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Back to Basics – How to make the training or learning engaging?

The clients often ask the consultants at Learning Carnival –  how can we make the training sessions or the learning modules engaging and interesting?

We suggest to them that a learner’s engagement with a training session or self paced elearning depends on several factors. The training session or a learning module is only a part of the entire engagement schema. Based on our experience we list the following factors that impact learner engagement. We have also created an infographic for you to download and share.

  1. Sense of Urgency to Learn: If a learner believes that it is imperative for him/her to gain new knowledge, learn new skills and adapt to a new business environment, he or she will learn, irrespective of other factors. We have stories of children reading under the streetlight and becoming champions in their area of work.
  2. The Peaceful & Focused Mind: Gaining new knowledge requires a mind that is peaceful and focused on the objectives of learning. If one is stressed with a lot of other thoughts in the mind, it is difficult to utilize one’s cognitive ability and gain maximum from a training session or an elearning module. 
  3. The Learning Culture & Environment: The environment at home and workplace plays an important role. If knowledge and skills get recognition within the organization, the learners are motivated to learn. If sufficient number of learning material and elearning modules are available and accessible; if people are encouraged to spend some time on learning; they shall strive to learn. 
  4. Challenging Content & Information: One can pick up a book by its cover, but to reach till end, the content has to be useful, informative and intriguing. Something that one already knows – cannot engage learners. Something that is obvious, readily available on the internet, something that is not new – such training sessions or eLearning modules cannot engage learners.
  5. The Aesthetics of  Content Modality: Finally, when we have a self motivated learner, the aesthetics of an elearning module, the smartness of the trainer, the usability of the training material or the features of the LMS etc. –  plays a key role for an hour or so. They help to keep the learner’s tempo high, encourage focus, eliminate distractions and maintain the learner’s interest for the entire training or learning duration. 

We advise our clients to focus on all these factors and distribute their effort, time and money on each factor. Each of these factors compliment each other, like – a fantastic elearning game can engage even an uninterested learner. If you create urgency of learning among learners – they can even learn by reading a plain PDF file. Or if a manager asks the team to learn and come back with some new knowledge everyday – people will find their own way through the internet, library or LMS.

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