Little known ways to engage your learners


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Listen and watch Content Development experts Deborah Limb and Lindsey Coode as they show you 'Little known ways to engage your learners' on this Learning Pool webinar. It's bursting with engagement tips that will leave you feeling energised and primed to look at your learning in a different light.

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  • Ok so we’ve got them to your module. Before we look in more detail at that, let’s look at what we mean by engagement. I found various definitions but I think these probably most closely reflect what we mean by engagement…
    Sounds great? So how do we achieve it?
  • Objectives – do we need them? Amongst our instructional design team this always sparks interesting debate. Some feel very strongly yes, others no. I must admit that I tend towards the no camp and see the main requirement of the first contact with your learner is to engage your learners – let’s look at a typical objectives page and I’ll leave you to decide whether you are interested in continuing past this first slide or (the equivalent of the first page of e-learning) or not…
    In fact we could even have made this our title, completely doing away with the need for this bit leading us onto…
    Tip: Write well!
    I started with some of these, but really try and cut down words as much as you can whilst still making it clear. Less words generally makes it clearer but don’t miss key points. Read, edit, re-read over and over until you truly believe it’s written as well as you can. [Well aware I’m setting ,myself up by saying some of this, feel free to feedback anywhere I’m not practising what I’m preaching!] –DL: PERHAPS reference that consistency, quality of writing – all have a role to play in keeping the learner engaged
    Add in objectives page that want them to come up with 10 tips
  • Let’s here from three people, their thoughts on e-learning. Your learners will already have their own views but showing them other peoples will get them to think. It’s likely that what they are seeing/hearing will ring true for some of them and others won’t.
    Would it surprise you to know that they all work for the same company?
    Bob has worked in e-learning for a long time and is an avid believer of letting everyone know everything. He’s happy to copy and paste an entire policy into a rapid e-learning too, but makes it fun by adding a duck shoot quiz at the end!
    Sue has been with the company many years and suffered at the hands of Bob’s approach to e-learning design so is really anti e-learning as a whole.
    Mary is fairly new to the company and has just designed some great e-learning that is concise, to the point and uses scenarios, but she is finding that most people within the company are unkeen to even look at it.
    Any of this sounds familiar?
  • Let them know what’s in it for them. What are they going to know or be able to do differently by the end of the module? Another way of getting attention is by being thought provoking, give statistics or very quick snippets of real life situations that make your learner sit up and pay attention.
  • Northumberland COSHH module built in Adapt - example of using thought provoking statistics)
  • Warwickshire: Making every contact count (MECC) - thought provoking question, asking the user to think about their own lifestyle, and an animation to illustrate it
  • A really good technique for this is using open input questions. Ask a question and allow your learner to think it through and give their answer. This will give them time to think about what they already know and any areas they are unsure off.
    On the next screen, show them a model answer and they can compare it to theirs, noting any differences or points they are not clear on.
    DL: Can also get them to reflect on what they think now about a topic and then show them the response at the end ask them if they still feel the same – did this on our appraisals module (much used).
  • Open input example: Healthy Development in Young People module created through Storyline on the Aspire site
  • OLD TIP - Present content in small chunks
    Reading on screen is more difficult than reading on paper and therefore it’s particularly important that information is broken down into bite size chunks of no more that a paragraph or two to allow learners to absorb it fully.
    If you can use interactive means such as clickable text or graphics this is even better as it means they can really work at their own pace, drilling down into the information as and when they are ready.
    Also make sure you only tell them what they really really need to know to do their job – briefly discuss action mapping ref Cathy Moore
  • Example: Communication Change module (2nd section) using Adapt
  • Particularly important when imparting lots of new knowledge is to test that knowledge as you progress to allow learners to check their own understanding. You can do this using many questions types, but the most popular are multiple choice and drag and drop.
    DL: Make sure you write questions that check/test the application of knowledge and not just the recall of facts – so scenario based where the learner puts the learning into action. Give the learners plenty of opportunities for practise (if anyone heard DC talk at the Learning Tech event this week at Olympia you will have heard him talk about how critical practise is to embed learning and make experts of us)
    It sometimes also works to ask questions before you present information, alerting your learner to the fact that their knowledge of the subject may not be quite as high as they first thought!
    Make sure you also give meaningful feedback that helps embed the knowledge. – via reinforcement.
  • Example: Food Safety module (Section 1 Page 3)
  • Everyone loves a good story, it’s the reason gossip and soap operas are so popular. In learning, stories help learners to relate to concepts in real life situations, consolidating any new knowledge. They can also be used to provide a safe environment for learners to try out new skills, particularly decision making.
    Make the learning immediately relevant to learners by showing/describing upfront a scenario to which they can immediately relate, showing the consequences of non-compliance etc.
    Create characters - 'real' people in real situations to whom learners can relate and in whom they can invest so that they care about what happens to them (I'm told Jurys Inn staff are still talking about poor hapless Marek). This promotes learning through feeling an emotion - v powerful - and also promotes retention because the learner remembers a story/what happens to a character much more easily than remembering a dry fact. Our brains have evolved to enjoy and remember stories due to millennia of oral tradition of fables, songs, fairy tales, historical poems etc - there's much
  • Example: Safeguarding Children Level 1 using Authoring Tool
  • Another example of telling a story is by using the media of video and an example can be found in the Healthy Development of Young People module (Page 2 of 18.
  • At the end of your e-learning make sure you summarise the key points and give your learner pointers to where they can go to find out more.
    Remind them too, that the e-learning is available as a refresher whenever they feel they need it.
  • Example: Fire Safety module (Authoring Tool)
  • Include a screen grab of a pre-assess….
    Allow adults to select what learning they need to complete as a result of diagnostic – especially for refresher training – treat them as adults – respect their time – don’t spoon feed them content they already know – allow them to be selective.
    Assess again at the end to give completion if needs be.
  • There will be a screen grab to come in here.
  • Adapt -
  • At the end of your e-learning make sure you summarise the key points and give your learner pointers to where they can go to find out more.
    Remind them too, that the e-learning is available as a refresher whenever they feel they need it.
  • Suggest add screen grabs from the Academy – showing video, use of the Forums – where will they provide opportunities for learners to practise….
    RCPCH example of Paedatirics Today – Video, pdf, quiz, Encore. – what will work for your learners and your learning messages?
  • Perhaps you tell us??
  • Final point – what are you going to do differently. Share them with us, welcome to do a guest blog to share their successes
  • Little known ways to engage your learners

