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Does learner engagement have to be a problem in digital learning? 😕

07-Oct-2022 11:26:05

In our last post, we spoke about the assumption that learners don’t engage with digital learning courses. In this post we challenge that assumption and show you how to achieve learner success with digital learning courses.

Are you interested in knowing how to significantly increase learner usage of digital learning courses? Read on👇

8 steps to learner success with digital learning courses: Part 1 of 2

In part one of this 8 step roadmap we look at the lean preparation involved in getting your organisation ready for high engagement digital learning implementation. 

Steps 1 – 4 Prepare for Success

Remember! Preparation is the key to success for just about anything you set your mind to! So why would it be different when implementing a digital learning solution? These 4 steps don't take long to complete, and they serve  to harmonise your digital offering with your existing provision, 📚 your learners’ needs 👨‍🎓👩‍🎓and their study load. 📖

Step 1. Tailor your digital courses to your learners’ preferences

Digital courses have a reputation of being rigid, ‘cookie cutter’ learning solutions. This is not necessarily true, certainly not of our service provision. We offer curation and customization of programs and courses to ensure you can represent learning opportunities in a digital format that match your syllabus requirements and learner needs.

Depending on your learner groups, you may wish to create:

  1. A controlled program that offers a limited amount of content to a learner for a short period of time ⌛
  2. or you may wish to open a full library for learners to explore 📚
  3. or you might want to do something in between ⚖️

The option you choose will be dependent on your learners, their levels of English and the extent to which they can learn independently. It may well be that you have an open library for one group of advanced learners and a more controlled style for another group of learners at a lower level.

Getting the style of program right for your learners will be important to achieve sustained engagement and to prevent learner fatigue with the learning content.

 Step 2. Set expectations of study load

When you purchase digital courses for your learners, think about how:

  1. The usage of the app is going to fit into their overall study plan,
  2. then set a reasonable weekly usage expectation, either by time, lesson number or specific lessons.

If you do this, learners will understand that using the app has equal footing with the rest of their studies and are far more likely to engage and reap the benefits of its use.

Step 3. Make it mandatory

Related to step 2, if you set a reasonable expectation for self-study app usage and then tell your learners they have to do this study, it stands to reason that they are more likely to engage with the learning content. This is a simple point, but one that can’t be understated, because students:

  1. Listen to their teachers, 👂🏻👩🏻‍🏫
  2. and buy in to the culture and environment of their school, college or university. 🏫

For example, if your message to your learners is: ‘you must use the app for a minimum of 2 hours per week’, they will listen, and they will use it.  

Step 4. Awareness

Make sure learners:

  1. Know about the app or platform, 💡
  2. are familiar with the content structure,💡
  3. know how it works,💡
  4. and what the learning benefits are.💡

A good way to do this is with a live webinar or on demand webinar with one of our digital learning specialists. They will be more than happy to support the process of onboarding teachers and students.

An in-depth walkthrough of lessons and features is an excellent way to reveal to learners how they can benefit from the app and take ownership of the learning process.

Top tip: If you have an LMS (Learning Management System), set up a dedicated page on it that explains the App, and provides supporting information on how to use it etc. This will provide a sense of permanence around the app and be a focal point for new learners who want to know more about it.

In Summary

The steps above will lay the foundation for strong learner engagement with digital courses. Also, it doesn't take long, for example, the process above should take you around 2 - 3 hours spread over a two week period. We will invest around 4 hours (we do some heavy lifting on program set up as well as student and teacher webinars). It is a small investment in time for a big pay off of learner success later on! 

In our next post we will look how to sustain high levels of learner engagement through out the duration of your learners' study.   

Richard McHugh
Written by Richard McHugh

Richard has been involved in the English language industry since 2002. He has held many roles from teacher, to academic manager and school director. He is Director of Sales EMEA for Reallyenglish. He holds a PGCE in Designing and Implementing Open, Online and Distance Learning Programmes, and a Master’s in Education from the Open University.

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