3 Ideas to Keep Learners Engaged during Work-From-Home

Ideas to Keep Learners Engaged

3 Ideas to Keep Learners Engaged during Work-From-Home

As the amount of work-from-home population still increases, learning leaders are facing a challenge. Engaging learners from far away is quite a bit more cumbersome than doing it on-site, especially if you had not planned in advance. While we’ve written on practices on engaging in synchronous learning and webinars, things get different when learning gets more self-paced. Therefore, we’ll take a look at three ideas to keep learners engaged. Whereas modern learning solutions help in doing that, you can utilise all of these even if you were caught off guard by the sudden increase in remote learners.

Reward recurring activity

Once you’ve got learners onto your digital learning environment, it’s important to keep them coming back. For that, you not only need useful and fresh content, but likely a bit of incentives too. Learning research shows that learning over a period of time produces a better effect than trying to cram everything on one sitting. Furthermore, the more encounters we have with a piece of information, the better our chances of learning. That’s the law of repetition!

Therefore, it makes sense to incentivise behaviour where learners activate themselves every day, rather than once a week for instance. This can be done in numerous ways. For example, a gamification concept called ‘streaks’ fits this use perfectly. To keep their streaks active, learners may need to complete an activity on a daily basis. At certain intervals, active streak holders can be rewarded based on their streak length and performance. While some learning tools may have this kind of functionality built-in, you can do a lot on shoestring too. You could for instance use forms for simple daily check-ins. This could also incorporate other elements at the same time, e.g. pulse checks or other surveys. Alternatively, you could configure your learning analytics dashboard to show recurring users and handle the rewards manually.

‘Pace it’ to keep learners engaged

To support the recurring activity behaviour above, you should also consider setting up the content in a different way to keep learners engaged. Conventionally, we like to think that open learning experiences are the most user-friendly. They enable learners to navigate freely and access all content at once, as they need it. However, in a situation where you might be resource strapped to keep producing new content, it might make sense to pace the existing experiences. Let’s call this limited progress. You’ll allow learners to only progress to a point during one setting. After completing everything in the current block, they’ll have to wait for the next experience to be unlocked.

Additionally, this helps you as a learning leader to manage your content needs better. It can also allow you some really agile content creation practices. More importantly though, it creates exclusivity for the learners. They’ll learn that they need to come back to get the learning they want to do. Coincidentally, it also helps to prevent too much screen time, which is a risk during work-from-home arrangements.

Organise into teams

Finally, another way to keep learners engaged is to organise them into teams. Teams can be arbitrary, or you could base them on existing organisational structure. The important thing is that you assign a learners a social construct to associate themselves with. This creates social presence. As a part of team, learners feel a shared responsibility to contributing to the teams goals. Therefore, it might be beneficial to even map the learning goals out as team goals. For instance, you could require all team members to complete an experience before anyone could progress further.

Teams also enable a host of friendly competition options, while providing a platform for socialising and support. You could pit teams against each other on some virtual learning challenges, and then reward accordingly. You could also assign unique tasks based on team composition. Having mixed teams, for instance, could provide for an opportune time for some problem-based learning.

Final word

As more and more people work from home for extended periods of time, learning engagement becomes very important. A good engagement strategy should be based on recurring activity, evidence-based learning practices and social presence. Modern learning tools and platforms help in managing a lot of it, but there’s a lot that agile learning leaders can do while working within their resource constraints. If you’d like to explore further ideas in this space, let us know. We are happy to share more ideas.

3 Virtual Learning Ideas for Social Connectivity

Virtual Learning Ideas for Social Connectivity

3 Virtual Learning Ideas for Social Connectivity

As the current work-from-home and social distancing measures force people out of the offices, we find ourselves in a new situation. While remote working has been around for a long time, the current scale is unprecedented. Coincidentally, over the past few months, we’ve started to unearth some of the psychological difficulties in prolonged remote work arrangements. One of such difficulties is related to human connection. Fundamentally, people are social animals, and taking social opportunities away can have adverse impact on mental wellbeing. Therefore, we came up with 3 different virtual learning ideas that increase social connectivity. Let’s take a look!

