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Are Your E-Learners Expecting a Good Training Experience?

Set clear expectations and ensure that courses are meaningful to the learner to bridge the disconnect between course designers and participants. Here’s how.

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5 min read
Tom Kuhlman blog post

The disconnect in e-learning

Have you ever found yourself taking training courses that felt like a waste of time? You’re not alone. Many of the people I talk to share similar feelings about the disconnect between the e-learning courses they have to take and their actual value.

Most of what I hear is how pointless a lot of the e-learning is. The courses aren’t meaningful. It doesn’t mean that the content isn’t good or important to the person (or the organization). It just means that there’s a big disconnect between those who build the courses and those who actually have to take them.

But this disconnect doesn’t have to exist.

Why does this e-learning course matter?

How can we set clear expectations and make the learning experience more meaningful? Let’s consider things from the learner’s perspective. What clues tell them that a course is worth their time?

Consider this: ADDIE is a familiar model we use to build training. The “I” in the ADDIE model is all about implementation of the course. Usually, when it comes to implementing a course, our focus is mostly on getting it onto the learning management system (LMS) and distributing it to the learners. But what about how the course is presented to the learner? 

More often than not, the first interaction a learner has with online training is through its communication. And the initial communication sets the tone for the entire training experience. No one wants to be greeted with a message like, “Here’s the 2-hour mandatory training due next Friday. And yes, we locked all of the navigation to make sure you can’t escape it.” 

This approach leads to a lack of motivation and engagement. After all, who wants to start a course with low expectations and a sense of dread?  At best, they’re motivated to figure out how to get in and out of the course as fast as possible. That’s a wasted opportunity to train someone effectively and, ultimately, a waste of the organization’s time and money.

So, what’s the fix?

It’s all about value. The course needs to offer something meaningful to the learner. Reframing the content to align with the learner’s needs or work experience is key. Whether it’s through a compelling story or a relevant case study, initially drawing the learner into the experience gives them a reason to be interested and engaged. Even with dry compliance content, there’s usually some connection to the learner’s real world.

By focusing on the value and relevance of the training, we can motivate learners to actively participate and get real benefits from the e-learning courses. Now is a good time to ensure your e-learning starts with presenting a valuable and engaging experience for those who have to take it.

I suppose the question for you is how do you market the courses you build to those who have to take them?

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5 min read

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