BenchPrep Team January 28th, 2020
3 Keys to Getting Learners More Engaged [Webinar Recap]
While modernized learning strategies are frequently discussed, they fall by the wayside too often and are all for nothing if we fail to properly integrate them into our learning programs. Tools like social learning, push notifications, and digital badging are top of mind for effective learning engagement, but are they being applied effectively?
In a webinar hosted by ATD, BenchPrep’s VP of Learning Design and Strategy Joe Miller uncovered the three keys to keeping learners engaged and show how to best incorporate them into your learning programs. Here are some highlights and key takeaways from that webinar.
What do your learners need?
Learner engagement starts with a great user experience. To provide a fantastic learner experience, training programs need to meet their learners’ unique needs. To optimize your training program for learner engagement, ask yourself:
- What kind of learner are they?
- What are their goals?
- Are they low-stakes learners (i.e. a learner who uses Duolingo to learn a new language) or high-stakes learners (i.e. learners going through credentialing exam test preparation courses)?
By keeping your learners’ needs in mind, you will be able to use the following techniques to improve their experience and raise learner engagement.
Competency isn’t enough to engage learners
Confidence is a key player when improving learner engagement. According to BenchPrep data, learners in the 75th percentile for confidence answered 36% more questions than those at the 25th percentile. The top 10% of confident learners answered five times as many questions. By spending more time on the platform, more confident users will transform into more proficient users.
By educating learners on their proficiency levels, training platforms can promote learner confidence and help learners focus on areas they do not feel as confident. Ideally, instead of simply tracking errors, platforms will create personalized learning plans that readjust assessments based on the learner’s current proficiency level. Consequently, learners receive psychological wins to promote confidence and keep them learning on the platform longer.
Great content isn’t enough to engage learners
With today’s latest technology and innovation, modern learners are constantly distracted. On average, people unlock their smartphones nine times every hour. Fortunately, training programs can use that to their benefit. For instance, ProLiteracy, an adult non-profit literacy organization, found that participants who received reminder text messages attended class 25% more often than those who did not.
On the other hand, notifications can remind learners of other motivating factors. For example, IT security certificates build upon each other; so, reminding learners of your program’s real-world benefits can prove motivating.
Finally, gamifying attendance can keep learners engaged. Maybe you offer digital badging to encourage people to attend or award attendance “trophies” for top attendees. Jerry Seinfeld famously motivated himself to write every day by marking an X on the calendar. Then, he tried not to break the chain. This example displays that gamification does not need to be difficult in order to be effective.
Personalized learning isn’t enough
Social learning is another important component when it comes to your learning program. When a platform promotes interaction, it influences social learning and improves learner engagement.
According to Sun Microsystems, employees with mentors were six times more likely to receive a promotion and 20% more likely to receive a raise. These statistics emphasize the importance of providing learners with the opportunity to interact with a more knowledgeable individual in order to reach their full potential.
Our data shows that the average discussion participant is 15% more active than a non-discussion participant. Learners also engage in the material more deeply when allowed the opportunity to discuss the content with others.
Improve user experience, improve learner engagement
Great content does not guarantee learner engagement because it comes from the user’s experience. However, changing user experience is often easier than revising content. To ensure your program provides the optimal learner experience, ask yourself these four questions:
- Can your program send email or text notifications to encourage participation?
- Do learners receive digital badges or participate in gamification?
- Are there confidence gauges throughout your learning content?
- Can learners participate in online discussions or mentorship programs?
Fortunately, the right Learning Management System (LMS) often includes many of these best practices. It can create personal learning pathways, send learners emails and provide a social learning platform. Once you have these systems in place that improves user experience, it will allow the learner engagement to rise.
Curious to see how BenchPrep’s platform can help your learners and your organization succeed? Schedule a demo with us - we’d love to show you more!