Try out user-generated content

User-generated content can be a big opportunity in times like these. This means giving your learners and users (i.e. employees) the ability to create and share learning content and resources. By creating learning for each other, they are engaging in a socially connecting activity already. However, it’s not just for the creator. It’s likely that the consumer of the learning content may feel an increased sense of social connectivity as well. As the content comes from a peer, it can be very relatable and empathetic of the challenges people face.

User-generated content can take the form of even formal courses, but it can be much more granular and low-key too. Think blogs, resources, “homemade” videos, how-to materials, virtual classrooms facilitated by the learners themselves. Sky is the limit when it comes to creating content nowadays, but it doesn’t mean that small couldn’t be successful. Additionally, by using your users smartly, you can alleviate some of the L&D team’s pressure and reinforce a learning culture in the organisation.

Experiment with virtual lunch & learns

Besides the lack of social connectivity, another deficiency of working from home can be lack of structure. At the office, working days may often be structured around a common schedule. Everyone goes to lunch together, people share a coffee break, etc. Virtual lunch & learns can be an opportunity to get two birds with one stone. Firstly, they can bring added structure by setting a recurring activity. Secondly, lunch can be a great time to reinforce social connectivity with casual talks and chats.

The learning part shouldn’t be too serious, but the focus should be on social connectivity. It’s important to keep it casual enough for people to let down their guard and connect. However, it could be a great opportunity to do some informal sharing, e.g. about what different people do in the organisation, how they cope with the current situation and so on. These kind of sessions require very little effort, just an online video training tool of some kind, or even consumer-grade social media apps.

Start running a virtual book club

While people spend an increased amount of time inside four walls, they also need meaningful non-work activities to help them unwind. Hopefully, not all of it would involve sitting in front of a screen either. By informally surveying our peers and colleagues, we found that people are reading more books when they are confined to their homes to balance out the screen time. This sounds like a ripe opportunity for a virtual book club!

In addition to social connectivity, book clubs can be an incredibly powerful empathetic learning experience. And the core of the learning has less to do with the subject matter of the book than you think. The real power is in the discussion after reading the book. It never ceases to amaze us how differently different people read and perceive different characters, events and themes in books. If you’ve ever participated in a book club that spends a lot of time reflecting on the reading, you have surely noticed what you may have perceived as true, just or right was the complete opposite in someone else’s mind. The great power of book clubs consequently is in unearthing those differences and articulating their foundations. By doing this, we understand each other and our world views just a little bit better and can become more empathetic human beings.

That being said, there’s naturally a lot of great non-fiction out there that would surely spark a lot of new and fresh ideas for the business or work practices! Just go ahead and start looking!

4 Tips for Training Remote Workers

Tips on training remote workers

4 Tips for Training Remote Workers

Many organisations currently face the challenge of training an increasingly remote workforce. Whereas training itself can sometimes be a challenge, having your employees not present at the office brings about its own peculiarities. While instructor-led training is often an option, it’s not necessarily feasible in the case of the remote staff. Therefore, we’ll use this post to focus on digital learning and the possibilities and challenges of it. Let’s take a look at 4 ways of making training remote workers more effective.

Using asynchronous learning for training remote workers

When people are working remotely, it’s often from home or a personal space. One of the main value propositions of remote working being the flexibility in time management, you shouldn’t take away from that with your digital learning either. Therefore, asynchronous learning can often be the better option. Employees can progress at their own pace and as they see fit.

However, using asynchronous learning in training remote workers doesn’t mean that you should do away with instructors. In fact, having instructors for different modules and courses can be beneficial. It’s just that the instructor’s role in such setting is slightly different. Instead of being at the centre stage, the instructor becomes more of a facilitator and a support resource. They are there to guide the engagement, while still respecting each learners’ own time management and progress.

Communicating well and often is key

Another major factor in successfully training remote workers is communication. In fact, remote learners often need much more communication than those who learn e.g. in a face-to-face setting. On one hand, this is to mitigate some of the feeling of social isolation. On the other hand, it’s to make the goals of the learning and ways of achieving them absolutely crystal clear.

