EducationLearner Experience DesignImportant Ways to Improve Learner Engagement when Designing Learner Experiences

July 30, 2016by Daniel Gavari0

Learner engagement is key to the success of any instructional process. Providing a fun and engaging experience for your learners can go a long way in enhancing the understanding of the topics being taught. Engaging your students provides a transformative learning experience that helps the learners achieve their goals.

With the growth in popularity of blended training (in-person and online training) the tendency of many learning institutions across the world is to fit the content into a single authoring tool. This practice impedes on learners engagement because not all content being taught in institutions of higher learning can fit a single tool. As an LX designer, you should consider using different tools that will effectively deliver the content while enhancing user experience. The following are some of the effective ways you can increase learner engagement:

Use responsive design

Today a lot of new technologies are being applied in learning such as smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.  This means that you need to design learning materials that can be used on all these devices. Younger learners have grown up using mobile devices. Providing materials that they can study on their tablets or smartphones can increase engagement. This doesn’t mean you should neglect traditional learning materials. It is important to keep the learning expectations of all generations in mind. But the future of learning is digital, and the future of digital is mobile. It’s essential to keep that in mind for learning at all levels.

Use a blend of different media

Have you been to a class where the lecturer just reads from his notes? Then you know how boring it can get when you use a single media to deliver your content.  To increase interaction with your learners use different graphics to illustrate your concepts. This may range from photos with text rollover to animated characters to video vignettes. Using different media can help keep learners engaged and interested in the content being presented. But be sure to consider your audience demographics. Animated characters may be great to engage middle school students, while adults may be more engaged by seeing a subject matter expert. You can also increase interactivity by using other means such as multiple choice quizzes and drag and drop exercises.

Gamify your design

Gamifying the learning experience is the best way to increase the motivation of learners and increase their engagement. For example, you may give quizzes in your presentation and to make it fun you give a badge for every quiz successfully completed. You may then give a medal for anyone who accumulates a given number of badges.  This may also bring competition among the learners and thus make it more fun for the learners.

Use tiered learning

A tiered learning approach covers three stages; stage one which provides an introduction to the basics of the chapter, stage two provides the details of the chapter and stage three covers knowledge and skill application. When you break down your content into such a systematic manner the learner will be able to easily understand what is being taught. This will help increase their intrinsic motivation and hence their engagement in learning. Using tiered learning also requires that you consider carefully the tools and medium you use for every stage. For example, in the introduction you may use voice over PowerPoint presentations, for the main body you may use a mixture of videos and text and the application you may give tests and exercises.

It is important to remember that a given method of increasing learner engagement may not work well with all kinds of content. So experiment with different ways to increase your learner’s engagement especially when you are offering online modules.

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