Making sure learners get the most out of your courses can improve training effectiveness and encourage repeat business. Here’s how you can do it.
5 ways to help your learners get the most out of e-learning courses
Online learning has a variety of benefits. And flexibility is a big one. E-learning courses are great for allowing users to learn at their own pace and in a space that is comfortable to them.
However, online learning has some disadvantages. In addition to the distractions that are inherent to a virtual or home learning environment, using a screen to engage with other learners and instructors can create a feeling of separation and disengagement.
Despite this, it's possible to create an environment where online learners are actively engaged. By doing so, you help learners get the most out of your course materials and their learning experience.
If you’re a trainer, this can help with increased completion rates and a better overall training program. And if you sell courses online, helping learners get the most out of your courses can improve satisfaction and encourage repeat business. Here are a few strategies that ensure learners will get the most out of your courses and retain more information.
Provide continued access to course materials
Continued access to resource material is one of the biggest advantages of online learning. In an online environment, it’s easy to provide ongoing access to past lessons and courses, allowing learners to revisit materials and retake courses at their convenience. However, it often gets overlooked.
Sometimes access to past course materials gets lost in the shuffle of creating programs. But a lot of times its value is underestimated. Because online learning is particularly susceptible to distractions and low engagement, giving learners access to materials they can revisit again allows them another opportunity to absorb information and as a result, retain it.
It gives ample opportunity for learners to study material deeply, make connections between concepts, and zero in on areas where they need additional guidance. These are some things that in-person training can’t provide, so administrators are wise to leverage it.
In addition to providing ongoing access to completed courses and past lessons, instructors can consider creating a repository of additional resources and materials. This self-service repository can not only alleviate admin burden but provide more opportunities for learners to go in-depth with material and get more out of courses.
Create opportunities for collaboration
Collaboration is great because it gets learners out of a passive state of learning into an active one and it can help build a sense of community – something that is really difficult to foster in an online format. Both of these things help learners to be more engaged while learning and, as a result, get more out of course materials.
Passive learning happens when learners hear information from an instructor and internalize it passively. Active learning actively engages learners in the learning process, oftentimes physically, through discussions, problem-solving, and other methods. Active learning has been proven to help learners retain more information, increase engagement, and foster innovation.
When offering online courses, look for opportunities to create collaborative sessions where learners can take concepts and work together to discuss or solve problems related to them. Breakout rooms are great for this because they help connect learners in small groups. You can even go as far as assigning specific tasks or roles to each learner.
Role playing, case studies, and open discussions are great options for increasing collaboration between peers that will help engage them and ensure they’re truly grasping concepts.
Present diverse content – ideally every 20 minutes
Studies suggest that a typical adult learner's attention span wanes after about 15 to 20 minutes. No matter the subject, seeing the same dense text or listening to long lectures back to back can cause learners to disconnect. To ensure your learners aren’t tuning out, it’s important to present information to them in different formats – and ideally every 20 minutes or so.
Consider delivering multimedia lessons that mix lectures with readings, videos, audio, graphics, quizzes, and other formats that will help you to continuously change things up. You can even switch up the format in how you respond to feedback or have your learners submit answers. For instance, you can use audio clips instead of text formats.
By continuously switching content formats, you present learners with information in new and interesting ways. It’s been proven that as learners encounter information in novel ways, their working memory boosts processing and forms better long-term memories.
Gamify lessons and classroom sessions
Regardless of age, everyone enjoys games, especially when it comes to learning. While this may be an overgeneralization, for the most part, it’s really true. No one likes dry lectures. Gamification can do a lot to help you increase engagement and help your learners get more out of your courses.
If you’re not already using gamification to enhance your learning program, it’s probably the number one easiest way you can increase learner participation and knowledge retention. Gamification helps learners get excited about the material and actively participate in lessons. It’s also a great way for administrators to see who is or is not participating.
Simple strategies – like quizzes, leaderboards, and awards – can foster a natural sense of competition. You can even attach rewards to them. Things like assigning goals to badges, providing checklists for learners to complete, and tracking streaks for on-time assignments all help students get and stay engaged in learning.
Give and solicit feedback
Of all the things on this list, providing and soliciting effective feedback is probably the thing that most administrators don’t do, but they should. Clear and consistent feedback is critical to combating disengagement and knowing if your learners genuinely understand a subject.
When you give and solicit feedback, you create a feedback loop with your learners. You create a dedicated process to hearing what your learners are struggling with, where they might be confused and need some support, and areas that are going well.
Continued conversations with your learners, whether through written or verbal communication, help you keep a pulse on them. With consistent feedback loops, you can ensure learners are getting the most out of courses, understanding material thoroughly, and where you can improve.
As a trainer, this information is invaluable because you can use it to improve your overall training program. And if you sell courses online, you can ensure your learners are getting the most of your program, encouraging repeat purchases and brand loyalty.
Though it may seem time-consuming, it doesn’t have to be. A little goes a long way when it comes to listening to and providing feedback.
A learning management system helps learners get the most out of courses without the hassle
Tovuti’s learning management system streamlines and centralizes your e-learning courses, making it simple to create and deliver highly-engaging courses. And you can automate enrollments, easily make course updates, and use granular data insights to improve your program effectiveness – all from one platform.
Things like Tovuti’s Net Promoter Score can help you gauge employee or customer satisfaction and get in front of churn before it happens. And with the most robust gamified and interactive features on the market, including over 40 plug-and-play gamified features, leaderboards, and virtual classrooms, your learners are sure to retain more information and have fun doing it!