An engaging training experience is what defines successful learning programs today. Gone are the days when learners are merely ‘passive’ passengers in their own learning. Today’s learners need to be active participants in order to learn more effectively. That’s why the most successful learning programs are learner-centric and put a lot of focus on learner engagement.
5 Tips to Create An Unforgettable Online Training Experience
As on online course creator, one of your greatest responsibilities is to make modules engaging. However, unlike face-to-face learning, in online learning you need to work with technology in order to create effective and relevant learning experiences.
Here are five ways on how to create a great online training experience for your learners.
1. Appeal to your learners’ sense of purpose
WIIFM – five initials that every course creator needs to put to heart. It stands for “What’s in it for me?”and it is a question every learner asks. Being able to answer this makes the course more relevant for your intended audience. Not only does it tell the participants what your course is all about, it also explains how they can benefit from it.
Creating an engaging training experience for learners does not only mean designing relevant courses. It also means appealing to your learners’ sense of purpose.
Learners put a lot of value into things that can greatly help them feel more fulfilled, either personally or professionally. This means that courses need to revolve around real-life scenarios. And that learned skills need to be applicable to the workplace or in everyday life.
In terms of choosing the right learning approach, case studies, simulations, and problems-solving activities are all examples of great activities to utilize for your online courses.
2. Go for flexible learning solutions
One of the biggest benefits that today’s workforce look for is flexibility – and this doesn’t just apply to work, but also to any aspect of life. This is why flexible hours, remote working, and digital nomad jobs have been so prevalent recently.
In order to create a great online training experience, you need to allow learners to take courses in their own time and at their own pace. A great example of a flexible learning solution is the use of self-paced courses. These courses do not follow a set schedule and are usually open for a set period of time – usually three months to a year. There are no test and class schedules, and the learner just needs to complete everything before the end date of the course.
3. Include interactive elements in your courses
An online course isn’t a very effective one if you don’t include any interactive elements. Without these elements, your learners could have watched an instructional video just as well. Not including any type of interaction will negatively affect your audience’s training experience, as it will put your learners on the ‘passive’ end of learning.
The rule of thumb when creating an interactive training program and experience is to make sure that each slide or page has an interactive element. It can in the form of a simple drag-and-drop activity, a quick poll, or a short multiple question test.
4. Utilize a variety of approaches
When it comes to creating courses, don’t forget to mix and match approaches to make things more interesting for your learner. A great online training experience merits the use of different types of content. So, don’t limit yourself to just using text. Use compelling images to get learner attention and don’t forget to include interesting videos to explain concepts.
You can also employ different types of online training activities. One very engaging approach is the use of branching scenarios. Another great approach is organizing a live webinar. Whichever you choose, make sure it reflects your audience’s needs and preferences.
5. Make it fun!
No learner wants to sit for hours staring at a screen that only dictates what needs to be done or what has to be learned. Nobody wants to continuously watch videos and read text. This approach will most probably lead to a poor training experience.
To avoid that, include some elements of gamification into your courses, like levels or badges. Make your games competitive and give your learners a sense of achievement for every attained milestone. Fun might not be the ultimate metric for engagement, but it sure does play an important role in creating an experience of learning your trainees won’t forget.
One of the keys to creating a great online training experience is learner engagement. And as an online course creator, your goal is to keep your learners engaged through every page of every module of every course.
Make sure your courses are relevant to your learners’ every-day training needs and give them a training course that’s flexible, boasts a variety of learning activities and encourages interactivity and fun. And rest assured that their online training experience will be a truly memorable one.