7 Tips To Engage And Motivate Busy Adult Learners
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How To Engage And Motivate Busy Adult Learners

Most adult learners are hard-working individuals who want to broaden their horizons or solve everyday problems. This means that they may need a little help eliminating distractions in order to connect with eLearning content and achieve their objectives. These 7 tips will help to keep your busy adult learners engaged and motivated, even if they always seem to be short on time or attention.

eBook Release: Designing eLearning Courses For Adult Learners: The Complete Guide
eBook Release
Designing eLearning Courses For Adult Learners: The Complete Guide
This Free eBook can help you design engaging and inspiring eLearning courses for adult learners.

1. Allow Time For Information Processing

When you are dealing with busy adult learners, it is quite tempting to cram as much information as possible into a short period of time. However, this is counter-intuitive and may ruin the eLearning experience for everyone involved. As a general rule, for every ten minutes of online instructions, you should allow busy adult learners two minutes to assimilate the information before presenting the next eLearning module or activity.

2. Focus On Real-World Uses

The information you provide should always be relevant and real-world centered. Otherwise, it won't offer your busy adult learners any practical value. Be upfront about the real-world benefits and applications of your eLearning course. For example, how is your eLearning course going to contribute to their skill set? Is your eLearning course going to further their career? Why should they invest time in the eLearning experience in the first place? You need to give them a reason to stay motivated and focused. This also involves eLearning simulations, scenarios, and other interactive online training resources that center on practical application of knowledge. Show and tell them about the advantages of active participation.

3. Let Your Busy Adult Learners Explore

Giving your busy adult learners instructions is one thing, but allowing them to explore the eLearning content is another. To keep them engaged, allow them to explore some of the most interesting eLearning content on their own. Encourage them to seek out supplemental online training resources or come up with other viable solutions to the problem. Naturally, your adult learners will still need your guidance while exploring the eLearning content. For example, create an online companion guide that features helpful tips and tricks they can use during the online group collaboration project. When adult learners gather information autonomously they're more likely to become lifelong learners with a constant thirst for knowledge.

4. Consider The Background Of Your Adult Learners

Adult learners tend to have a wealth of life experience. As they say, with age comes wisdom. As such, you need to learn as much as possible about their backgrounds, experience levels, and personal goals. This allows you to create online training materials that are ideally suited for their needs, instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach. If you are dealing with professionals, you may be able to benefit from adding some real-world examples in your eLearning course. For instance, some scenarios they might face in the workplace. If you are dealing with beginners, you could add some examples of how the eLearning course may contribute to a future job. Before you can determine the appropriate eLearning content for your busy adult learners, it's wise to delve into their educational history. Based on that information, you can make important decisions such as the implementation of technical jargon in your eLearning course.

5. Provide Constructive eLearning Feedback

One might think that drawing attention to incorrect learning behaviors or knowledge gaps would diminish motivation. After all, people usually prefer to focus on their strengths. However, providing constructive eLearning feedback is the key to move ahead. But it all hinges on the delivery. For example, praising all of your adult learners for a job well done isn't as effective as personalized eLearning feedback. Be clear about where their talents lie and what they need to work on. Adult learners appreciate honest and open eLearning feedback that helps them grow as individuals.

6. Consider LMS Platform Accessibility

Most busy adult learners simply don't have enough time to tackle their current work and family commitments. Therefore, they must have the ability to gain access to the LMS platform whenever they have the time to do so. Since the accessibility of your LMS platform is important, it is best to evaluate your options before you make a commitment. When you choose an LMS platform, ensure that it has all the essential features you need in order to optimize the eLearning experience. This could include file uploads, instant messaging, online calendar, rating systems, quizzes, social media widgets and more. Naturally, you must also look for the extra functions you need to make your eLearning course successful.

7. Offer Rewards

I'm not referring to gift cards or monetary incentives. Instead, it's best to provide busy adult learners with intrinsic rewards to spark their motivation. For example, eLearning badges or points that allow them to display their accomplishments and work toward the "ultimate" goal, which may be something as simple as paid time-off or a printable certificate they can show off to their peers. This is yet another reason why audience research is so crucial. It gives you the background information you need to choose the best rewards for the job. For instance, leaderboards may be the ideal approach for adult learners who are more competitive.

Adult learning experiences must be rooted in real-world application, personal reflection, and intrinsic rewards. Adult learners are in search for practical knowledge and skills that help them in their everyday lives. That is the common motivator that you need to bear in mind. When all is said and done, the ability to move from theory to practice is what determines a successful eLearning course.

Are you interested in learning more about how to create eLearning courses for Adult Learners? Download our free eBook Designing eLearning Courses For Adult Learners: The Complete Guide to learn about the characteristics of adult learners, what motivates them, the most appropriate Instructional Design models and Theories for adult learners, as well as additional facts and stats you need to know about this particular audience.

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