It's Not Just About Fun: The essential guide to learner engagement
To be engaged in something means to commit one’s full attention to it. People can become deeply involved in many things, from hobbies and sports to their projects at work. And the better they feel about the task they engage in, the more focused and invested they are in doing it well.
When deeply engaged, people feel motivated to try harder and improve themselves. They actively seek ways to increase their performance and develop knowledge and skills in their areas of interest.
That kind of engagement can be incredibly empowering in all spheres of life, including personal development, work-life satisfaction, quality of personal relationships, and opportunities for advancement in the workplace. However, some would argue that engagement plays its most crucial role in the area of learning.
What does engagement have to do with learning?
Many believe that we should never stop learning because life never stops teaching us lessons. From technology to fashion, the modern world continuously shows us new ways of doing, seeing, and creating things. So, to cope with that, we must be able to engage in learning again and again, and again.
According to The Glossary of Education Reform, learning engagement is “the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that learners show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.”
It seems that engaged learners are more dedicated, motivated and likely to succeed. They often become top achievers, who put their learnings into application and continue to develop their skills beyond what they are formally taught.
On the other hand, when learners are disengaged, they become “lost.” They pass any opportunity to push themselves, always go for the bare minimum, and distance themselves both from the learning experience and their fellow learners.
To engage disengaged learners can take an enormous effort. So, the key here is prevention.
At the same time, the growing disengagement crisis in learning, as well as the workplace, makes things more complicated. The increasing demands of technology and the distractions of social media and non-stop communication pull the learners’ attention in opposing directions. That leaves little room for focusing on meaningful learning experiences. The good news is that all these negative factors can be addressed and mitigated.
Before taking any action though, it is imperative to understand that the responsibility for achieving learner engagement does not rest solely with the learners themselves. Course designers and instructors must develop a deeper understanding of how to increase learning engagement, and how to avoid losing the interest of learners.
To that end, we will explore the many facets of learner engagement, and how training professionals can equip themselves with the right tools to draw learners in and keep them engaged.
The many facets of learner engagement
In this eBook, we introduce the key factors that influence engagement and explain how they work. Those are:
● The true nature of engagement: Learner engagement is a multilayered process that occurs on a cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social level. How does each layer work? How do they affect each other?
● The importance and benefits of engagement: Deeply engaged learners tend to become highly engaged employees. However, the benefits to learners being fully engaged in the learning experience are even more. What is the role of learner engagement in learning and job performance? How well do engaged learners do in a corporate setting?
● The barriers preventing engagement: Learner engagement is very important, yet seldom achieved. What are the potential barriers to learning engagement? How can they be lifted to prevent disengagement?
● Using online training strategies to promote engagement among learners: How can you overcome the obstacles to efficient learning? Which learner engagement techniques actually pay off? How does this translate to a corporate setting?
● Actionable techniques to increase learner engagement with a learning management system (LMS): Finally, we suggest practical strategies to make the most of an LMS for engaging learners in an online environment. How can you select the right features based on your training objectives? How do different features apply to both general and corporate learners?
Now, it’s time to engage! Let’s delve into the true essence of learner engagement and learn how to reap all of its benefits.