Engaging the Modern Learner: Tips for Instructional Designers
Today's modern employees put great value on continuous learning opportunities at work. They are willing to put in all the effort to develop their careers, but they also have high expectations from any training course they attend. So what can L&D departments do about getting them engaged into the learning process and make the most out of each training session?
Go on demand
Training and learning doesn't happen just in a classic training setting, at fixed schedules. It needs to be accessible anytime, anywhere. So you should make it available on all devices, online and offline. Your employees will learn better at their own pace. Business LMSs have plenty of features to offer when it comes to e-learning and online training.
Keep it short
If you want your employees to really learn, you need to focus on microlearning. Offer small bits of information that can be assimilated easily and put into practice right away. A short piece of training material a day will be just right; it will neither overwhelm the learner nor make him lose interest.
Make it personal
All employees learn in different ways and come with such different packages of prior knowledge, that it's practically impossible to create a training course that "fits all sizes". Personalized learning paths allow you to set a targeted learning track for each employee depending on his/her level of understanding and prior acquired skills.
Nothing beats interaction
Most of the new information from a course is forgotten within a month from the training. Employees need to participate in training courses in an active way: raise/answer questions, solve tasks, debate, argue. That's the only way to achieve better retention rates. In the case of online courses, don't be shy and use the debate, forums, and group discussion features.
Create a resource area
If you want employees to like your courses and want to know more, create a space where you can share information, arrange web resources or documents by topics, and encourage your learners to contribute. Learning management systems offer features such as e-portfolios, resource areas or libraries, where you can put relevant training materials for everyone to access.
Make it fun
Training should be fun and challenging. It's a bit hard to offer mugs as prizes in an online environment, but let the games begin. Stars, points, badges, titles, virtual trophies... gamification is the talk of the town. We are all kids inside and we still enjoy competing. With a little help from an instructional designer, any training can turn into a tournament.