8 Strategies for Creating Engaging Training Programs
It is safe to say that learners—especially in the corporate environment—have become more than familiar with online training over the last decade. Digital learning solutions are here to stay because of the convenience, interactive experiences, and high level of knowledge retention that they offer.
Sometimes, online training may become repetitive, passive, and boring. In such circumstances, it becomes a mere exercise, a chore that learners must do away with within a stipulated period. This approach can nullify the intended positive results, such as improved skills or positive behavioral changes.
Learners must be motivated throughout the learning journey to reap the maximum benefits. Therefore, learning designers should ensure that adult learners remain thoroughly invested in a given learning experience.
Here are eight strategies learning designers should use to engage learners effectively:
Highlight the benefits
A training program must state the benefits at the beginning of the course to engage the learner. Learning designers should remember that training’s benefits are not always the same as its learning outcomes. For instance, a learning outcome could be “You will learn to use all features of the scheduling software.” On the other hand, the true benefit of the training for the learners could be “You will learn how to schedule, organize, and track project deadlines more efficiently.”
Allow greater control
Some online training may be broken down into multiple components or modules. If the sequence of the modules is irrelevant to the learning journey, designers should allow learners to choose the modules in any given order. Offering options or a certain degree of control to adult learners can go a long way in keeping them invested.
Training Industry research has shown that offering training in multiple modalities can increase training outcomes.
Use relatable examples or scenarios
Learning designers should incorporate real-world examples or scenarios in the training that are directly relevant to adult learners. For example, workplace ethics training could include scenarios to help them learn how to make the right decisions in such difficult situations.
This strategy closely follows the previous one. For example, a scenario-based learning activity could ask learners to step into the shoes of a character in an emergency and make multiple decisions on the character’s behalf. Such activities can motivate learners to apply their knowledge directly and connect with the training emotionally.
Offer immersive learning options
While this strategy does not apply to all online training, learning designers should not miss opportunities to incorporate it. Immersive experiences, such as virtual reality (VR) environments and games, are bound to engage adult learners to a large extent. Being a part of a virtual world motivates learners to use their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, allowing them to make mistakes without facing the consequences. This characteristic of immersive learning leads to high learner engagement.
Support with learning aids
The core training content may not always be enough to engage learners. Learning designers should also make multiple resources—such as checklists, printable infographics, downloadable podcasts or video clips, and external reference links—available as part of the learning experience. Learning aids add value to the training and increase the learners’ curiosity to acquire more knowledge.
Provide scope for social learning
To maintain the interest of adult learners, learning designers must create opportunities for social learning in their online training programs. Examples include activities in which learners need to collaborate. Similarly, the training could direct learners to discussion forums where they can interact with each other, share knowledge, and add value to their collective learning journey.
Request feedback periodically
This strategy is advantageous, especially to companies planning to make multiple training programs available to their employees over a long period. As part of this strategy, adult learners should be encouraged to provide feedback regarding the overall learning experience at the end of every training. Based on this periodic feedback, learning designers should make specific enhancements to their upcoming training to meet the learners’ expectations.
To conclude, engaging adult learners could be challenging at times. However, the strategies discussed above help learning designers overcome this challenge and also help make their training programs more effective and impactful in the long run.
To find out more about how KnowledgeWorks Global Learning can help you create highly engaging corporate training for your workforce, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.