Keeping learners engaged, even after completion of a course
Learning shouldn’t stop with the completion of a course, but if you do not offer interesting ways to engage learners following completion, you will not leave a long-lasting impression on them.
However, the good news is that whilst many training and corporate companies are struggling to stay connected with their learners, there are seven easy steps to take to keep your learners engaged.
1. Offer follow-up courses
Perhaps the most obvious solution is that of follow-up courses. These courses allow learners to comfortably further develop their skills and improve their competencies at their own pace. Your Learning Management System should be built to recommend relevant follow-up courses to the right set of learners.
2. Get talking
Think about creating exclusive social groups online for learners to be able to spark conversations and seek advice in relation to the courses. Ideally, your LMS should integrate with professional social networking sites such as Yammer or WorkPlace by Facebook, or forums, which can be used as a platform for learners to exchange useful tips, links and personal experience.
3. Enforced learning
If the initial course was more demanding, you may opt for reinforced follow-up training to support the initial course. This means that learning can be made mandatory through your LMS. This can be enforceable before and after training and can include a blended approach with both online- and classroom-based training.
4. Get certified
Learners want to be recognised for the training that they have undertaken. Your LMS should be able to provide certificates upon successful completion, giving appreciation for practical skills, tasks and topics, motivating learners to engage fully with the learning content.
Learner feedback is critical to the success of your learning and development strategy. Learners should be able to rate content using a star-rating scheme, and post comments to support their course ratings. In doing so, other learners will see suggested highly-recommended courses, and your L&D team can see which courses are working – and which are not. This will allow you to understand the areas that need improvement, therefore giving you the ability to improve the quality of content and learning experiences delivered to your learners.
Furthermore, feedback should be two-way. Managers should be able to react to their team's completion of courses, and send 'kudos' to those that are excelling as a token of their appreciation.
6. Make it micro
Use bite-sized training and learning assets to help learners to understand information in more digestible pieces. Micro-learning helps learners to remain engaged long after the courses have been completed, particularly if the course content is customised to your own branding.
7. keep it consistent
Build a communication plan in which you can keep learners informed right from the announcement to the initiative, through to booking dates and providing general updates as to why training is necessary.
Communication doesn't end when the training begins. Ensure that your plan continues throughout the life of the learning campaign.
One of the biggest benefits that an online LMS offers is its ability to monitor progress, completion times and completion rates, allowing you to understand where your learners’ strengths are – and areas in which they struggle more. This will allow you to make improvements to your course content, through statistical feedback. This will provide a much realer understanding of the success of your learning and development strategy.