Motivating?
- Provide open navigation
- Set clear learning objectives
- Keep it simple
- Add assessments
More in the post!
Why is Engagement Important to Learning?
Engagement makes learning more enjoyable. It also motivates the learner to learn. The level of engagement in the course deeply impacts one’s willingness to learn and apply that learning.
Engagement in eLearning is important because there is no instructor to get them back on track when they get bored or distracted. For effective learning to happen, it is important that learners stay involved and focused during the course
When the learning is engaging, information is absorbed faster and retained for longer. Because of that, learners will find it easier to apply it on the job. Isn’t that what organizations are looking for in their training?
How can you Increase Learner Motivation in eLearning?
Lack of motivation is a major challenge with eLearning. It results in many learners not finishing the course, preferring to leave it midway. This is not to say they are not serious about learning. Most learners do want to learn to do better at their jobs. The problem may not lie with the learner, it may be the course itself that may be guilty – by being too difficult or too boring.
Here are 8 easy steps to increase learner motivation and keep them engaged.
1. Provide intuitive, free navigation
Navigation should help learners find their way easily through a course. A course with issues with navigation puts the learner off right at the start. The navigational function should allow the learner to start, exit, move forward or backward, and return to the main menu when needed.
The arrows, icons, and buttons should be clearly visible. Our job is to make things easy for the learner, to facilitate learning; not to place unnecessary obstacles in his path.
2. Keep it simple
It is often seen that the course looks too busy – lots of graphics, images, animations, and text vying for space. This can overwhelm the learner. Don’t forget the importance of white space. Chunk content well and present it as bullet points and short paragraphs with clear relevant visuals.
3. Set clear learning objectives
Learning objectives inform the learner what they will be able to do at the end of the eLearning course. If the learning objectives are performance-based (as they should be) and will help the learner do their job better, that itself is a huge motivating factor. Ensure the objectives are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
Gamification is a good way to ramp up the engagement level of learners. It helps motivate and engage them by bringing in an element of competition. Using game elements such as scores, timers, badges, etc., is a very useful way of adding engagement to an eLearning course.
5. Connect with your learners
Use video snippets of SMEs or facilitators at the start of the course and at important points throughout the course. The video snippet can show the SMEs or facilitators giving a brief description of what the session is going to be and how it is relevant to their job tasks.
This can break the ice and help develop rapport with your learners. Informal narration and using examples that learners are familiar with will also keep learners interested.
6. Leverage your branding in courses
Consistent branding across your courses will help learners connect with the content. Familiarity is comforting, and it helps develop trust in learners. Here are a few things you must consider about branding.
- Create a style guide
- Consider your global audience
- Don’t use too many colors and fonts
7. Make your eLearning programs interactive
Interactivities in your training will create interest in learners and keep them focused throughout the course. Interactivities can include scenarios, stories, games etc., that will boost engagement. The worst enemies of engagement are boredom and distraction. Knowing your target audience (learners) will help you design interactivities that engage them.
8. Add assessments
eLearning assessments include formative and summative assessments. Using task-based simulations, problem-solving case studies, open-ended questions, and more is a very good way of keeping learners interested and motivated. They also assess the learning and how well the learner has achieved the set learning objectives.
I hope you found these 8 steps useful while designing your eLearning courses. For more insights on how to create the best eLearning course, here’s a handy eBook that will take you through practical insights, implementation ideas, tips and more on eLearning. Check it out!