Therefore, it’s advisable to build in more frequent communication touch points into this type of digital learning. For instance, you can consider setting up email flows for weekly recaps, new content alerts, hot topics etc. Also, if you have an instructor – or a facilitator – they should be proactive in engaging and providing value to the users actively. This can take the form of e.g. sharing additional resources and new updates, as well as opening discussions about various topics.

Peer-to-peer learning

While having an instructor for your online course can help to mitigate social isolation, a more social learning approach can be even better. Peer-to-peer learning can be a great way of enabling your remote staff to work together and also contribute to the learning of each other. In training remote workers, peer learning can bring about some much needed group dynamic. Since people are working remotely, it’s likely that they’re already using a lot of tools that enable it.

Even if you don’t employ such social learning platforms, having employees take part in the “content generation” process can still be very helpful. Especially in times when organisations have to digitalise content rapidly, as is currently the case, having more people contributing naturally helps. User-generated content can provide a valuable way of streamlining the digitalisation process.

Creating social presence

Like mentioned previously, the social aspect of learning becomes incredibly important in the case of remote workers. Therefore, it’s also important to create opportunities for social presence – the feeling of being a part of something. For instance, whereas digital learning is often an individual effort, why not make it a group one. Setting up learning groups can on one hand promote accountability, but also create some of that social needed social interaction.

On the learning design front, make sure to build in a lot of opportunities for reflection. Group reflection – even better. Having people sharing their own experiences and engaging in discussions is a major building block to unity as an organisation. To up the engagement even further, collaborative learning experiences where teams strive together for a goal might be even more effective.

Final words

Organisations are increasingly gravitating towards flexible and location-independent working and this has an effect on learning too. As remote working may just become the new norm at least for the time being, it’s important that we re-evaluate our L&D efforts to ensure training remote workers goes smoothly. If you need help in crafting engaging digital learning experiences for a remote workforce, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to provide our support.

5 Tools for Corporate Learning Campaigns

Corporate learning campaign tools

5 Tools for Corporate Learning Campaigns

Finally it’s ready. You’ve just designed and rolled out a great learning program for your entire organisation. You’ve spent months working on it, but now it’s finally out there. The best content, great modalities of delivery, highly relevant topics – everything seems to be in place. But once you launch, the excitement stops. You find that only 15% of your people have used the program, whereas you intended it for the whole organisation. Rest assured, many L&D professionals face similar kinds of problems. They design great learning, but nobody knows about it, and therefore it goes to waste. However, you shouldn’t give up just yet! You just need to start running some corporate learning campaigns! Here are 5 tools for effective awareness generation at the workplace.

Email campaigns and newsletters

Despite the common sentiment, email is still a highly effective medium – just ask any marketing professional! If you want to create awareness around your corporate learning programs, email is a natural tool. As it’s probably the most widely used channel for official engagement, you have some of your work cut out for you. Nudging learners towards your content and reminding them about self-development can go long way. Also, should you want to add more marketing flair to it, you can consider e.g. newsletters. And don’t worry about getting your people to sign up to your learning campaign mailing list – you already have their emails!

Text messages get you closer

Some marketing research has found that text messages are in fact the medium with the highest open rate. People tend to open text messages immediately, contrary to e.g. email. Therefore, text messages can be more effective for inciting fast reactions. Some organisations have gone even further than just text message learning campaigns by using the medium for content distribution as well. E.g. you could easily distribute microlearning resources this way.

Follow the logic of banner ads

In organisations, especially large ones, there tends to be a lot of complicated software and tools that people have to use. Sometimes it’s too much to remember it all. Following the logic of banner ads that you see on just about every web shop, you could link learning resources back to their contextual environment. E.g. if an employees needs to deal with with the ERP system, you could display banner ads about the learning resources related to the use of that software within the software itself. In general, if your using company devices, it’s possible to display these kind of banners just about anywhere, e.g. on the employees’ desktop or screensaver.

