7 Creative Ideas To Motivate Online Learners
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How To Motivate Online Learners: 7 Creative Ideas For eLearning Pros

Motivation in eLearning is one of the most difficult elements to obtain. It requires a perfect blend of drive, determination, and focus. You must know the needs of your online learners, and then identify how to meet those needs effectively. It's governed by personal cognitions, which makes it even more challenging to quantify. But if you take the time to learn what motivates and inspires them, amazing things are bound to happen. Here are 7 creative ideas to help you motivate online learners and increase the effectiveness of your eLearning course.

1. Create Online Collaboration Groups

It's virtually impossible to pass up a good mystery, especially if you're part of it. Divide your online learners into groups and assign each a case study, real world example, or complex problem. Give them clues that they can use to solve the mystery, and then leave them to their own devices. They'll have the chance to brainstorm possible outcomes with their team members and analyze every aspect of the case. This not only increases their motivation and gets them actively involved, but also improves communication and teamwork skills. As an added bonus, they benefit from the eLearning experience of their peers and get to see things from a different viewpoint.

2. Turn Mistakes Into Learning Opportunities

Fear of failure is one of the primary obstacles for online learners. They aren’t motivated to learn because they are too afraid of making a mistake. As a result, they don't participate in the process or receive the benefits from your eLearning course. You have the power to turn mistakes into learning opportunities, thereby removing the obstacle. Give online learners the chance to reflect and review their approach after every eLearning activity. Then, offer personalized feedback and constructive criticism that they can use to create actionable goals. Most importantly, choose an LMS that can help you develop a learning culture that honors mistakes instead of condemning them.

3. Set Aside Time For Self-Reflection

Some eLearning courses have a certain degree of chaos. Online learners are expected to keep pace with their peers and get the information as quickly as possible, which leaves little room for reflecting on the topic and absorbing the information. This is why it's essential to make time for self-reflection and evaluation. Incorporate frequent breaks where online learners can analyze their approach, memorize the key takeaways, and pinpoint areas for improvement. These breaks give online learners the power to form a meaningful connection with the subject matter which personalizes their eLearning experience. It also puts them in charge of their own growth and development, which fuels their intrinsic motivation.

4. Use Leaderboards To Fuel Friendly Competition

There is something about friendly competition that drives online learners to succeed. Maybe it's just human nature. We all strive to be better than those around us. It's not out of spite, but the continual pursuit to reach our true potential. Leaderboards can help you harness the power of friendly competition in your eLearning course design. Use points, credits, and badges as rewards that allow online learners to improve their rank. Alternatively, link leaderboards to eLearning assessment scores and overall performance. There is a caveat to this approach, however. Make sure that every online learner is on board and give them the chance to opt-out. Some people don't respond well to competition and prefer to go it alone.

5. Transform Online Tasks Into Serious Games

Simulations and branching scenarios are effective eLearning tools. However, serious games also allow online learners to explore complex tasks and processes. They incorporate popular game mechanics, such as badges and levels, as well as task online training tutorials. For example, online learners must prove that they have a specific skill before they can advance to the next tier, or complete the next stage of the process in order to defeat the "boss". Serious games are exciting and entertaining, which motivates online learners to actively engage in the learning process. Just make certain that your learning objectives do not play second fiddle to the gaming experience.

6. Allow Online Learners To Choose Their Own Learning Path

One of the most important aspects of increasing online learners’ motivation is giving them some sense of control. They may not be able to determine the learning outcomes or objectives. However, they can still choose which eLearning activities they complete and when. This empowers online learners to set their own goals and customize the eLearning experience. For example, online learners who prefer more eLearning interactivity can participate in serious games and simulations. Instead of developing a linear eLearning course map, create a clickable guide that puts online learners in charge. Offer them the ability to progress at their own leisure and make the most of the online training resources.

7. Spruce Up The Learning Environment

The aesthetics of your eLearning course have a direct impact on online learners’ motivation. Bright, bold colors make them feel more energetic and driven. Too many images on the screen create a sense of chaos and disorder, which is reflected in their performance. Evaluate your current eLearning course design from an emotional standpoint. How does the color scheme and font type make you feel? Is the layout achieving the desired effect? Is there a cohesive flow to your eLearning course, or is there an element that's out of place? Sprucing up your learning environment can drastically improve online learners’ motivation. You may even want to enlist the help of a colleague to review the eLearning course and provide feedback. Better still, conduct a focus group to see how your audience feels about the layout and other eLearning course elements.

These creative ideas can help you motivate online learners, so that they can get the full benefit from your eLearning course. Also, keep in mind that research is the first and most important step. Choose an eLearning authoring tool that features online asset libraries that give you access to a variety of resources, from interactions and animations to templates and online training simulations you can download and customize. These online training resources allow eLearning professionals to create vivid and engaging eLearning content that optimizes the eLearning experience. Learn as much as you can about what makes your online learners tick so that you can find the source of their motivation.

Are you an eLearning professional looking to develop exceptional online training content? Request your free trial for Adobe’s stellar Captivate (2017 Release) authoring tool, and craft content beyond imagination. Also, don’t forget to ask for the Adobe's Captivate Prime Demo to witness the experience of one of the best Learning Management Systems in the market.

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