One of the biggest challenges for any eLearning designer is crafting proper training courses to ensure learners are committed to learning and engaged with the course. This is really important when the medium is required to attain the same level of engagement as the traditional classroom training. So how exactly do you ensure your courses offer learners the best of both worlds?
Various ways such as utilizing communication tools and integrating different training activities in your online modules can guarantee maximum engagement. Let’s look at a few of them in detail.
Make learning collaborative:
First, let us fully understand what collaborative learning actually means. Collaborative learning ‘is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams learn or attempt to improve their understanding of a concept together’. Web technologies have been accelerating faster than ever and companies are making use of them in their training to enhance the learning environments. Integrating technologies such as email, discussion threads, and bulletins lets your workforce find like-minded colleagues and collaborate with them with ease.
“Recently when the newly hired sales people in our company were undergoing training, the trainer took up social media as a tool to encourage discussions on various aspects of marketing. He was not only making their life easier but was indirectly prepping them up for the upcoming training sessions.”
Adding social media widgets on your course page, then creating relevant hash tags to communicate information related to the course can encourage learners to engage in topical learning. When it comes to the LMS, you can take advantage of its discussion forum tool to facilitate online communication among the learners.
Today’s workforce requires a different skill-set to work and engage in the corporate world, and besides, companies often demand their employees be team players. In order to bring in a collaborative environment in online modules, you can begin by designing assignments targeted at encouraging discussions.
Keep the content simple and relevant:
The content in your online courses must be like a cookie – short and sweet, crisp and clear. You would not want your subject matter to look dense. It should be simple and comprehensible. Also, your training modules must be organized in such a way that they are in a logical flow and relevant to the topic, instead of being directed toward a particular learner.
“When you hire new employees for your sales team, you should start with giving them basic product overview training. Offering an in-depth training right in the beginning might overwhelm them and may not bring about any improvements in their learning performance. Keeping it simple and relevant is the call of the day for new employees if you want them to be effective sale persons.”
To maintain lucidity and make lengthy paragraphs simpler, prefer using bulleted points. This not just gives them a structured and aesthetic look, but also makes it easier for learners to understand.
Avoid intricate graphics and images:
Let’s admit it. Eye-catching and interactive images make learning immersive. But too many images in an online course not only make it look complicated and clunky, but also act as major distracters to the learners. It becomes imperative that you find a balance between the text and visuals and check whether they emphasize your message.
If you believe the image you are using puts across the point you are trying to make effectively, then its resolution must be taken care of, because images with a high resolution take too much time to load in an online course, slowing down the overall learning process. And this might demotivate your learners and cause to move on from your course.
When you mention images, it is natural to talk about graphics in the same breath. A good graphic design pulls together all aspects of your content (font, color, shapes) and adds fluidity to the overall course, making it both engaging and easy to navigate.
Use gamification principles:
Gamification allows your learners explore information in way that defies conventional learning. You can gamify courses in a variety of ways. One of them is adding badges to your courses for recognizing and rewarding a learner’s performance. You can even create leaderboards to establish a competitive spirit among the learners and challenge them to set goals.
By adding gamified elements to your online training modules, you are engaging them to come back to your courses, leading to continued learning. Other effective ways to engage your learners are using simulations to illustrate complex topics and concepts, and providing instructions to the learner by illustrating what to do next.
Take a look at the gamified course below which will give you an idea of how gamification can both revamp your courses and be insightful at the same time.
If you wish to take gamification a step further, you can map the learners’ journey and present it to them after every module they finish.
Provide timely feedback:
Feedback is an essential part of the overall online educational experience. When you provide instant feedback to your learners on their queries, they can immediately identify which aspects of their learning they need to improve.
In order to make feedback mechanisms effective, you can integrate group activities into your online modules. This will prove to be extremely engaging since it gives learners an opportunity to exchange valuable feedback among themselves. Although these exchanges take place through Chat apps and message boards, they instill a scope for improvement every time they communicate with each other.
In many respects, an efficient online learning packs a punch when everything from the content to concept comes together. By following the tips I mentioned above, you can rest assured the online courses you offer will become more engaging and achieve maximum satisfaction among the learners. Hope you liked the blog. Do share your views.