4 min read

Learner engagement and digital learning – is it the 🐘 in the room?

28-Sep-2022 17:28:52

What is it with digital learning and learner engagement? 🤷‍♀️

Why is it perceived as something that learners just won’t do? 😔

Here are some common assumptions that we make about lack of engagement with digital learning courses:

  • Learners get bored and distracted. X
  • It’s human nature if they aren’t monitored, they lack discipline. X
  • Giving digital content to people and expecting them to do it just doesn’t work. X
  • Only learners with high motivation will make the most of this type of learning content. X
  • Digital content tends to be one-dimensional and inflexible, therefore learners don’t want to do it. X
  • Digital content can be poorly designed and expensive. it feels like a waste of time and money. X
  • I thought the app would seduce my learners into staying there and learn by osmosis. X
  • The stats don’t lie – they didn’t use it! X

So why do these assumptions exist?

  • Isn’t digital learning content cool? ✅
  • Isn’t it efficient and cost effective? ✅
  • Doesn’t it take out some of the hard yards for teachers and students and accelerate the learning process? ✅

Perhaps 🤔

  • people who unsuccessfully tried digital, had certain expectations and the reality fell short. 
  • they were oversold, under trained or didn’t fully understand the product. 
  • lines of communication were poor and students didn’t fully understand what they had to do. 
  • the person who was responsible for implementing left the organisation, 
  • students had too many other things to do and prioritized those instead.
  • the product wasn’t very good, and their students didn’t like it. 
  • it was one, all or a combination of the above points (or something else… [insert here].

The truth is that solving most of those issues above is quite straightforward (we cover this in our next blog post so stay tuned!).

The difficult one, the one that requires time, investment, experience and expertise, is the creation of digital learning content. We would argue that creating top-quality digital language learning content is even more challenging than creating it for other subjects.

As providers of digital English language learning courses, we know that our greatest way to influence the learning experience is by creating the best learning content. So when we create our courses, we make sure they:

  • are engaging, relevant and based on established language acquisition theories and the methodologies and pedagogies that arise from them. ✅
  • include a wide variety of activities that develop core language skills. ✅
  • address areas of study that prepare learners for classroom-based practice. ✅
  • are innovative with new activities that help learners build competence and confidence in their language skills. ✅
  • make the most out of what only technology can add to the learning process. ✅
  • provide instant results and metrics for teachers and learners at the click of a button and a record of work that will demonstrate performance and engagement over the course of a learner's participation. ✅
  • are set within a system that empowers teachers and administrators to influence their learners’ study behaviour. ✅
  • are delivered by a team of experts that support and ensure your implementation is effective and efficient. ✅

Reallyenglish have been involved in digital education for over 20 years. It’s fair to say that we’ve learned a thing or two about engaging learners! 

  • No more head scratching 😕
  • No more worrying about why the learners didn’t do it 😟
  • Just clear and easy ways to get your students studying 😁

Watch out for our next post to find out how to keep your learners engaged, learning and coming back for more!

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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