There are a million things vying for our attention during our waking hours. Family, work, friends, and hobbies all require bits of our time, and adding one more thing can be a challenge. So, how do you go about getting headspace with your learners? Below are three positive steps you can take to move through your learners into a cycle of success.
1. Captivate your learners
Get their attention. Period. If your training isn’t engaging, no one wants to take it. Our world is packed with stimuli, and regardless of your learner’s current generation, if learning doesn’t immediately grab their attention, it’s lost in the noise. Take a look at the following ways to captivate your learners right away:
Make your learning aesthetically appealing
This may seem like a pretty obvious one, but it often gets overlooked. Think about the last time you’ve navigated beautifully designed learning course. Unfortunately, the visual design of learning isn’t prioritized. Having great design tells your learners that you’re serious about this training—and you’re serious about them. Eye-catching designs also create higher perceived value in the mind of your learners.
Lay out course expectations up front
Let your learners know what they can expect to get out of this training upfront. This is the “what’s in it for me” statement. That way, they have a good understanding of exactly what’s to come and how it can make their lives easier. Knowing what’s coming gives learners confidence.
Speak in your learner’s language
Your learners are people, too. And nothing makes your their attention check out faster than stiff, corporate jargon. Being professional doesn’t mean you have to eschew contractions and look up the biggest synonyms in the thesaurus. It simply means being polite and conversational. Always ask, “Would I speak this way in a workplace conversation?” If the answer is no, you should probably rewrite the content until you can answer with a confident yes!
2. Motivate with personalization
Once you have your learner’s attention, your next hurdle is maintaining it. Thankfully, you’ve already laid a solid foundation in the captivate phase, so you’re well on your way to successfully motivating your learners. Keep these four things in mind:
Make your learning compelling
Give learners a reason as to how it will benefit them, not just why. Tie in real-world examples and emotions to help learners see the big picture. Research specific situations your learners face in their day-to-day jobs and create learning scenarios where the learner role-plays those situations. Make feedback on their choices immediate and specific.
Center your technology around the learner
The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. It’s the go-to tool to look up anything and a great reason to make your learning mobile-friendly. Incorporating games, videos, and short microlearning interactions throughout the experience increase engagement and meet learners where they are.
Personalized learning paths
There is nothing more demotivating than taking the same course as everyone else year after year. Learners want an experience that fits their unique roles, needs, and learning styles. Providing learning pathways allows each learner to customize how they consume, retain, and apply your content is the future of learning.
Celebrate learner growth and progress
Growth feels good. When you can see your growth and progress, it makes you feel excited to push forward. With learning, this is no different, and you can make a big difference with a few small touches. Congratulate your learning on successfully finishing mods. Include a progress bar that lets them see how much they’ve completed. You could also include a mascot that cheers and guides them along the way, like Duolingo’s famous owl.
3. Cultivate learning over time
You haven’t worked this hard to attract and maintain your learners attention only to leave them uninspired and unchanged. You want this learning to make an impact, enable, and affect change within your team, department, and organization. Here are a few ways to continue building a culture of learning:
Leverage social interactions where appropriate
Encourage interaction amongst learners and build social components into learning where possible. Peer-to-peer interaction is a great way to dive deeper into a subject and learn from others what is and isn’t working or where they have found success.
Measure the effectiveness of your learning
Now is the time to really see if your learners are picking up what you’re laying down. Is there greater engagement and knowledge retention from employees? Have you seen a decrease in errors, complaints, or even compliance concerns? Based on your goals from the outset, the answer should be a resounding, “Yes!”
Reinforce your learning
No matter how great your learning, the human mind has difficulty retaining information on the long-haul. After 90 days, a lot of information gets lost. To prevent your hard work from going to waste, it’s critical to implement learning reinforcement. Often this comes in microlearning, bite-sized learning segments that are usually shorter than 10 minutes. You can use videos, PDFs, or even gamification to remind your learners about important information in a short amount of time, keeping the knowledge they need sharp in their minds.
Rinse and repeat
What’s relevant in your learning today may not be relevant tomorrow. Make sure you regularly check and update your content to reflect new product launches and updates, regulatory changes, and deployment methods. Going forward, you should regularly assess your learning content in order to provide the most value to your learners.
Ready to captivate, motivate, and cultivate your learners?
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