I recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn asking the L&D community (or at least those of you I'm connected with!) which of the following will be most critical to the learning success of their organisation in 2022:
- Evidencing Impact
- Improving Team Capability
- Engaging Employees
- Innovating Solutions
At 41% of responses, Engaging Employees was the clear priority:
With the “great resignation” impacting most organisations and the ongoing stress and disconnect resulting from our (seemingly) never-ending pandemic, it’s no surprise engaging employees is top of this list, but this begs the questions of what is learner engagement and how do we create the conditions for it to happen?
My 30+ years of experience tell me that engagement is the intersection of three instructional design strategies:
Make it active. Make it relevant. Make it emotional.
Active learning stimulates attention, creates the opportunity for feedback and engages the perception-action cycle (aka learn-by-doing).
Relevance is important because it helps connect new content or concepts to prior experiences and existing knowledge. Our brain then knows which scripts need to be changed, updated or expanded (see 'Script Theory').
Emotion drives attention and enhances memory and recall.
Instructional strategies that engage learners typically tick the box on one or more of these. Below, I’ve provided a list of ten instructional strategies we use here at Kineo to make learning more engaging:
- Diagnostic Assessments - a fancy way of saying 'test out option’, whereby you can tailor the learning experience to reflect the existing knowledge of the learner, making it more relevant.
- Case studies provide context and have the potential to increase relevance.
- Stories also provide context, and when written well introduce emotion.
- Branching courses allow for different users to have different experiences and content that is more relevant to their role, experience or background.
- Scenarios provide active learning and when done well evoke an emotional response.
- Performance scorecards that track a learner’s decisions as they progress through a scenario provide the basis of meaningful, personalised feedback making the experience more relevant.
- Gamification elements like points and leaderboards can evoke emotion.
- Rich media elements like video and animation can be used to evoke emotion and can help make complex content easier to comprehend.
- Strong imagery can evoke emotion and create relevance.
- Using characters as a vehicle to present content versus third-person voice can create relevance and even emotion.
Ready to make your own learning more engaging?
Check out our eBook on the Role of Learning in Employee Engagement to find out why learning and development is at the core of employee experience.
If you want to know more about how we create better learning experiences, drop us a line to book a free consultation with one of our learning experts.
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