5 Ways To Make An eLearning Platform Habit-Forming
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Include These 5 Habit-Forming Principles In Your eLearning Platform

We have seen in the past that crises often result in long-lasting attitudinal shifts. Just like how after 9/11 air travel decreased significantly and after World War II more women started joining the workforce. Similarly, in the post-COVID era, there will be a change in the way students learn. Now, let's discover 5 key principles you must include in your eLearning platform in order to make it habit-forming.

1. Habit Zone

The students who get hooked on your learning platform become your brand ambassadors and bring in new learners at practically no cost. It also provides great flexibility on the pricing part once the learner gets into the habit zone.

3 factors which govern the transformation of behavior into a habit:

  1. Correct behavior identification
    The behavior of visual learners, which can be converted into a habit, might be different from an auditory learner. So, segregating students based on their learning styles becomes a prerequisite for behavior identification.
  2. Painkillers
    The pain of boredom is relieved when we watch YouTube or, as with Facebook, loneliness. Similarly, students also have certain pains that need to be removed in order to develop a habit-forming EdTech product.
  3. Frequent occurrence
    Students must use the product frequently, even if perceived benefits from the students' end are very few. Studies show that frequent occurrence of behavior is the number one factor responsible for converting it into behavior.

2. Triggers

Triggers play a crucial role in sustaining behavior to the point that it becomes a habit. They usually guide the learner toward what they need to do next. When designing triggers, we need to ensure that they don't kill the natural instinct of the learner.

3 triggers which can make the learner cross the "action line" every time:

  1. Owned triggers
    They occupy some space on the smartphone of the learner. The learner should be able to see some features of your product on a daily basis, even if they aren't using the product that particular day.
  2. Relationship triggers
    A learner sharing their accomplishment of completing a particular course can trigger their peer friends to also complete their own courses or assignments. Enthusiasm for sharing the benefits of courses should be instilled in users in order to increase engagement.
  3. Earned triggers
    These can be in the form of metrics such as the number of minutes spent on the platform or the number of assignments completed. This would eventually give a sense of accomplishment, which would trigger the learner to visit the platform again.

3. Action

In order to ensure that behavior occurs, the student has to cross the "action line." Time, level of mental effort, and the focus required to perform behavior play a crucial role in determining if the students will go ahead or not.

3 core motivations for students to perform an action:

  1. Seek social acceptance and avoid peer rejection
    Getting likes from their friends is one of the key reasons for posting on social media. Similarly, if the goal of completing the learning objectives is rewarded by their friends, students will surely go ahead and complete the goal.
  2. Seek hope and avoid the fear of failure
    Traditional classroom backbenchers are always avoiding failure, they are constantly looking for hope and encouragement. Some students might excel at a particular subject and at the same time carry the fear of failure in their weak subject.
  3. Seek the pleasure of learning and avoid the pain of boring content
    The content should be really engaging, this not only helps the learner relish the pleasure of learning but also kills their pain of finding the subject boring.

4. Variable Reward

The best way to reinforce the motivation of students to keep them learning is to give them rewards. If rewards are unknown, then it sparks the desire to perform the learning activity again and again. Before designing the reward, it becomes extremely important to ensure that you have understood what truly matters to the student.

3 types of variable rewards for learners:

  1. Community rewards
    These rewards connect to the community or their peer learning group. The top performer might be given an opportunity to give 5 extra marks to any of their fellow friends.
  2. Informative rewards
    Humans used to hunt for food but now they hunt for information. Let's say as a reward, a student learns a question on the upcoming exam, this would certainly induce excitement among their friends.
  3. Self rewards
    Sometimes students learn for the sake of learning and are driven by intrinsic motivation. Winning a personal lesson with the best teacher can be one such reward. It can eventually lead to a learner developing excellence in their area of interest.

5. Investment

The more time students spend on your EdTech product, the more they value it. Just like it would be very difficult for us to transition to any alternative form of Gmail; similarly, it would be difficult for students to opt for any better alternative if the students have already submitted a lot of content on your platform. The assumption we are making is that a student is enrolled in a course based upon their interests.

3 ways in which students can invest in your product:

  1. Minutes spent on the platform
    Keep track of the time that students spend on the platform. Learners always want to stay at the top of their peer group. In order to retain their position, they will try to stay for the maximum amount of time possible on the platform.
  2. Submission of assignments
     If students start getting brownie points for every correct submission they make, eventually they will start asking more and more questions, as their social prestige is at stake.
  3. Helping fellow friends
    As a volunteer, students have the option to help when someone in their group is having doubts about a particular concept. The recognition they get will keep them coming back to the platform again and again.
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