Social channels can generate buzz

If your company has internal social media channels or similar kinds of productivity tools (e.g. Slack), they provide a natural habitat for corporate learning campaigns. These social channels enable you to spread the word quickly, and you can also enlist the help of your colleagues in spreading the word. Liking and commenting on posts, or sharing learning programs can provide the much needed personal testimonial that helps you to get more people to come onboard. You could also take a play out of the modern marketer’s playbook, and incentivise such sharing via referral campaigns.

Referral campaigns can create a snowball effect

The referral marketing scene has exploded in recent years. Just about any software or internet economy company has a referral program. In general, this is a trend that you could use in learning campaigns as well. Incentivise your people to share desired messages or their own testimonials about training programs and reward them for e.g. visibility, clicks, sign-ups or as their referrals complete the program. The rewards could range from non-monetary incentives to even aspirational ones. You decide how much you want to invest making sure people find your learning programs!

Final words

In our day-to-day, we see an unfortunate amount of learning programs and resources having sub-optimal usage or even going to waste. It’s not that the programs are not great, they are, it’s just that people don’t often know about them. Therefore, take a note of these learning campaign tools, and use them to get people to sign up for your own internal programs! If you need help in designing campaigns or the learning programs itself, we can help. Just drop us a note here.

4 Active Learning Methods for Corporate Training

Active learning methods in corporate training

4 Active Learning Methods for Corporate Training

Research shows that learning methods in which learners participate and engage with the instruction are more effective. While the learners might think they’re learning more via conventional “lectures”, further research indicates that’s a false assumption. Thus, if you want people to retain the knowledge better, you should utilise active learning methods. While self-paced learning is on the rise, there’s no reason you can’t design more active experiences even in online learning. Here are four proven methods to consider.

Flipped learning

The idea of flipped learning is to ‘flip’ the conventional use of time in training. In short, you do knowledge delivery online, and focus the classroom time on active learning, such as workshops, discussions, group tasks etc. This approach enables the learners to get more hands-on, involved and engaged. Consequently, this helps them to retain the knowledge better. Furthermore, the added practice may lower the barriers to implementing the things on the job.

Learning by teaching others

Another common active learning methods is learning by teaching others. In a corporate environment, you could replicate the idea in multiple ways. For instance, you could use user-generated content as part of your online learning programs, effectively letting the employees provide resources for each other. Additionally, you could let employees produce entire courses on their own. If you don’t want to give up control over content, you could also explore different approaches to peer-to-peer learning or digital coaching, pairing learners with willing “teachers” from within the organisation.

Social learning

One of the most meaningful ways of participation is social. There’s a lot of value in letting learners interact with each other. By enabling social learning elements, you can create powerful experience sharing platforms. It’s often highly beneficial to understand not only the content, but how others view it, and how they have perhaps implemented it in their own work. In fact, some of the best online social learning programs are centred around these types of interactions, not the content. Active learning can take many forms!

Learning simulations

Finally, simulations can be a powerful tool of active learning. Instead of just passively going through the content, learners need to interact with situations representing real-life scenarios. This also goes beyond acquiring conceptual knowledge, as it pushes the learner to apply what he/she has learnt. And more importantly, simulations require the learner to activate. You cannot browse through without really looking into it, you must interact!

Final thoughts

Overall, you should prefer active learning methods over passive ones. Naturally, everything cannot be active, but the notion acts as a good reminder to avoid online learning becoming too stagnant. Even if you don’t have the capabilities to work on any of the methods above, just simple interactive exercises can do the trick. If you need help in designing your online corporate learning to be more active, we are happy to look into it. Just drop us a note here.

Should You Do Customer Training – the Whys and Hows

customer training why and how to do it

Should You Do Customer Training – the Whys and Hows

As we discussed last week on our article about extended enterprise learning, the scope of corporate learning is evolving. Training your own employees is no longer enough, as the importance of other stakeholder groups has increased. Interestingly, customers have become a major training recipient for many organisations. While training organisations are naturally accustomed to training their clients, traditional companies may not be. Thus, let’s look at customer training, it’s benefits and how to do it.

