When it comes to eLearning, the main focus should always be on learner experience.
Why? Because even the best content and subject matter expert you can find can’t fix a poor learning experience. When learners can’t easily navigate material, digest information, and use the features you’ve built in, all your development work goes to waste.
Engagement is essential. So before you even begin working on an eLearning course, you have to take the time to fully understand what type of engagement your client wants learners to achieve from several different angles.
First up, let’s talk about engaging with the course’s actual material.
Your clients are the experts when it comes to material. They probably know exactly what content their learners need to take in. The question for you (as the designer) is, “How can I get learners to interact with this material?”
There are several ways to approach that question.
-Think about logical problem solving. One way learners can interact with material is by working through scenarios in which they have to solve a problem.
-Consider presentation. Sometimes that means using a task-oriented explanation, a checklist, or bullet points that make for easily digestible nuggets of information.
-Prioritize the important things. Place high concentration around hard-to-grasp objectives and leave the “nice to have” features lower on your list.
Next, consider how the material will impact engagement between peers.
When the subject of your course goes from theory into practice, it will often times influence how peers and co-workers interact with each other. With this concept in mind, it’s a good idea to include situational engagement within the eLearning course to prepare learners for these interactions.
You could approach this through:
-A discussion area in which learners can communicate with each other and ask questions
-Engagements that foster collaboration, such as a blended learning approach that has learners apply the eLearning content in a classroom setting
-Problem-solving scenarios in which the learner has to engage with a fictional co-worker during the course
Finally, think about how the leader of the training can increase company engagement.
An Engaging Instructor
Whether fictional or real, the narrator has an opportunity to increase the trainees’ engagement with the company. Personalize your course instructor to make it look, sound, and feel more authentic and custom for each unique organization.
You can do this by:
-Incorporating a message from the CEO
-Using a company mascot as the narrator
-Getting insight from a trusted subject matter expert
-Incorporating the company’s goals and mission
When the training is done, you can keep the conversation going by having a company leader meet with trainees to address any questions, troubleshoot, and show company investment in employees. Or, for supervisors, this could be a way to foster trust with their teams.
The Answer: How do I make my eLearning course more engaging?
Keep your focus on learner interaction. Skip the fancy tools that aren’t really effective. Strive for engagement with the material, between peers, and with the instructor/company itself. If you can do those three things, learners can get the most out of the course you’ve put together.