Special Guest Cara North on Engagement

Special guest Cara North is a Learning Designer for The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology. Cara has worked in learning and development for 10 years for various corporations, non-profits, and higher education. Today her and Brent discuss learning technologies, learner engagement and the differences between higher education training and corporate training.

  1. Cara’s History
  2. Differences in teaching
  3. University training
  4. Business training
  5. The reason for learning
  6. Designer or developer in engagement

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Picture: Michael D Beckwith

The Benefits of Interactivity and Engagement in eLearning

One of the biggest problems that corporate trainers had to deal with before the onset of interactive training solutions was boredom. In traditional training, no matter how polished your content is, there is a high chance that you will lose the audience in the course of the session.

With the onset of eLearning solutions, it is advantageous to leverage the capabilities of interactivity in your training sessions. The ability to interact is the go between the audience and the training software that enables the learner to make some input. Engagement creates a dialog between the computer and the audience like two people having a chat.

Here are some benefits you stand to gain by incorporating interactivity and engagement in eLearning.

Enhances decision making

One of the most effective interactive methods is presenting your audience with scenarios based on topics that they are learning. Scenarios enable your employees to apply the knowledge in real-life situations where their decisions do not put their career at risk or get a negative judgment.

Without this fear, the employees can come up with plans and explore new ideas where the outcome is not known. It creates the confidence required to get solutions for complex problems in the workplace. Learners also get insights into possible results if they choose specific paths.

Enhances exploration

Interactive online learning solutions utilize interactive software that allows employees to explore the learning environment. They do this at their own pace and in the best way they can. Interactive learning solutions teach employees by showing them how things are done rather than just telling them what to do. This learning approach brings better results than the latter and enhances retention.

In order to enhance exploration, many trainers use graphic representations of learners’ daily activities at the factory or the office to enhance exploration. They also embed hyperlinks to  additional pages offering in-depth information to encourage further reading on a given topic. The result is a better, more engaging learning experience.

Immersive learning and vivid experiences

Unlike traditional methods of learning, interactive web-based training does not just present the employees with the information. It immerses them into the course as if they are experiencing what they are learning. The learners get control of the learning process which makes the experience much more vivid. This kind of engagement cannot be achieved in a classroom-like environment. All of the above translates into better retention and a higher chance of applying the knowledge when faced with similar situations at the workplace.

Increased motivation

It is unfortunate that most employees have to be forced into training sessions despite training offering immeasurable benefits. If you have a problem motivating your employees to take part in training, an interactive eLearning solution may be what you need.

Interactive eLearning solutions are more like on-demand videos or video games. They are accessible from any internet connected device. The on-demand availability and convenience play a big role in enhancing employee motivation.

You can access the learners’ performance on the go

The classic way of assessing the learners’ performance is the use of quizzes. While this method is effective in evaluating the performance of the employees, there is room for improvement. Interactive training solutions help you access  audience performance in real time and on the go without having to take them through an entire module before testing them.

Here is an example: if you are training a marketing executive on negotiation and the learner fails to ask his or her prospect a question, the online software can put a low score on empathy or negotiation skills. By associating the answers to the evaluation criterion, the software can give you an accurate performance score as the training progresses.

Eliminate boredom and its effects

As said earlier, boredom is the biggest challenge that trainers have to deal with when impacting new knowledge to the employees. Boredom lowers retention, makes it hard for employees to remember concepts and consequently leads to stagnation in performance.

Interactive web-based solutions place the employees at the core of their training program and interact with all their senses during the training. The training sessions are also fun and enjoyable to undertake. Therefore, the learner’s mind is less likely to wander away from the lesson.

Engage the learners emotionally

Emotions play a big role in information retention and skill learning processes. You can leverage a reality-based scenario when training and allow the learner to put their emotions into the subject. For example, you could come up with a crisis in the area that the learner handles and ask him/her to come up with a solution. The concern and emotions that the scenario generates improve the learners’ problem-solving skills. They are also likely to employ the same thinking when faced with similar problems as they go on with their daily duties.

Take a look at Designing Digitally, Inc.‘s new infographic on this topic – The Top 10 Ways to Increase Learner Interactivity & Engagement – the results of their eLearning have higher completion and retention rates.

Contact our experts today to learn more about improving the training impact at your organization! 

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