The benefits of customer training show on your top line

Everyone who has worked in sales, marketing or business development knows that getting new customers is more expensive than retaining old ones. Thus, customer engagement and retention (the churn rate) has become one of the most looked after sales metrics.

A great customer training program can have multiple positive effects that are likely to contribute to your top line:

  • Increased customer engagement – people and buyers are interacting with you outside the immediate transactional scope
  • Improved customer competency – customers who know how to use your products or services to their full potential are happy customers
  • Increased brand engagement – buyers are nowadays looking for brands they can identify themselves with. Customer training programs give you a channel to communicate your brand and values.
  • Better conversion rates – nowadays many buyers base their decision on the level of support services offered. Training programs are a great medium of customer support, enabling independent and self-directing problem solving.

Overall, there seems to be a lot going for providing learning experiences to ones customers. And don’t just take our word for it – have a look around! Most technology companies and many traditional businesses have such training programs in place. Some have even developed their own separate business models around it.

How should you do customer training?

Naturally, training your customers is a slightly different than training your employees. While the same principles of learning still apply, the primary difference comes in motivation. The reasons why your customers take up on your learning may be quite different from your employees. To make things simpler, we can divide training into two kinds:

1. Customer onboarding and performance support

Whenever someone buys from a product or a service from you, you should strive to get them up to speed fast. Especially with complex products and solutions, developing the main users’ competency is important. Hence, a customer onboarding training might be a worthwhile consideration.

Regardless of the complexity, you should always provide your clients with performance support resources. These can range from training programs to newsletters to online communities and everything in between.

2. Customer training as a branding & sales tool

Whereas onboarding and performance support deal more with customer retention, training can be used in client acquisition too. Many organisations use free online training offerings, e.g. courses, webinars and videos to grow their pipeline. Every touch point is a chance to deliver more information that may lead to a buying decision. In an era of global competition, potential customers are much more likely to remember you after taking your course or attending your webinar.

Likewise, people like to buy from brands they can identify with. Training programs let your organisation to spread its core message and demonstrate its values. Training topics that could enhance your brand image may include e.g. sustainability, self-development and social responsibility.

How does training customers differ from training employees?

Like previously mentioned, the primary difference between employees and customers comes in motivation. Whereas your employees may sit through uninteresting training out of obligation, your customers won’t. Thus, it’s important to offer great user experiences and engaging learning materials. Thankfully, the learning technology space has a lot to offer in that department.

Are you looking to develop a customer training program but not quite sure how to go about it? Feel free to drop us a note, and we’ll do our best to help you.

Hyperbolic Discounting – Why Time and Size Matter in Learning

Hyperbolic Discounting in Learning

Hyperbolic Discounting – Why Time and Size Matter in Learning

If you’re involved in the learning and development space, you cannot have missed the trends of gamification and microlearning. As organisations consider implementing these approaches, they are often vary of buying into fading fads – and rightfully so! However, a lot of the new methods and approaches that may come across as gimmicks actually have valid foundations in the science of teaching, pedagogy, as well as educational psychology. To help organisations understand why things like gamification and microlearning work, we decided to open up some of the learning psychology behind each approach. Hence, let’s look at a phenomenon called hyperbolic discounting and it’s effect on learning.

What is hyperbolic discounting in short?

Hyperbolic discounting is a phenomenon initially discovered in behavioural economics and is in fact one of the cornerstones of the field. The prevalent finding and consequence of hyperbolic discounting is people’s preference towards smaller rewards in the near future rather than large rewards in the distant future. Generally, research sees people as present-biased, meaning they are more likely to sacrifice long-term gains in terms of short-term interest.

Now, why does this matter in learning? The two major modern learning approaches basing on this behavioural trait are instant rewarding and microlearning:

1. Hyperbolic discounting explains the success of gamification

The underlying principle of gamification is to provide continuous and relatively high frequency rewards to motivate the learner. Whereas large contexts of learning may seem overwhelming, gamification helps learners to track their own progress in more manageable pieces. With instant rewards, learners always get some kind of “credit” for their participation.

