How to Keep Your User's Attention with Online Learning
Think about how distracted you sometimes find yourself when simply sitting down to your computer to return an email to a business associate. Whether you are thinking about your upcoming morning meeting or you wanted to read a quick news story, paying attention performing online tasks is challenging.
Your online learners face similar challenges, and it is up to you and your company training team to devise and implement a solid strategy to keep each user's attention. If you are investing in a training program for your employees, it is worth working out ways to keep them engaged throughout the course.
The eLearning industry reports that most modern learners will not watch a video that is longer than four minutes, and that people unlock and peek at their smartphones up to nine times an hour.
With so many high-impact distractions, it is sometimes difficult to maintain clear focus on a task. When planning your training session for an employee, therefore, you must be innovative in order to keep your online learner's attention. It may seem like a monumental task in this chaotic world, but with the right strategy, you can compete with the Internet, social media, and other distractions.
Consider trying out some of the following tips to keep each user's attention throughout your organization's online learning program.
1. Introduce Real-World Problem-Solving Tasks. Try to introduce real-world scenarios relevant to your training materials and overall objectives. Whether your trainee is learning about a new photo editing software program, or it is time to ensure workplace safety compliance, it is important to ask them to apply each piece of information. Create mini-quizzes or applications to let employees practice what they have learned in short increments.
2. Make the Training Session Relevant. Create a program that is relevant to your workplace and your workers. If your trainees recognize workers performing the same types of duties that they perform, they are likely to connect to the materials better. With material relevance, your trainees may feel inspired to think critically and to draw from their own experience for even deeper understanding of the material.
3. Lay Out the Lesson as a “Microlearning” or “How-To” Guide. A straightforward, quick, crisp, and simple lesson is sometimes the best course, if it is possible. Create a series of video snippets to help clarify challenging concepts, allowing trainees to emulate what they learn more easily. Sometimes considered “microlearning,” this instructive, list-based approach, with accompanying video, helps keep each lesson short, which is the best way to manage short attention spans.
4. Choose or Create the Right Space for the Training Session. Schedule the training session in a quiet room with minimal decorations to help minimize distractions. This type of learning environment is the best way to help online learners take in the information easily and, more importantly, retain it for the future.
5. Provide Feedback to Create an Interactive Learning Environment. Even if you are conducting online training, you can control the level of interaction you believe will help your students learn better. Ask your training attendees to alert you when they come to the end of a section so you can all discuss it together. In this type of environment, online learners can talk through any confusing points. It also helps them focus on the lesson at hand since they understand that they will need to have a basic grasp of the material to participate in the interactive portions. Employees can catch mistakes in their work, learn from them, and quickly move forward.
6. Create a Visually Pleasing Experience. Modern workers are accustomed to aesthetically pleasing online experiences. If you can't beat them, join them, and work with designers to add some nuggets of virtual eye candy throughout your online training program. Add an infographic, vary your typeface, or sprinkle in heavy text to keep your online learner's brain engaged and guessing what it will experience next.
Hopefully these tips will help you plan your next online training course. Remember to tailor your lessons to the personalities and learning styles of your employees as closely as you can, and the process should become easier and more effective for everyone.
Edited by Alicia Young