BenchPrep Team June 4th, 2019
3 Pillars for an Effective Learning Program (Part 1): Learner Engagement
As workers look to advance their careers and keep up in a digital workplace, learning is at the core of the professional journey. For organizations educating today and tomorrow’s workers, that means it’s increasingly critical to get learning right.
According to the Pew Research Center, two out of three working adults have taken a course or received professional training in the last 12 months. To succeed in this environment, training companies, credentialing bodies, and industry associations need an approach that meets the needs of their learners and their organizations.
For too many learning-based organizations, inadequate or outdated courses lead to poor learner outcomes, candidate dropouts, and programs that are cost centers rather than revenue drivers. By embracing learning best practices, organizations can build programs that deliver on the three pillars of an effective learning program to help professionals succeed in the classroom and beyond while boosting business ROI.
In the coming weeks on our blog, we’ll show how organizations can incorporate these three pillars into their own learning programs to create a more modern, effective learning strategy.
Up first: learner engagement.
Better for learners, better for business
You know an engaged learner when you see one: asking questions, completing coursework on time, confident attitude, and prepared on exam day. Simply put, engaged learners are present, active advocates throughout the entire learning process.
For organizations, a successful program starts with engaged students. By creating these connections with professionals, businesses can improve:
- Learner persistence. The learner journey can be long, with professionals often taking a year or more to study for a high-stakes exam. When learners are engaged, they’re more likely to stick with the program, which is a win-win for them and for the organization.
- Professional outcomes. If you’re studying to become a nurse, you don’t just need to know how to answer questions about administering an IV – you need to be able to do it in a patient’s hospital room. Engaged professionals retain information better and longer, so they can perform on the exam as well as on the job.
- Business revenue. By focusing on learner engagement, organizations can encourage more learners to complete their courses, drive repeat business among happy customers, and build a brand reputation that helps attract more professionals – all of which leads to a healthier bottom line.
Creating connections that last with learners
So what does it take for a learning program to hold the attention of a busy professional? Learner engagement depends on connecting with users in three key areas:
- Creating a meaningful experience. Effective learning programs connect the dots for learners between where they are and where they want to go. Your program should help learners understand what’s required to achieve their goals, offer constructive feedback on their progress, and provide plenty of opportunities for them to practice their skills.
- Building their confidence. Without the right encouragement and support, learners can get discouraged and ultimately abandon their efforts. Set them up for success by tailoring programs around their needs and helping them bounce back from mistakes with clear steps for improvement. Giving learners opportunities to interact with one another can also help create a sense of community and motivate the entire group.
- Bringing it to their level. Just as no two learners are alike, their learning experiences shouldn’t be, either. To engage learners, organizations should personalize programs based on each learner’s skills and strengths, while removing barriers to participation wherever possible.
Creating this kind of engagement is no easy task for organizations. Today’s workers have minimal free time to study, are constantly bombarded with stimuli, and each have their own set of needs and priorities. Many learning solutions are also falling short, with outdated learning management system platforms offering learners little insight into their progress and causing frustration and drop-offs.
By using the three pillars of effective learning programs as a foundation, organizations can boost learner engagement and drive greater success for everyone involved. Forward-thinking businesses are leveraging digital tools to meet learner expectations and gain greater insight into their needs, helping them deliver a more enjoyable, effective, and efficient experience.
Watch for part two of our series to discover the second pillar that’s essential for your overall program strategy.
Want to learn more about how to increase learner engagement and drive revenue back to your organization? Check out the webinar below!