This happens to play perfectly on the psychology of hyperbolic discounting. Rewards are no longer vaguely defined (e.g. this learning helps you in your career path) and difficult to assign a mental value to. Rather, learners know that when they commit to something, they will be instantly rewarded. Naturally, the rewards come in many kinds: badges, points, credits, financial rewards and social recognition just to name a few. The common denominator is that learners can “collect” them instantly.

2. Chunking learning content to cater for the present-biased

Now, it’s likely that gamification is not suitable for everything. Yet, the psychology of hyperbolic discounting and its effect on learning remains. The structure of learning content is a major factor in catering to the phenomenon. Whereas gamification tends to cater to extrinsic factors, you can use a bite-sized learning content structure to cater to the intrinsic aspects of learning motivation.

For instance, you may have a course you require your employees to take. However, as a whole, the course might seem overwhelming with its length. Learners procrastinate and delay uptake due to the high time investment required and rewards being outside of their immediate horizon. To overcome the problem, you should try chunking the content into manageable pieces. The approach of chunking content overlaps a lot with the concept of microlearning. Overall, the approach helps your learners to manage their own targets better. Doing a small task for a few minutes feels a lot easier. Consequently, this could increase your learning uptake and time-to-competency, as learners are engaging more consistently and frequently.

If you have challenges in your digital learning engagement and participation, we may be able to help. The help can be in the form of consulting on learning design or hands-on content development. Just contact us here to discuss your challenges. 

5 Ideas for Leveraging Intrinsic Learning Motivation

Intrinsic Learning Motivation

Intrinsic Learning Motivation & 5 Ideas for Leveraging It in Digital Learning

When it comes to corporate learning, motivation is a tricky subject. As we know, motivation comes in two kinds – extrinsic and intrinsic. Learning itself is arguably an area where intrinsic motivation is prevalent. People find meaning in developing themselves and acquiring new skills. However, statistics of corporate learning don’t always support this line of thought. Motivating learners seems to be difficult, and consequently many organisations have adopted maybe an unnecessarily large focus on factors of extrinsic motivation – rewarding and punishing for success or failure in learning activities. However, as learning in its natural state is one of the most psychologically rewarding feelings, it might be good to step back slightly and consider what you can do to leverage your employees’ intrinsic learning motivation.

1. Shift control to the learner to develop a sense of responsibility

As it is, corporate learning tends be a very top-down exercise. From the learners’ point of view, it may seem that their professional and career development is dictated by someone with limited exposure and oversight to their actual needs and responsibilities. Does it have to be that way? Not necessarily. Let the employees have more control over their own learning. Let them make choices on what, how and when to learn. When you give freedom of choice, you’ll evoke a natural sense of responsibility, which goes a long way to to secure intrinsic learning motivation. To take the idea one step further, you could also enable the sharing of user-generated learning content.

2.  Ensure learning content is relevant and applicable

A major hurdle in learning engagement is that employees don’t see the content as relevant. Often, the organisations may have themselves to blame for over-reliance on one-size-fits-all and off-the-shelf programs. If the content moves on an abstract level, learners are more likely to have a hard time identifying ways to implement it in their daily jobs. Thus, it’s vitally important to spare some thought on the real-life applications of the given learning. For practical skills, tools like learning simulations provide a great medium of linking the training with the daily jobs.

3. Give constant and constructive feedback

Giving learning feedback also goes a long way for intrinsic learning motivation. With proper feedback, learners can enjoy a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, it helps them to understand when they’ve made mistakes and how to improve on them. Try to avoid negativity and bestowing a sense of failure upon the learners and remember to level the feedback with the complexity of content.

4. Encourage collaboration and sharing for intrinsic learning motivation

Learning doesn’t, and probably shouldn’t, be an individual effort. From a motivational standpoint, the feeling of contributing to a larger social context, i.e. social presence is powerful. Whereas the shift in control is likely to help learners develop a sense of personal responsibility, this helps them to develop a shared responsibility. You can use both collaborative and competitive elements to achieve the goal. Collaborative learning activities help to engage through social commitment, whereas different gamification techniques can help to foster friendly competition.

