In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, your learning and development (L&D) team may have pulled off a near-impossible feat — your blended learning program, which quickly transitioned from primarily instructor-led training (ILT) to online training. Possibly your trainees’ engagement numbers dropped as a result of the change. If that’s the case, you’re not alone: As per LinkedIn Learning’s Workplace Learning Report, among the top three focus areas for L&D experts is enhancing learning engagement. Explore the six questions below to promote learner engagement in your blended learning program.
6 Must-Ask Questions to Drive Engagement in Your Blended Learning Program
Is your blended learning program bringing together learners from all around the world?
Distance learning can make individuals feel academically and socially disconnected. Consequently, individuals could be more readily disillusioned and distracted when presented with a task. When stuck students feel encouraged, they are more capable of overcoming any challenges they face. Incorporate the following aspects into your blended curriculum to reduce learner exclusion:
Communicating with colleagues improves knowledge, cognition, and comprehension and develops friendship and cooperation. Coordinators can partner with trainees or put them in small clusters in digital break rooms to come together to fix difficulties. There are several social learning technologies built into video-conferencing software. Assessments and surveys, for instance, allow students to reply rapidly to trainer queries, while whiteboard applications help generate fresh ideas.
Virtual moderators offer more than immediate assistance, comments, and responses to learners, whether they’re addressing a complete classroom or breakout teams in a live VILT event. The expressive aspects of two persons communicating both vocally and visually aid in reducing intellectual and social alienation among distant learners.
Employee well-being necessitates praise and gratitude. They also aid in developing active learning and a sense of team spirit and organizational belonging. When creating a blended learning program, acknowledge new proficiency levels, provide certificates and badges, and highlight high-performing students. Educators, leadership, and a contemporary learning management system (LMS) all can aid in recognition of learners’ accomplishments.
Are you reaping the benefits of the flipped classroom framework?
In a conventional in-person class, the trainer introduces new ideas and then delegates the tasks to help learners use and recall information outside of the classroom. In a flipped classroom setting, employees study and understand new topics on their own before participating in the real-time video session.
Trainers as mentors
In flipped learning, the lecturer assumes the role of a mentor instead of merely transferring content via live stream. They could distribute assignments to small clusters in online escape rooms so that students can work together in real-time. Educators then move amongst the teams to help them fix issues. This assists the learner in transitioning from passive receivers to active members in their education.
Trainers must carefully organize their blended learning program to give interesting exchanges and practical input. The educator increases engagement by traveling from team to team to provide immediate support and feedback when trainees are most prone to failure while implementing new ideas. Notifications and reminders from technology, including a learning management system (LMS), also can assist learners in planning for and undergoing training.
Empowering employees via autonomy
Participants can utilize recorded flipped learning sessions as a resource, replaying and pausing events as necessary. Optimizing the speed and flow of training allows students to get knowledge where and when they need to use it. With tools like threaded discussions, polls, questionnaires, quizzes, web conferencing, and seamless interaction with video-conferencing and group chatting platforms, a modern LMS can accommodate this active interaction.
Are you including feedback from your employees?
A distant and a blended learning program tended to follow a recognizable model in the initial years of digital education. Learners would study sections from a delegated text each week and respond to the reading content in a discussion forum on the LMS. Then every participant would be expected to intelligently reply to the comments of three or four other learners.
This was an effort to mimic the free-flowing talks in classroom settings, and it had some significant advantages. For example, hesitant learners who might have remained quiet in an in-person conversation were compelled to speak out and engage. However, these threads may appear superficial without the impression of a dynamic back-and-forth, which is the feature of a good class discussion.
Co-authoring is now possible because of technological advancements, allowing for a more fluid flow of ideas. When employees turn in work, their contemporaries and lecturers can give feedback or even make revisions immediately on the page, allowing them to quickly integrate inputs and improve a product through numerous brief draughts.
When it comes to picking where and how to get training, employees today have many more alternatives. Organizations may demonstrate their worth to learners and start to deliver a blended learning program over a wide range of locations by making asynchronous online courses as successful and exciting as feasible.
Does your blended learning program contain gamified elements?
Try gamifying your blended learning program to increase engagement by incorporating game design components – for example, a master tale, entertainment, competitiveness, awards, badges, scoreboards, etc. — to achieve your training goals. After all, studies demonstrate that gamification is excellent for skills-based training and motivating people.
Here are some gamification ideas to consider:
- A quiz can be constructed to be completed like an obstacle course. The student can go on to the next step in the game by answering the questions. Bonus points are awarded for some responses, and a minimum score is required to advance to the next level.
- An entire learning route, complete with points, badges, leaderboards, and multiple competency levels, can be built as a board game.
- Teams of learners can compete against one another. Participants can address questions using their smartphones and see the outcomes in real-time.
- Authoring technologies can construct interactive games that mimic real-life circumstances using simulations. A learner’s persona, for instance, might be put in a simulated client meeting or product testing. The learner makes choices and takes actions depending on what they have discovered through the character. Learners can try out new skills and refine their abilities in a safe setting with these situations.
What about microlearning modules?
Microlearning is now getting the attention it deserves as an excellent tool for increasing training engagement. Microlearning courses are short learning packages that last under 15 minutes and concentrate on snippets of information with a specific, action-oriented performance measure.
Microlearning sessions have a high completion percentage, which helps avoid the “forgetting curve” when learning is not sustained. The blocks can be introduced in a clip, an illustration, a cheat sheet, a riddle, or an immersive image or game, among other formats.
By incorporating microlearning within your blended learning program, your L&D team will be able to:
- Complement your primary training by doing the following: After educating your staff on your latest human resources (HR) technology, for instance, you can create microlearning lessons to update workers on specific HR procedures.
- Individualized training: When your instruction is tailored to the issues that your learners face, you will see an improvement in engagement. Microlearning courses, for instance, might be included in your induction program and delivered in a variety of formats to accommodate the needs of a broader range of learners.
- Integrate on-the-job instruction: Just-in-time microlearning could help your staff train at the time of need, as problems emerge on the job when training them to undertake new duties or positions.
Have you considered measuring your training programs’ engagement levels?
You can learn about the consistency of your blended learning program, how it assists your teammates in increasing their efficiency, and how it adds to their career progress by evaluating engagement. Simultaneously, measurement informs you of where and how you can grow.
Course milestones, academic achievement polls, hours of learning each month, and regular visits count among the top four measures for characterizing an interested learner, as per LinkedIn Learning.
The strategies listed below can also be used to obtain insights into engagement:
- Digital quizzes can reveal how well students remember what they’ve learned and help you fine-tune your teaching methods and delivery technologies.
- Statistics from gamification, including awarding points and badges won, can demonstrate which instructional methods draw and engage your students. The quantity of social networks or corporate training platform sharing is also instructive.
- The number of learners participating, posing questions, and responding to them can be seen in forum activities. The higher the level of activity, the higher the level of engagement.
- Reporting, data visualization, automation, and analytics solutions let a digitally integrated blended learning program measure learner engagement throughout time.
Enhancing blended learning program engagement will continue to be a significant focus for learning professionals in the coming years. They may optimize their programs for higher student engagement and, consequently, performance improvements by asking fundamental questions about the teaching materials they create and give.