    1. 1. Little known ways to keep your learners engaged Lindsey Coode Deborah Limb Content Development Manager Chief Operating Officer
    2. 2. What is engagement? •Occupy or attract (someone’s interest or attention) •(engage with) Establish a meaningful contact or connection with Oxford Dictionaries Wikipedia An "engaged employee" is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests. What do we mean by engagement?
    3. 3. • Your overall e-learning strategy • Management buy-in and active support • E-learning champions • Launch & Marketing • Drop in sessions (ongoing) • Think about hard to reach groups • Consider single sign-on • Give learners a reason to visit the LMS! Getting people to your e-learning…
    4. 4. Hints and tips to engage your learners What we will cover…
    5. 5. Bob Hi, I’m Bob and I’ve been designing e-learning for 15 years. I know everything there is to know about e-learning design! I love e-learning, it’s a quick easy way to get information out to people and it can be great fun! Sue Hi, I’m Sue and I hate e-learning. My company seem to love it so almost every week we get told there is a new course we have to do and generally they are so dull I struggle to make it all the way through. Mary Hi, I’m Mary and I work in HR. We’ve produced some great e-learning recently but I’m finding that people are really reluctant to do it and it’s getting really frustrating. I’m sure if they just gave it a go they’d realise it can be just as good, or even better, than heading into the classroom.
    6. 6. Tip 1 Grab their attention!
    7. 7. Tip 2 Get them to think
    8. 8. Tip 3 Only tell them what they really, really need to know
    9. 9. Tip 4 Frequent knowledge checks
    10. 10. Tip 5 Tell stories
    11. 11. Tip 6 Summarise well and point to other sources of information
    12. 12. Tip 7 Use formative assessment to personalise learning
    13. 13. Tip 8 Deliver responsive e-learning
    14. 14. Responsive web Design: Adapt
    15. 15. Tip 9 Think REALLY hard about the right blend
    16. 16. Encore
    17. 17. Tip 10 ?
    18. 18. What are you going to do differently?
    19. 19. 1.Short survey when the Learning Hour closes 2.A link to a recording of this webinar will be hitting your inbox 3.Continue the conversation on or email for further details. Thank you