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Best Practices for Engaging Online Learners to Stay on Track!

November 18 2015 | (0) Comments

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When it comes to online learning, it’s really important to pay close attention to how your courses are designed in order to keep your learners engaged.   Luckily, there’s a plethora of information on the Internet regarding techniques for designing online learning for employee engagement.   What’s equally important, but not as well recognized,  is the art of managing your learners’ journey, to keep them motivated and on track so that they successfully complete all of their online learning and training requirements.

Whatever the reason may be, boredom, disregard, or something else, sometimes even learners with the very best intentions lack the motivation or determination to complete their training.   Keeping your learners on track goes above and beyond course design and development, and this is when your LMS can really earn its stripes.  Here are a few best practices for using your LMS to keep your learners moving forward to complete their training requirements in full and on time.

1. Provide Blended Learning Opportunities

You may have developed award-winning eLearning content, but sometimes your content alone isn’t enough to keep learner attention.   How the content is delivered can make a difference.   Incorporating blended learning modalities such as instructor-led training and webinars with your online training initiatives offers diversity and change of pace to an “all online approach.”   Live events and webinars present collaboration and informal learning opportunities with peers and colleagues.   These events can be added to your learning paths, scheduled and tracked within your LMS.   Timely email reminders can get people excited about their upcoming events.

2. Incorporate Off-The-Shelf Content

Let’s reiterate, you may have developed award-winning eLearning content, but sometimes your content alone isn’t enough to keep learner attention.  Online learning gives you options. Maybe your learners need a break from page turning?   How about a slick 5 minute video that reinforces your training message?   There are numerous off-the-shelf content providers  that offer short tactical training videos or bite-sized eLearning courses with live training exercises that can complement your own training materials, all without breaking your training budget.  Most LMSs, at a minimum, can launch and track AICC and SCORM compliant courses authored in standard course authoring tools such as Storyline, Camtasia, Captivate and Articulate.

3. Utilize Your LMSs Social Collaboration Features

Social collaboration tools have made great strides in being recognized as valuable assets for learning.   These collaboration tools help people interact and learn from one another as they work together towards a common goal.   Learners can be assigned to unique member-only groups as part of their learning paths; whereby they can communicate, collaborate and share ideas regarding their training initiatives.   Groups can be moderated to ensure that learners are participating in the conversation.  Moderators can post questions for discussion or request that assignments be shared within the collaboration tool for review and discussion.   Group statistics such as course completions or average test scores can be published to encourage friendly competition within the group.

Keeping your learners on track, engaged and motivated to finish their training curriculums sometimes requires a diverse approach, and this is where your LMS can really help.   Take full advantage of those LMS features that offer variety and diversity throughout your learners’ journey to keep them on a forward moving path!

Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.

SuzieD-4About the Author:  Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry.  An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.”  When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.