5. Personalise learning experiences

Finally, personalisation is yet another powerful tool in sustaining intrinsic learning motivation. The “difficulty” of content comes across as one of the most important factors. If the learning content difficulty completely matches the employees’ current skill level, they are not likely to engage deeply. Instead, you’ll want to give your learners a challenge which they can overcome to get the sense of accomplishment fuelling the intrinsic motivation. To provide a diverse group of learners with the content of the right difficulty, you may consider an adaptive learning design method.

Are you having trouble motivating your learners? We can help by auditing your learning content and delivery and provide tailored suggestions on improving both. Just contact us

 

Marketing Corporate Learning Internally – Best Practices

Marketing Corporate Learning Programs Internally

How to Excel in Marketing Corporate Learning Internally?

Nowadays, we in the corporate learning field are fighting for employees’ and stakeholders’ attention. Due to their busy schedules among various other factors, employees’ need a bit of a pull to embrace learning opportunities. This is especially true for voluntary programs. So, how do create that pull? How do we convince the learners that the programs we provide are worth participating in? This is an area in which L&D professionals should look into the field of marketing. To help you get started, we’ve compiled here some best practices on marketing your corporate learning internally.

Using key opinion leaders to spread your message

One of the current trends in marketing is the use of well-known influencers to deliver and reinforce your message. For marketing corporate learning internally, you should likewise look into your organisation. Firstly, identify the individuals who your employees perceive as key opinion leaders within their teams, units or the business as a whole. Then, engage them to help you deliver the message. It can happen with word-of-mouth, social media, or on other mediums. Once the employees see the internal influencers vouching for the learning, they are likely more inclined to partake.

Leveraging user testimonials in marketing your corporate learning

Another highly leveraged tactic is to employe user- and peer reviews of content. Recommendations from one’s own personal network constantly top the ranks for the most effective way of user (or consumer) behaviour. Therefore, it makes sense to leverage them in marketing corporate learning as well. Your learning tools or learning management systems (LMS) might already come with possibilities for user reviews and recommendations on content. If not, you could also leverage internal social media or workplace productivity tools to display ratings, testimonials and reviews. Additionally, enabling users to rate content can tremendously help the L&D team to identify the most sought-after training topics.

Engaging line managers for focused promotion efforts

Further, as more and more learning happens in the flow of work, it’s important to engage people in the daily context and environment of work as well. Engaging the line managers who oversee the people on a daily basis is a good idea. Hence, consider spending a bit of time with the line managers to make them aware of what kind of learning activities there are on offer, as well as their benefits and relevance to the team in question. Once you’ve got the line managers on your side, things happen a lot smoother, as people tend to listen to recommendations from them. However, remember that the learning activities have to be efficient. You’re effectively stealing people from the line managers and taking them away from productive work. And quite frankly, most managers don’t seem to like that. So make sure your learning is delivered as efficiently as feasible.

Communicating the learning benefits clearly

Finally, a key factor in getting all of this right is communication. If you wish to be successful in marketing corporate learning programs internally, you need to communicate well. This is especially true for communicating the benefits of the learning to your employees and stakeholders. At this point, we often advise to steer away from the learning objectives. Because no one really cares. As much time as you’ve spent honing the learning objectives, the fact is that they’re irrelevant to most of the audience. The employees are looking for “what’s in it for me”. That’s one of the questions you should be answering; how does this learning program or activity benefit them personally? How about professionally? What kind of opportunities can this learning unlock for them in the organisation?

Following these steps, you should expect an uptake in your learning participation. However, a detrimental factor to remember doing this – like any marketing – is that you must deliver on the promises. If learners don’t like the learning activities or find them meaningful, there’s little you can do. Hence, make sure that you’re doing the best you can in developing engaging learning. A learner-centric design process can help tremendously in achieving that.

