Learner Engagement: Have You Checked All Boxes


Learner engagement is one factor that separates successful eLearning programs from not-so-effective ones. Engaged learners are motivated, inspired, and willing to invest effort in learning. In other words, they are a dream to teach. On the other hand, the lack of engagement affects not only the effectiveness of your training program, but also the knowledge retention and productivity of your learners.

Crafting a quality digital training program is good. But it’s not enough. The cornerstone of a successful program is learner motivation. Training is impossible without it. This is the reason why the most successful training programs involve their learners at every phase of the training cycle. More engaged learners mean highly motivated employees, which then results in better performance. How do you go about stimulating learner engagement?

Here are 10 top tips for to boost learner engagement

1. Explain what’s at stake

Your staff members should understand the reasons behind the training program—that’s one of the keys to learner engagement. And these reasons should be clear and inspiring. For example, a company drops 10 points in its latest customer satisfaction survey. That could put everyone’s long-term future at risk. So there’s a clear need to work on customer care.

2. Use deadlines

The more autonomous your staff members are, the more they’ll be motivated by deadlines. For e-learning courses, engagement rates are up to four times greater when there are specific deadlines. Setting deadlines automatically enhances learner engagement. Be careful, though, deadlines must be meaningful.

3. Get managers involved

Your managers are valuable go-betweens to connect the program with what’s going on in the workplace and to define specific operational goals. Their closeness to staff members increases learner motivation. So organize get-togethers with managers and staff members throughout the training course.

4. Use the carrot-and-stick approach

Find the right balance between the desire for recognition and the fear of being sanctioned. The reward could be a prestigious certificate, paving the way for future career opportunities. Be careful when it comes to sanctions: compulsory training programs lead to poor knowledge transfer.

5. Use peer coaching

Peer coaching involves harnessing the power of the group to stay motivated. Learners who help and motivate each other at all stages of the course also become more engaged. What’s more, they set about building a learning community that thrives long after their courses finish.

6. Focus on practical application

The more specific goals a course has, the more motivated staff members will be to meet them. A program that focuses on the practical application of key knowledge and skills will boost learner engagement. So make sure you share information about the course before it starts, and get your marketing teams to help you.

7. Customize your feedback

Use personalized learning experiences to motivate your learners with two rounds of feedback. The first, a pre-course self-assessment, means you can create a personalized training course. The second, another self-assessment, this time at the end of the course, measures progress, enhances the skills acquired and keeps learners motivated.

8. Use the power of the group

Use the group format to work on two levels of learner motivation. Working in parallel, extrinsic motivation comes from the group format and intrinsic motivation comes from being part of a learning community that values individuals. This approach fast-tracks training performance.

9. Don’t underestimate your user interface

User experience determines the success of an online training course. To enhance the experience, optimize your e-learning interface’s user-friendliness and design. And vary the formats: blended learning, storytelling, games, shorter or longer sections, and so on.

10. Reach out to learners

To attract staff members to an online learning platform, provide multiple access points to suit all habits. For example, access to training via the intranet or mobile learning (training available on smartphone or tablet) can increase take-up.

To conclude…

Engaging your learners and actively involving them in their own learning will make them feel empowered and motivated – and this fact alone is already a big step in implementing effective training programs. Now, all that’s left for you and your team is to ensure that you implement the right tactics and use the right tools to create engaging and compelling courses.

Learner engagement determines the success of your online training program. So you have to do everything you can to pull learners in and keep them motivated. If you want to find out more about how to boost learner engagement among your staff members, book a demo now.