How often have you thought of engaging your online learners prior to the commencement of their eLearning course?
Most trainers want to engage their learners before launching their training program for increased participation, better knowledge retention, establishing a personal connection, and ensuring a smooth learning experience for learners.
Even though the learning takes place online, trainers can still interact with their learners. From the numerous ways that are available for interacting with learners and motivating them before they take their courses online, here are seven easy techniques:
- Emphasize the benefits of active participation
Online learners opt for eLearning courses and invest their time, effort, and even money. This makes it important for trainers to share the overall benefits of taking the eLearning course. ‘Is it really worth it?’ is a common question that comes to the minds of learners before they sign up for any eLearning course. So, trainers should share the benefits and takeaways of the course before they sign up for the course and tell them what to expect. State the objectives of the course, the problems that will be addressed during the course, and how it will improve their lives with clear communication. Also, ensure that they are aware that active participation will help them achieve most of these objectives. This will enable trainers to have a clear understanding of who all are genuinely interested in the course and who may not be interested in continuing with it.
- Discover what motivates your learners
Each one of us has something that drives us to learn and motivates us to achieve our goals and objectives. Trainers need to find such sources of motivation for their learners. While some learners might find motivation in being rewarded for their efforts, some might believe that eLearning courses will help them resolve some issues in their lives. Conducting surveys, group discussions, and online discussions can help trainers to understand what motivates their learners at depth.
- Involve online learners during the development process
Online learners want to be heard and like to know that their ideas are valued. This makes it imperative for trainers to reach out to their learners and gather their feedback right from the very beginning. Surveys and questionnaires are effective ways of gathering inputs from learners to improve the eLearning experience for them. Involving learners and asking for their inputs gives a sense of ownership to them as their suggestions are considered while designing the eLearning courses.
- Share the incentive plans with them
Sharing incentive plans and rewards with learners prior to the course gives them sufficient time to get excited about competing with their peers. It’s good to share these details with them in advance as learners can clear their doubts beforehand and avoid any ambiguity. Leaderboards are a good example for motivating learners to aim for higher ranks in upcoming courses. Sharing the aspects that will be considered to monitor the performance of the learners can also be helpful for learners to prepare for the course in time.
- Keep learners updated about the new courses and eLearning events
Involving learners in course design and sending updates related to the progress of the course design keeps learners informed and their excitement alive. These updates can also be about an upcoming eLearning event, a webinar, a new upcoming course in line, etc. These updates can be shared via emails, newsletters, or meeting invites. Doing this helps trainers to create a buzz about the courses and build the interest of the learners.
- Reveal teasers of the course before the course starts.
Learners enjoy teasers of courses they are about to take. As it provides them some details about the course, they will be interested in knowing more about it. Trainers can add a pop-up or opt-in where learners can sign up to receive teasers and pre-launch information related to the course. Here, the trainers can reveal the course related information one by one. They might want to retain some information as a mystery to keep the learners engaged and interested to take the course. If done properly, these little snippets work wonders to engage learners.
- Be transparent about objectives of the course and learner expectations
It is important to be transparent and clear about the goals and objectives of the course with learners as some of them may have already taken an eLearning course and might have come across some surprises, which they would not want here. This can help trainers to avoid disappointing learners and setting their expectations right before the commencement of the eLearning course. Learners should be made aware of what they must do to make the most of the course. Giving them a gist of each step in the course will help them prepare for it ahead of time. Specify how much time they should invest in each course module or topic, how often they should have group discussions, and how should they go about learning by themselves at their own pace.
These seven simple ways to engage with learners can help trainers to get more participation from their audience. It is important for trainers to reach out to their audience on a regular basis and also remain fresh in the minds of their learners to make their training a success.