How To Work With Tech-Resistant Learners In eLearning: 7 Tips For eLearning Professionals
If eLearning professionals had their way, every learner who logged into the eLearning environment would embrace technology wholeheartedly. However, in reality, there are learners who fight technology at every turn and are completely resistant to the eLearning technologies at their disposal. In this article, I will share 7 tips on how to work with learners who are less-than enthusiastic about interactive eLearning, mobile-friendly online courses, and other tech-centric eLearning resources.
- Be clear about expectations and goals.
One of the reasons why many learners are resistant to using technology in eLearning is because they are unsure of what is expected of them. In many respects, it is the fear of the unknown. Thus, you must be perfectly clear about why you’ve chosen the eLearning tools you have, as well as the role that eLearning technology plays in the overall eLearning experience. For example, will your learners be using the eLearning technology as a supplemental resource after the in-class training, or will the entire eLearning course be conducted online? What types of eLearning activities are you going to include? Walk your learners through every step of the eLearning course so that they know what is in store for them and what they need to do in order to successfully complete the eLearning course.
- Offer a demo.
Some of your tech-resistant learners in eLearning may not actually be resistant at all, but unsure about their ability to use the eLearning tools at their disposal. For example, a learner may be unfamiliar with how to use an online assessment, which makes them hesitant to enroll in the eLearning course in the first place. This is why you should always offer your learners an in depth walkthrough of how to use the eLearning software such as your learning management system. Let them know about all of the features, eLearning navigation controls, and interactive eLearning activities. For learners who need a bit more help with tech know-how, consider creating an video tutorial or text-based explanation of how they can access and use the eLearning platform.
- Encourage group collaboration.
Putting your learners into smaller groups and encouraging them to explore the eLearning platform gives them the opportunity to learn about the tech together. You can pair them up with other tech-resistant learners so that they can share their common concerns and help each other through the process. Likewise, you can group them with tech-savvy learners who can use their personal experience to provide assistance for those who are not familiar with technology. The goal is to utilize social learning to your advantage by having learners share their experience and insight to make the most of the eLearning technology that is available to them.
- Stress the benefits up front.
This is the case for all learners, but doubly so for those who are tech-resistant. You must stress the benefits of taking the eLearning course from the start, so that your learners get the motivation they need to actively participate. Learners who are hesitant about using technology will be more likely to actually engage in the learning process if they know what they’ll get out of the experience; in other words, what is in it for them. If they are willing to put in the time and effort to utilizing the eLearning software, then they want to know that it will all be worthwhile.
- Show a proven track record.
Making learners aware of the fact that the eLearning technology has worked in the past can be the nudge that tech-resistant learners in eLearning need. Give them evidence or testimonials that show them that the instructional strategy is actually sound and that they can achieve success if they dedicate themselves to the eLearning experience. You can even let them see past feedback forms, such as surveys or focus group notes, so that they are able to get a glimpse of how the eLearning course can benefit them.
- Ask for their feedback.
Speaking of feedback, in order to create a track record for your eLearning course and to make improvements that can strengthen your eLearning strategy, it’s always a good idea to solicit feedback from your current learners. This also gives tech-resistant learners in eLearning the chance to voice their concerns and opinions, and lets them know that their thoughts matter. It may be a good idea to offer them a survey at the end of the eLearning course, or even at the midway point, so that you can make changes as you go along. For example, if most of your learners aren’t comfortable with a particular eLearning activity or resource, then you can determine if it’s really a good fit for your online course.
- Introduce the eLearning strategy slowly and steadily.
It’s best to ease learners into eLearning technology, especially those who are new to the world of eLearning. Don’t force them into highly immersive and interactive exercises right away. Instead, slowly but surely give them the opportunity to acclimate to the eLearning technology by offering supplemental eLearning resources and online activities. Then, as they become more familiar with technology, integrate eLearning scenarios, simulations, and other multimedia elements that offer them the full benefit of your online learning tools. This is also why it’s important to learn as much as possible about your audience beforehand, so that you can find out their level of tech-savviness and integrate the appropriate eLearning activities.
Technology has the power to transform an eLearning experience, but only if learners are receptive. These tips can help you ease them into technology and offer them the full benefit of your eLearning course.
Motivation is one of the most important aspects of eLearning. If your learners are motivated, then they will be more likely to welcome technology with open arms. Read the article Tips to Engage and Inspire Adult Learners to discover 11 adult learner tips that will give you the ability to overcome the obstacles that are often associated with training adult audiences.