Turn Your eLearning Audience Into Lifelong Online Learners: 7 Tips For eLearning Professionals
Lifelong online learners are committed to any learning opportunity. They strive to expand their understanding and become active participants in the process. For this very reason, it is always beneficial to convert your eLearning audience into dedicated and passionate lifelong online learners, regardless of the subject matter or the learning objectives of the eLearning course. The question remains: how do you achieve this in an eLearning environment? How do you leave your mark and encourage them to make the leap, so that they can broaden their educational horizons on an ongoing basis?
- Encourage them to discover their own learning preferences.
Every member of your eLearning audience has their own learning needs and personal preferences. While some online learners retain information more effectively when it is in a visual format, others may prefer online lectures with audio presentations. Encouraging online learners to find their own preferences gives them the opportunity to discover what works best for them, and which learning approaches may not be the right match for their personal needs. Once they identify which learning preference resonates with them, they can then choose eLearning activities and online exercises that offer them the most benefit.
- Give your online learners time to reflect.
Your online learners must have the chance to absorb and retain what they are learning, rather than having to rush through the online lesson in order to reach the next eLearning module. They should have ample time to reflect on the topic and gather their thoughts and opinions about the key ideas and concepts. Reflection also gives them the opportunity to fully comprehend the topics and commit them to long-term memory, so that they can build upon their preexisting knowledge and form connections between related ideas. In between each online lesson or activity, give learners a few moments to think about the takeaways and form their own conclusions on how they will be able to apply what they have learned in the real world.
- Encourage online learners to set personal milestones.
Every online learner is fueled by motivation. While some may get that all-important motivation from the overall goals and objectives of the eLearning course, others may require a more personal approach in their eLearning experience. Encourage every member of your eLearning audience to set their own milestones that center on their interests, professional goals, and learning needs. After they create these milestones, ask them to track their progress along the way and participate in online self-assessments that help them identify areas of improvement. If they feel as though they are in control of their own eLearning experience, they are more likely to become empowered lifelong learners who actually enjoy online educational pursuits.
- Make it a social experience.
Lifelong learning is not just a solo endeavor. In fact, you can make the eLearning experience even more enjoyable and engaging for your eLearning audience by integrating social learning activities into your eLearning course strategy. Encourage them to reach out to like-minded individuals on social media sites and online forums, or create a blog that focuses on their key interests. The goal is to give them the chance to collaborate with their peers so they can not only benefit from their insights and skills, but surround themselves with other virtual lifelong online learners who are passionate about learning.
- Challenge their preexisting ideas and opinions.
Human beings don’t typically like to be told that our opinions or ideas are incorrect or uninformed. However, challenging preexisting ideas and opinions can open up a world of learning opportunities for your eLearning audience. If they are made aware of the fact that an idea they have held for years is, in fact, questionable, this can prompt them to second guess a variety of other suppositions. As a result, they discover new things about themselves and the world, as well as seek out new knowledge about the topic in question.
- Develop personal lifelong online learning paths.
A personal online learning path is an individualized learning plan for eLearning that centers on interests, passions, and needs. Online learners are given the chance to participate in online activities, exercises, and eLearning assessments that cater to their personal learning needs and preferences. They can also determine which online resources and tools can help them along their path in order to get the most out of the eLearning experience. It’s wise to give online learners complete control over creating their own online learning paths, so that they can pick and choose the online materials and eLearning content that is ideally suited for them. For example, you may want to give them a choice of three different online exercises to complete and allow them to select the right one for their personal goals and needs.
- Stress the benefits of lifelong online learning.
Online learners need to know what’s in it for them. Include a clear and concise summary of the benefits of lifelong online learning, as well as how they can apply the knowledge they have acquired in real life. Learning for the sake of learning is one thing, but learning to improve your personal and professional life is a really meaningful eLearning experience. For each eLearning course you create, make your online learners aware of what they will be able to do with the information so that they get excited about the possibilities. This also applies to their personal milestones and online learning paths. Let them know the advantages of creating their individualized online learning strategies in order to fuel their intrinsic source of motivation.
In order for your eLearning audience to become lifelong online learners, you must be able to tap into their passions and interests. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through researching your audience. If you can find out what drives them, then you can make room in their hearts and minds for never-ending online education.
Engagement is essential if you want to encourage lifelong online learning. Read the article 6 Tips To Engage Passive Learners In eLearning to discover 6 tips on how you can create eLearning deliverables that turn even the most passive learners into engaged, excited, and motivated eLearning course participants.