How to make learning content stick: 6 ideas to entice your learners

Engaging learning content is critical to the success of your compliance training. In this blog, we explore a range of approaches to make your learning content ‘stick’ and increase learner buy-in.

Almost nine out of ten businesses want to increase employee engagement with learning1. And as we’ll discuss later, it can be easy for employees to switch off when their daily window of opportunity to learn is as small as their time demands are great.

engage your learners with sticky learning content

Here are six ideas to entice and engage your learners.

How to make learning content stick #1: Revisit and decide your learner objectives

This is an important initial step towards making your learning relevant and engaging. First of all, if you haven’t already, identify your training needs and what learners should be able to recognise, state or identify as a result of taking training.

Then define the behaviour learners should be able to demonstrate, including the situations they should be able to demonstrate it in and the standards they ought to achieve.

How to make learning content stick #2: Assemble your content

Creating a new training course is a perfect opportunity to survey your existing content and bring it all together in a coherent way that improves learner access. So where might your existing learning content be? It could include:

  • Wikis
  • Website articles
  • In-house documents and slides
  • Facilitator guides and notes
  • Printed materials

The list of places where people might find the information they need to perform their roles more effectively is exhaustive – and when knowledge is stored in lots of different places, it can put people off searching for and engaging with that content.

Think about reusing high-quality content in your courses, where possible, as well as gathering useful supplementary content in a dedicated resources page or portal.

How to make learning content stick #3: Orchestrate style and tone

Your content repertoire will likely be shaped by a number of different stakeholders, leading to a variety of different styles and tones. In some cases, your contributors may not be familiar with compiling and collaborating on learning content, or they might have wildly differing views on how the final learning should look.

However, we know that learning is most effective when it has a uniform tone throughout, giving users a consistent experience. Jolting from one style to the next can be jarring for learners, so ensuring that content flows and provides a smooth learner journey is very important.

How to make learning content stick #4: Embrace bite-size content

You only need to think of the number of potential distractions during a typical working day to appreciate why concise bursts of learning tend to be more effective than more time-consuming content. According to research2, most employees have just one percent of the working week (24 minutes out of 40 hours) available to focus on training and development.

Ensure you split your course into bitesize topics or consider creating a series of short modules for your learners that support or reinforce annual mandatory training.

How to make learning content stick #5: Invite your learners in

While passive learning has its purpose, encouraging learners to play an active part in the spread of knowledge across a company is an obvious (and highly effective) way of increasing engagement. Technology gives us the chance to create connections and communities of learning, building on our social instincts to learn from and interact with each other while sharing insights and reflections which are often unique.

This might include:

  • Enabling comments on learning content (and making these comments searchable)
  • Using tools that allow video creation and sharing by learners from any device
  • Games-based learning, points, and leaderboards
  • Buttons and direct links to content for easy social media sharing

How to make learning content stick #6: Take a storytelling approach

Hearing or reading a statement of fact is usually not as compelling as discovering the same information through a story. Good storytelling ties in neatly to some of the tips we have mentioned elsewhere in this blog: think about the impact of a manager recounting a real-life example of good or bad practice on a forum or in a webinar, or a bite-sized video dramatisation of a learning point.

Wisely chosen and used, stories give people and teams a framework and a language for thinking about and discussing new ideas, and for reflecting on their own behaviours.

Create learning content that leads to great results

When your learning content is engaging and clearly meets your learners’ needs, the results are better learning outcomes and improved business performance.

To find out more about how Eukleia can help you create effective and engaging compliance training, contact us today.

 

The original version of this blog post first appeared on the PeopleFluent Learning blog.

 

Footnotes:
1. Virgin Pulse (2017), State of the Industry Report 2017
2. Bersin by Deloitte (2014), Meet the Modern Learner: Engaging the Overwhelmed, Distracted, and Impatient Employee

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