Ask most learners, and they will say that they don’t consume eLearning because it is snooze-worthy. Most e-learning is boring, not because trainers set out to make it that way, but because it’s not really built to appeal. Today’s audience is more fussy, discerning and can see through almost every learning gimmick that is thrown their way. In such a scenario, how does one appeal to modern learners?
If you’re training a modern workforce, then they are comprised increasingly of Generation Z and millennials, groups that were born into a digital world. These consumers have a glut of digital content, and in as many formats as they want. Content, on a topic that excites their curiosity, is a few clicks or just a search away. There are even apps that serve up a constant stream of entertainment just to ensure consumers can entertain themselves in the few moments that they are ‘bored’.
Smartphone users spend an average of 4 hours a day on their devices, but not on your content To be able to address the problem, let’s try and understand your audience. Estimates put usage of mobile phones among modern audiences at an average of 4 hours per day (eMarketer Research). The challenge you have is stealing mindshare from apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest etc., where users spend close to 80-90% of their time, with the rest spent emailing, texting and using WhatsApp largely.
Your learners need a compelling reason to move away from these platforms and spend time on your online courses, even if these do benefit them ultimately.
So, what are some of the common mistakes that trainers make with eLearning content, that puts off their learners? How can you give learning a compelling reason to consume your content?
Long duration courses do not work anymore
The world has moved to consuming short-form content or microlearning content. Consumer research has shown that 55% internet users read a long-form post or content for less than 15 seconds.
Anything beyond 15 mins and your learner’s attention has wandered to thinking about the latest picture on Instagram or the latest post on Facebook.
Our suggestion: Break your existing content into short nuggets, more in the form of “Did you know?” or “7 ways to make a great sale” to make them appealing to your audience.
Zero to no interactivity puts off learners
Users today need interactivity to keep them engaged. If your content is not interactive and only requires your learner to click the ‘next’ button periodically, then you will lose them very quickly. Ensuring that at least 30% (or 1 in 3 screens) are interactive, is a start to keeping your learner engaged. Interspersing content with games and interactive titbits will not only keep learners talking to your content but will also increase retention.
Our suggestion: Insert a question format every third screen quizzing your learners on what they just learnt.
Absence of multi-media content
Consumers are being engaged across multiple senses today. With the advent of video, just text and visual content does not appeal as much. Therefore, your eLearning content must be peppered with multi-media formats, such as audio, videos, games, etc. Even simple podcasts with a static image will hold learner attention better than plain text. We know it’s expensive to create media-rich content, but there are a lot of tools out there that will allow you to do this for a fraction of eLearning content creation cost.
Our suggestion: YouTube has a lot of free content on various topics. Find short videos that can benefit your learner and include links to these videos in your eLearning content. You can even record 1-minute audio clips and upload them. These can improve your learner’s experience using these tips.
No learner contribution makes for a ‘switched-off’ learner
The world has become a lot more digitally social than before. Consumers engage most when they are asked to contribute to an experience. Reflect to when you obsessively checked your latest post to see the likes, shares and comments it generated. However, most trainers ‘talk at’ the learners rather than have a dialogue with them.
Our suggestion: Have a survey at the end of every course that takes feedback for things like process changes, the online course itself, organization survey, etc. This will provide your learners with a voice.
By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck