Not every employee who participates in eLearning will be tech savvy.
Some may even have little to no computer skills.
This can be a problem for those looking to develop eLearning courses that incorporate newer technology, like mobile apps or other interactive elements.
If your employees do not know how to use your eLearning technology, they will be more likely to disengage and less likely to retain information later on.
The good news is that you don’t always need fancy tech to improve engagement. Alternate or less technical methods still work just as well.
Here are a few ways that you can still engage employee without being so technology focused.
How to Measure True Engagement in eLearning
There are five core components to engagement:
- Relevancy – Is the coursework relevant to the employee’s role? Will they be able to apply what they learn in day-to-day situations?
- Clarity – Are learning goals and objectives clearly communicated and easily attainable?
- Timing – Are learners able to complete the coursework in a way that fits with their schedule? Can courses be self-paced or otherwise structured within the workday?
- Enthusiasm – Is the coursework fun (competitive, easy to participate in, social, etc.)? Is there a level of excitement to learn?
- Reward – Are learners rewarded for accomplishing objectives? Are they recognized for achievements or for meeting milestones?
Good eLearning technology will certainly add to these components.
A mobile app or online interactive role-playing scenario may add some enthusiasm, for example, or allow coursework to be more self-paced.
But you can also achieve these things without taking the time to build an entire mobile app for the course.
Ways to Improve Engagement Without Technology
There are plenty of other low-tech ways to engage users. These include things like slideshows, infographics and gamification.
A simple slideshow can be engaging if the subject matter is highly relevant, the images are high quality and the information is applicable to daily work.
Like this example of an employee health eLearning course from Comstar:
It’s interactive, simple to setup and simple to navigate through without being overly technical.
Someone with very basic computer skills could go through this highly visual course and stay engaged.
Infographics can work in both technical environments and non-technical environments.
They can be created as downloadable or shareable images, which employees can access online or through the online course.
They can also be printed off and hung around the office. No technology skills required.
Gamification can include the use of online or mobile games, but that’s not necessarily what it means. Gamification is any element in your course that has a level of competition and/or reward involved.
This could be something as simple as a timed course where employees need to finish in a certain time frame (whoever finishes first gets an award, etc.).
Or it could be a simple reward for completing each step of the process.
Collaborative and social learning are a big element to engagement. There are plenty of ways that you can encourage collaboration without complex technology.
You could put together a simple Facebook group for learners to share questions, comments or even take quizzes.
Facebook is also testing out course creation through its group pages (though it’s still in its infancy):
Facebook is designed as a social platform. It’s free. It’s easy to use. Most employees probably have a profile already and know how to use it.
It’s an easy way to keep people engaging with each other, even if they’re worlds apart.
Videos range from the higher end of the technical spectrum to the low end, but they’re ultimately very low-tech with a high engagement rate.
The nice thing about videos is that you can view them from a variety of devices and platforms. If some employees are more comfortable viewing on a desktop computer, for instance, they can do that.
If some prefer mobile devices, they can engage that way instead.
In terms of production value, you can turn slideshows into videos relatively quickly to keep production costs (and time, energy, etc.) low.
Technology That’s Worth the Investment
While all of the examples above are great low-tech ways to improve engagement, there may be a few instances where having some additional technology may actually benefit you.
Mobile Learning (mLearning)
You can still engage mobile users by having your courses available to view on mobile-friendly web pages.
If you find that your employees tend to favor mobile, you could invest in apps or mLearning technology to capture that desire.
Mobile apps for learning will certainly increase over the years to come, so the investment wouldn’t be wasted.
They offer additional flexibility to take the online course when learners do not have access to Internet and can be used for both formal and informal learning.
While videos can certainly be a low-tech engagement tool when needed, you can also kick it into high gear by offering interactive videos, too.
Cloud storage is another technology that is absolutely worth the investment when it comes to eLearning.
Even having access to something like Dropbox or Google Drive can help keep all of your materials in one location. This makes them easily accessible for learners and facilitators alike.
Not to mention that most cloud storage solutions are relatively cheap, and can be monitored remotely from multiple devices. This makes it the perfect eLearning storage system and definitely worth the consideration.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Having a good LMS will be vital to engage learners and assess their performance.
LMS can support some of the other technology on this list (like mLearning) and help create interactive elements to your course.
These systems can also help monitor your success and create a sort of database for learners to see their progress and track their own results.
While you can create a successful eLearning course without one, they’re highly recommended for companies looking to engage employees – especially large groups of diverse employees – over time.
You don’t need fancy technology to engage learners. You need content that’s clear, relevant, enthusiastic and rewards results.
Some technology may assist you in creating these outcomes, but don’t assume that high-tech is better.
Simple solutions like a slideshow, video or even Facebook group can be engaging enough for your audiences, depending on their needs.
Some technology you might consider investing in would include organizational tools like an LMS system or cloud storage solution.
If you really want to tinker with technology that’s up and coming, invest in those that you already know work, like interactive videos and mobile-friendly tools.