E-learning was already on the rise way before the global health crisis. Now, the measures businesses took during the pandemic have cemented it as the new normal of corporate L&D.
Read more: How the pandemic transformed L&D
One of the greatest challenges for instructional designers and learning specialists is ensuring high rates of learner engagement, especially in the online learning environment. Along with other relevant metrics such as the number of users, course completion rates, and learner feedback, it is essential to also look at learner engagement.
While these are not so easily translated into monetary value, they are highly important for the success of any L&D program. Here are some tips for making sure that your business LMS supports learner engagement.
In the early days of learning management systems (LMSs), there wasn’t much you could do, and what was possible tended to be overly complicated. However, UX advancements make it a lot easier to create effective courses.
Let’s take polls as an example. These are highly popular features and make for excellent interactivity. It’s wise to use polls for information repetition and retention and to gather feedback from learners.
Your LMS can use differentiators to group learners into audiences and then run a self-assessment where, using polls, employees can answer about their experience and skills before and following the e-learning modules. Furthermore, polls can gather feedback from managers, team leaders, and coaches.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve talked about the need to create personalized learning. It’s what adult learners require and the only way to ensure the best results.
Can you completely personalize your LMS to cater to each individual employee?
Of course not.
However, there are plenty of features that guarantee an individualized experience for each user. Curating content for individual teams, organizing modules into playlists tailored to various learning paths, actively listening to find relevant subjects, and catering to arising needs are all effective ways to offer LMS personalization. You can also customize the interface to better appeal to various preferences.
The point is for each learner to feel that the experience was meant specifically for them.
3. Group learning
The traditional way of deploying corporate training was in organized groups. It had its downsides, as it costs a lot more and the logistics were usually very complicated, but it also had a perk – social learning.
Adults learn better when they are not entirely on their own. Initially, going through the courses by themselves is fine, but adding some social activities following will help give learners the chance to discuss and practice the new information.
You can set up online rooms, forums, or any other collaborative learning spaces within your LMS to get people sharing and improving their experiences.
Social learning is particularly useful in remote global environments as it helps cement relationships and allows new hires to know and pick the brains of senior employees.
4. Gamified learning experiences
It’s no secret that gamification elements are winners when it comes to learning, online or in person. Modern LMSs offer almost infinite possibilities for gamifying both the content and the learning experience.
Badges are the easiest way to signal both completion and recognition, and they are highly engaging. These should be easily showcased outside the LMS, in email signatures or corporate intranet profiles.
Another good way of driving engagement up is to organize content into levels that can be unlocked only if the previous modules have been successfully completed (and with a certain evaluation score). Doing this will keep the learner involved and striving to move further in the experience.
The amazing thing about game elements is that they may require effort but make the process entertaining.
5. Content curation
There are so many amazing resources available on the internet, and it’s almost daunting even for the most motivated individuals to know for sure they reach the best ones every time. It’s very hard to know exactly what’s relevant, what you can’t afford to miss, and what’s not that important.
This is where content curation comes in, and thankfully, modern LMSs have all the functions needed to make this easy. That being said, it’s the job of L&D specialists to maintain an active role in this endeavor.
Sure, you can set up relevant sources and keywords or phrases to ensure that when new pieces of content are published, they also get included in the LMS library. However, besides adding new material, the old one needs to be periodically “weeded out”, otherwise learners will be overwhelmed.
LMSs were created out of the need to automate learning. However, fulfilling that initial purpose is not enough. In the age of the internet, globalization, and the biggest shift in the way people work, it’s essential for learning to be targeted and engaging. Incorporating the five items described in this article in your LMS will achieve precisely that.
Raluca Cristescu is a Faculty of Letters graduate with over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.