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Three Ways to Motivate Your Online Learners

An engaged learner is motivated to learn. So, how do you motivate your online learners? Try these three tips. 

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4 min read
Tom Kuhlman blog post

The secret to keeping learners engaged

We can put together great courses, but we can’t guarantee a person learns from them. Learning requires some level of interest and motivation from the person taking the course. The good news is there are things we can do to engage people and tap into their motivation. Here are a few ideas.

Add value to motivate learners

Courses need to be relevant to the person. They need to know where the course fits in the scheme of things and how it impacts what they do. And people make that assessment right away. If they think the course has no value they’ll tune out. Compliance training is often a challenge, but if the content is reframed and not just slides of bullets, it can be engaging.

Turn the compliance content into a relevant case study. This reframes the perspective and adds more of a story-like element to the training. It also helps them see how the content is connected to what they do.

A good map motivates people

Above we discussed adding value. When people understand why they’re taking the e-learning course and then know what to do in it, they’ll be more engaged. People like to know what’s expected, where they’re going, and what will happen when they get there.

Remove friction from the course so that things move well. Friction comes from things like lack of clear direction, unmeasurable objectives, poor instructions, novel interactions that don’t add value, and poor course design like mediocre-looking content or overbuilt animations and transitions.

Motivate learners with a reward

Find ways to reward people as they go through the course. A straightforward way is to track their progress and then offer some sort of affirmation. You can also encourage them as you affirm their progress.

One of the biggest rewards is assessing what they know and letting them skip ahead or test out. Why waste time and frustrate people with courses when they already know the content? Let them prove it and move on.

We ask people to spend their valuable time in the course, we need to respect that and make sure it’s a valuable experience. And a valuable experience will be more motivating.

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4 min read

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