Engage Students With Active And Immersive Training
Online learning can sometimes feel passive. Learners lean back, watch videos and maybe even multitask on their phones. How do we get learners to lean in during online training? Especially in asynchronous online training. How can we encourage learners to stay active, engaged and to actively think about applying the training content? There isn’t a single magic bullet, but below are eleven tips to make your online training more engaging and impactful.
11 Tactics To Make Your Online Training More Engaging
1. Include Activities
In addition to traditional video content, include activities for participants to complete as they go along. This transitions learners from acquiring knowledge to applying it and using it. For example, in our digital marketing online certification, we teach a topic and then give learners a call to action to apply what they learned. This could be researching a competitor and analyzing their approach or actually implementing something we’ve covered.
2. Quizzes Increase Attention
Quizzes throughout content are shown to keep users engaged in online training. They want to score well, so they pay more attention if they know a quiz is coming at the end. Additionally, the quizzes assess if the training was successful at transmitting knowledge.
3. Provide Job Aids And Resources
Most training has the aim of influencing behavior or results after the training. For this reason, including job aids and resources makes the training more actionable for the learners. Great online training focuses on driving the behavior and not just on transmitting knowledge.
4. Include Scenarios And Case Studies
Scenarios and case studies improve training impact because they allow learners to apply their knowledge, ideally in a real-world scenario. Include case studies, examples and scenarios to increase the application and synthesis of the training content.
5. Create A Conversational Tone, Not Rehearsed And Robotic
Some online training videos are just boring! When we look at what captures and maintains attention, it isn’t the perfectly rehearsed scripts. More and more trainings are moving to a more conversational tone to engage users in the training content.
6. Add A Workbook As An Implementation Guide
As learners progress through a training program, it is often helpful for them to take notes and build a plan. A companion workbook for an online training course allows the learner to immediately implement and take notes. This could also serve as their action plan to implement what they learn after the course.
7. Ask Questions After A Video
After a video, ask the learners some questions that get them to think about the key concepts. This triggers learners to move from passively consuming video content to actively thinking through the implementation. The questions should focus on how the concepts apply to the learner’s job, or how the concepts could be implemented in their job. Great questions encourage active learning and application.
8. Short Videos
Breaking your content up into short videos increases engagement because it allows learners to work in short, focused bursts. Instead of tuning out during longer videos, learners pay more attention to shorter videos. Shorter videos are also linked to better completion rates in online courses. The shorter format allows users to feel as though they are accomplishing something with each completed video.
9. Incorporate Discussions
One of the challenges with online learning is that (especially in asynchronous programs) learners don’t have the opportunity to learn from each other. Training courses can include discussion forums throughout the program to encourage learners to interact with each other. This allows learners to learn from each other and can also be a valuable tool in driving the application of the training content. For example, if I learn about how to build a social media strategy in a video, discussing my key challenges with others could allow me to better my own strategy when the time comes.
10. Include Synchronous Sessions
When possible, synchronous sessions add a lot of value to asynchronous online training. Synchronous sessions shouldn’t simply repeat content from the online training, they should supplement it. Live sessions can engage participants by allowing for instructor Q&As or by encouraging students to share ideas with each other. The live sessions can also drive accountability during the program and keep learners on track. This is often associated with higher completion rates.
11. Mix It Up!
Mix your training content up with different formats and engagements throughout. Different learners will be triggered by different calls to action. Providing variety allows the training to be more interesting and also reaches different people in different ways.