If you feel like you could use help in marketing corporate learning internally, we are happy to help. We can also assist you in developing more learner-centric design processes. Just contact us to find out more. 

 

Leveraging Learning Content Analytics for Better Learning Experiences

Learning content analytics cover

Leveraging Learning Content Analytics for Better Learning Experiences

 

We published this article first on eLearning Industry, the largest online community of eLearning professionals. You may find the original article here

An area where Learning and Development professionals could learn a lot from, e.g. marketing experts, is content analytics. Whereas marketing has embraced the need to constantly iterate and redevelop content based on real-time campaign analytics, learning professionals tend to take the easier route. Once an eLearning activity is produced and published, it’s easy to just leave it there and be done with it. But the work is really only at its midway. How do you find out if the content resonated with the audience or not? If it didn’t, how do you figure out what are the problem areas with the content? This is where learning content analytics come in handy.

Example Of Learning Content Analytics On A Training Video

When analysing the effectiveness of eLearning content, you should pay attention to what kind of metrics you are tracking. For instance, in the case of a training video, traditional metrics like how many times the video was opened don’t necessarily carry a lot of value. Instead, we should be looking at the content consumption behaviour on a wider scale, throughout the content and the learning journey. Let’s take a look at an analytical view of a training video.

Learning content analytics on training video
With learning content analytics, you can easily capture where your learners lose interest and drop off.

In this example, you can see the users’ behaviour at various stages of the training video. As usual, you see a slump immediately in the beginning, followed by another bigger slump later on. We’ve coloured the 2 main points of interest to break them down.

1. Initial Attrition

You are always bound to lose some learners in the beginning due to a plethora of reasons. However, if you constantly see big drops starting from 0 seconds, you might want to double-check, e.g. the loading times of the content, to make sure your learners are not quitting because of inability to access the material in a timely manner.

2. Learning Content Engagement Failure

Going further in the video, we see another big slump where we lose around 40% of the remaining learners in just 30 seconds. Clearly, this represents a learning engagement failure. Something is not right there. Learners are likely dropping off because the content is not engaging, relevant or presented in an appealing way.

How Should I Incorporate Content Analytics In The eLearning Development Process?

The above-mentioned video analytics is just a single example of how you can use content analytics to support your learning. Ideally, you should be running these kind of analytics across all your learning content. xAPI tracking capabilities give a lot of possibilities in this regard. Once you’re collecting the data and running the analytics, this is how you could build the use of analytics into your eLearning development process:

  1. Develop an initial version of eLearning materials
  2. Roll it out to a test group of learners, monitor the analytics
  3. Identify potential learning engagement failures and re-iterate content accordingly
  4. Mass roll-out to a wider audience
  5. Revisit the content analytics at regular milestones (e.g. when a new group of learners is assigned the content) to ensure continued relevance and engagement

This type of approach helps to ensure that the learning activities you provide and invest money in, perform at their best at all times.

How Can I Use Learning Content Analytics To Provide Better Learning Experiences?

By now, you’ve surely developed many use cases for content analytics. To summarise, here’s how you could provide a better learning experience through data-driven insights:

1. Identify The Types Of Content Your Learners Like

In the case of videos, you could benchmark the performance of different types of videos (e.g. talking heads, animations, storytelling videos) against each other and see what type of content keeps your learners engaged the best.

2. Develop Engaging Content

With the power of analytics, you’ll be able to develop better learning. You are able to find out immediately what works and what doesn’t. No need to run extensive surveys. The behavior of the learners is the best feedback.

3. Personalise Learning Experiences

You can naturally run analytics for individuals and defined groups, in addition to the whole mass of learners. This helps you personalise the learning experiences according to e.g. skill levels, seniority, experience, previous learning history, etc.

All in all, learning content analytics provide a powerful tool for increased transparency and visibility into the performance of your eLearning. As learning moves to more in-demand and just-in-time, they help to ensure that you’re delivering the right content to the right audience.

Are you interested in developing more analytical, data-driven approaches to your L&D? Or want to know more about different content analytics possibilities? Just drop us a note, and we’ll get back to you.