eLearning Strategy: The Ultimate Way To Engage Your Learners
As you build your eLearning courses, it’s important to not only make sure you’re keeping the learner’s interest and that you’re keeping them motivated, but also that you’re getting out the best results from the learners. So what’s the solution? An engagement plan! More exactly, you will find the way to achieve this purpose through a simple method: the ENGAGE model.
What makes an experience engaging?
An eLearning experience is likely to be engaging for learners if one or more of the following is true:
- There is some type of challenge involved.
- They must make decisions.
- They can explore.
- Mistakes are allowed.
- Learning is fun.
Why engagement is necessary in eLearning?
Too many eLearning courses are “page-turners”, where learners simply read through heavy-text screens. Engaging eLearning courses are necessary because they are most likely to keep learners interested and mentally stimulated during the course.
What is the ENGAGE Model?
The Engage Model is a method for designing learning that drives action, while also delivering results. This new six-step model was originally designed by Vicki Hasley to revolutionize traditional workplace learning. But, we think this new model can also revolutionize eLearning training sessions. Ultimately, the goal of this model is to get learners truly engaged and connected.
E: Energize learners. Energize and focus your learners early and often throughout the session.
N: Navigate content. Navigate content to have students personally experience some aspect of what you are trying to teach. Focus less on what you are presenting and more on how you present it.
G: Generate meaning. Generate meaning by asking students what they've learned and how does it make a difference in their lives. This step emphasizes relevance and encourages people to turn knowledge into action.
A: Apply to the real world. Relate what they have learned in the real world by allowing them to practice it.
G: Gauge and celebrate. It's key to assess how much students have learnered. Moreover, you need to celebrate and recognize those achievements in fun and interactive ways.
E: Extend learning to action by helping your students act on their intentions. This means take learning to action by guiding students in their tasks.
How to implement the ENGAGE Model:
Ready to launch your first course based on the ENGAGE MODEL? Follow these 5 steps, and you'll reap the benefits of a successful and engaging eLearning course!
Step 1: Get to know your audience
Take time to study the characteristics of your target audience: interests, expectations, skills, prior knowledge, how they learn, among others. In order to stimulate curiosity and stir up desire from the very start, you need to know whom you’re talking to.
Step 2: Present relevant content
Once you’ve established the profile of your learners, define the content of the course considering their interests and needs. Make eLearning courses crisp with relevant content. Remove any unnecessary content so that the learners can remember only the important features. It’s fundamental to place the course content in a context where it makes sense for the learner. At the end of the training, students should have acquired new knowledge or skills that they can apply in their daily work.
Step 3: Integrate review and practice activities
Follow the progress and performance of students during their training through review activities. Take advantage of the dynamic and interactive eLearning environment by including games, simulations and quizzes or knowledge checks. Remember, if you want engaged eLearners, they must see the value in what is available and what is asked of them—and they must spot that importance quickly.
Step 4: Include case studies, scenarios and examples
Vivid cases must be made throughout the course. Provide examples, illustrations, case studies and common situations (both positive and negative) that support the development of the information. Make sure the student fully identifies with the characters, settings and themes addressed in each case or situation. Using testimonials or showing a problem that reminds participants about why they should care is a great way to start. For deeper learning, have participants involved in Real-Life Scenarios where they can observe a situation they might face back on the job. Afterwards, ask students to use their new skills to solve the problem.
Step 5: Simplify the course navigation
Having a clear navigation where learners know how to go from A to B intuitively is key. Include instructions and buttons to facilitate navigation through the course. Make sure the student is able to move quickly between screens in a simple and intuitive way. Using clear menu navigation so that learners can understand their progress within the course is also helpful.
Step 6: Support
One of the most important key motivational factors in eLearning is to provide the students with material to use once the course is over. Help learners review and reengage by directing them to a shared practice community where they can comment on what the course taught or providing handy cheat sheets to refer to as they apply new information and techniques to daily tasks.
Roundup: We encourage you to create courses where students don’t just passively receive information. Make the courses active and thought-provoking. Modules and screens should always be spiced with opportunities to do something, to reflect on and use the information to make decisions, recognize errors, or to contemplate implications. It’s all about how the learner interacts with the content.
Do not wait ... apply the ENGAGE model and get the best from your students this upcoming 2013! That's all there is to it! Once you notice that your learners are coming back for more, you can be sure you were successful engaging them.