One of the major challenges that many organisations often struggle with is that of employee engagement. In today’s busy world, it is an unfortunate fact that not every online learner will be 100% committed to the e-learning experience. We live in an age where our learners have access to more information than they can consume. And while using an LMS (learning management system) opens up your learning and development programme to a variety of new options, making it a richer, more diverse learning experience, creating an engaging online learning experience is still imperative. Whether it’s face-to-face or virtual, there’s no longer a need to rely on the traditional face-to-face ‘lecture style’ teaching methods to ensure that lessons will have the needed impact and levels of engagement.
In actual fact, when used correctly an e-learning platform can indeed increase levels of engagement as there is no longer a need to fundamentally rely on the teacher or trainer to create an engaging environment. If you’re unfamiliar with how to create an engaging learning experience through your e-learning platform, below are some of our favourite ways you can achieve this.
The traditional lecture style lesson delivery typically consists of one person relaying information to a group in a face-to-face setting or perhaps an online live stream. This type of lesson format can, unfortunately, be very easy to switch off from as listening to a teacher/trainer for a long period of time isn’t always engaging enough even with the help of visual aids such as a presentation.
Using an LMS means your e-learning programme can utilise a variety of teaching content. For example, you can try incorporating images, infographics, video and audio clips etc. If your lesson would benefit from the verbal teaching style that a traditional lesson consists of then you could record video clips and break down the lesson into bitesize chunks that could be accessed freely and autonomously.
Making the most of the range of content options gives you the ability to design very specific learning plans and course material that is more personalised to an individual and as a result, grabs and retains their attention.
Short concise lessons
The benefit of an LMS is that users can learn at their own pace and easily revisit the course and course materials if they need to. This works particularly well if your course materials are short and concise containing only necessary information. If you can’t fit everything into one lesson, then split the content up into chapters so that learners can take the time to digest and understand before they move on to the next section.
Lessons that consist of an hour-long lecture style teaching format can often lead to information overload for learners. Consider a microlearning strategy, this learning style typically consists of short bursts of content which usually take under 15 minutes to consume.
Scenario based training
There are a great number of people who learn best by ‘doing’ rather than watching or reading. Catering to this learning style isn’t always easy as it’s difficult and impractical to teach to individuals in a physical group setting. For example, instructing a group of untrained people in a factory setting can be hazardous as they don’t yet have the safety qualifications and essential knowledge to be placed in a real setting.
Incorporating practical, realistic scenario-based teaching (also known as branching scenarios) in your e-learning programme is a powerful way of showing your learners how to apply their new skills in a real-life job situation and risk-free environment. Learners can be given authentic scenarios and asked to work through the problem which they are expected to solve. Any mistakes or areas of uncertainty can be easily managed without danger to the individual or their colleagues.
This type of learning is far more engaging than simply reading information and completing an exam as they’ll need to use their critical thinking skills to navigate their way through the various scenarios and options and is also more likely to be absorbed by the learner.
In any setting whether it be education, work, exercise or simply passing the time, playing a game or adapting what you’re doing so that it becomes a game makes it more fun and engaging! Introducing a gamification element into your e-learning courses is a must if you’re looking to create an engaging learning experience for your learners.
According to Totara, companies that have implemented game-based learning have seen collaboration increase by over 50% and attendance rates grow by more than 20%. Not only does including game mechanics in your courses make learning fun, but it also boosts motivation as users want to successfully complete challenges. Furthermore, you could add rewards and include lead tables to encourage healthy competition and communication amongst users.
Engaging with social elements
Adding social features in your LMS makes learning more engaging as users can like, share and comment on course content. You can create discussion boards where users can interact with one another about the learning, perhaps looking for advice or sharing knowledge and expertise. Creating a collaborative ‘teamwork’ environment encourages users to remain on your e-learning platform, present and motivated.
As an administrator, you gain the additional benefit of getting an overview of what is being discussed by users. This allows you to gain an understanding of what your learners like/dislike and what they want to be included in their learning programme in the future. Taking this information on board ensures that your user’s preferences are being catered to and as a result improves their learning experience, making sure they’re engaged and interested.
Designing your e-learning platform
Creating an engaging learning experience doesn’t just come down to the content. The design of your e-learning platform is vital to promoting an engaging online learning environment. We can’t emphasise this enough - make sure your platform is visually appealing. Take advantage of your LMS’s customisation options to steer clear of a sterile information hub and make sure you make it look interesting and in keeping with your brand.
A poorly designed user experience means that learners will spend ages trying to find relevant content/lessons resulting in a system in which learners quickly lose interest and only engage with as little as they can possibly can. Make sure your platform is easy to navigate with enrolled courses easily accessible to the user. Dashboards that highlight progress and make it easy to find their assigned courses increase engagement. Allowing users to ‘favourite’ their content or personalise their dashboard can also have a positive impact on continuing engagement, as can adding a search function to make finding content even easier.
Mobile learning is a bigger deal than most organisations realise. It represents an amazing disruption and opportunity in how we educate and train our employees. Giving your users the option of accessing your e-learning platform through a mobile device can significantly boost learner engagement as they can learn anywhere, anytime on a familiar device that they’re using every day in their personal life.
Optimise your course materials so that they mirror the type of content that users enjoy viewing on their mobile devices in their spare time, such as videos or interesting bursts of text. The easier it is to access your e-learning platform and the more familiar the learning experience feels, the easier it will be to capture their interest.
Boost e-learning engagement with Hubken’s help
Creating an engaging learning experience can be achieved as long as you’re using the right LMS and working with an LMS provider who will help you realise the full potential of your learning and development project.
Our HubkenCore package is a simple, streamlined way to invest in a powerful e-learning platform capable of delivering on all of your L&D goals. Using a unique SaaS approach, this package has been carefully crafted to include all the features you need in a cost-effective bundle. Click the ‘See It Now’ button below or get in touch with one of our experts today to find out more.