How to attract learners to your digital learning

Hannah Waddams | 08/16/2018

Most digital learning strategies are implemented in environments where the learner is required to take the training offered, whether they like it or not. However, not all training is mandated. When it comes to optional courses, you are competing with all of the distractions life throws at your learners – from work, to spending time with family and friends – and maybe even from competing training companies.

For example, staff in a retail chain would be offered training by the various brands whose products are offered in the store. These brands know that a sure-fire way to increase their sales and profit is by increasing the sales assistant’s knowledge of their products – preferably beyond their knowledge of the competing brands. However, sales teams are unlikely to complete all of the training on offer, and simply choose what training they’d prefer to take. Learners in this circumstance are an ‘elective audience’ rather than the traditional ‘mandated audience’ most LMS’ are designed to service.

This places a new onus on the LMS and the learning content. It must be fun, engaging and encourage learners to learn. A traditional corporate LMS that screams "homework time!" is unlikely to attract busy people, who have a myriad of alternative ways to use their time. However, an LMS that looks more like a dynamic, compelling, interactive website, is more likely to grab their attention. 

Docebo Pages, for example, allows you to completely design your learners’ entire UI and learner experience, end to end in minutes, by creating pages using drag and drop widgets as building blocks, with no coding skills required. This bespoke user interface will allow you to increase the number of engaging elements your learners see as soon as they land on your LMS. From videos, to gamification and leader boards, you can engage your learners from the second they enter your learning environment – perfect for this elective audience.

However, attracting learners to your digital learning isn't just about an appealing LMS. There are also a number of considerations you need to make about your learning content, to make sure learners stay engaged and complete your eLearning courses. You should consider:

  1. The format of learning

    We know that our audience is time poor, so how do we make the most of the limited time we have with them? Does our learning content need to be in the form of a traditional, typically long, eLearning course? Or can we break it down into short bite-sized chunks? Do we need to test that our learners have accurately understood the content? How can we do this without being too intrusive into their day-to-day life? Is a short video clip and a quiz the way to go? Considering your learning content and aims and comparing them with your learners’ expectations and needs is a great way to ensure you’re creating the right type of learning for your audience. 
  1. How you could create a sense of achievement

    Gamification, whether it’s leader boards or quizzes in a course, is a great way to create a sense of achievement for your learners. This sense of achievement will create a better connection with your learning content and has been said to enhance motivation for learning.

    If your elective audience can see a leader board as soon as they land on your LMS, their competitive instincts will kick in, as they will want to see their own name ‘in lights’. If this is a tactic you'd like to use, put quizzes and questions throughout your course, to assess how your learners have performed and therefore their position on the leaderboard.
  1. The name of your course

    It’s simple, but it’s true. Creating a sense of intrigue, providing a remedy for the learners need and giving clarity in your course title are great ways to grab a learner’s attention.

    If we think of our original example of busy sales reps; the main target they are tasked with is to sell more, so they are only going to want learning content which will help them achieve this goal.

    Based on this, which course do you think the sales rep is most likely to take?

    - How to sell Perfume A
    - Perfume A: Module 1

    These courses are likely to have very similar information. But the first course is going to grab the learner’s attention, as the title itself confirms that this course will help them perform better at work. 
  1. If your course is up to scratch  

    We want our elective audience to come back to our digital learning time and time again. Therefore, each and every course must:

    - Be visually appealing
    - Address the day-to-day concerns of learners
    - Live up to learners’ expectations

    The first time a learner takes a course, they will be evaluating everything about your learning strategy, and deciding whether they want to come back and take more courses. One poor experience could stop this learner ever coming back, which ultimately will have a negative impact on your organisation.

So, there you have it, some top tips on how to grab (and keep) learner’s attention, especially when it’s non-compulsory learning. Do you have other ways you’d attract your learners to your digital learning? Let us know at @OmniplexeLearn – we’d love to know your thoughts and tactics!

Hannah Waddams

Hannah is a marketing executive here at Omniplex

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