The 8 Best-Kept Secrets To Succeed At Distance Learning (2018 Update)

The 8 Best-Kept Secrets To Succeed At Distance Learning
Summary: You want your online learners to get the most benefit from your eLearning course and achieve their learning goals. But how do you maintain the motivation and keep them fully engaged so that they can reap the rewards? This article features the 8 best-kept secrets to help your online learners succeed at distance learning.

How To Succeed At Distance Learning: 8 Secrets Revealed

Developing distance learning courses that leave their mark can be a difficult undertaking. Your audience is comprised of busy, multigenerational, multitasking individuals who are dealing with a multitude of distractions. Thus, they may need some help maintaining mental focus and sticking to their study schedule. Below are the 8 best-kept secrets to succeed at distance learning that you should consider when creating eLearning courses. Some of these 8 tips even apply to online learners directly, as they can use them to get maximum benefit from their eLearning course.

1. Encourage Online Learners To Set Their Own Learning Goals And Milestones

Online learners should feel empowered to set learning goals that are relevant to them and their personal pursuits. For example, they want to improve their sales techniques or customer service skills to get a promotion. Encourage them to create their own long and short-term goals, as well as milestones that help them track progress and maintain their motivation. These should be paired with the overall learning goals, objectives, and outcomes they need to meet the requirements.

2. Help Them Find Their Individual Learning Preferences

Many online learners disengage from the eLearning experience because it simply doesn’t cater to their learning needs or preferences. The information is delivered in such a way that they cannot absorb the ideas or connect with the subject matter. As such, they’re more likely to drop out or not retain the key takeaways. For this reason, it’s crucial to help them determine their learning preferences and then personalize their learning path. Include a good mix of online training activities and resources so that everyone can find what they’re looking for, regardless of whether they gravitate toward tactile serious games or audio podcasts.

3. Incorporate An Effective Support System

Distance learning is often synonymous with asynchronous eLearning courses and solo activities. Which makes many online learners feel isolated from their peers or that they don’t have a support system to help guide them through the process. Incorporate peer-based support tools that allow them to share experiences and assist fellow distance learners, such as social media groups, online discussions, or even coaching programs that enable them to work together toward a common goal.

4. Create A Class Calendar To Keep Everyone On Track

Most online learners already have a lot on their minds (and their agendas). They probably have busy work lives, personal obligations, and a variety of other commitments. So, they cannot be faulted for falling behind in their online studies from time to time. That said, they aren’t able to get the full benefit from your eLearning course if they don’t actively participate and meet deadlines. Create a community calendar that features all the notable events and due dates online learners should remember. You can also send out automatic notifications to remind them a day or two in advance, as well as allow them to add personal tasks to their own calendar.

5. Give Online Learners Prep Activities And eLearning Course Sneak Peeks

Some online learners may be struggling with the topic, while others simply want to take the initiative and advance more rapidly. In either case, it’s good to provide them with prep activities they can complete on their own. Such as a microlearning online training library that covers a wide range of subject matters and learning preferences. You can also offer sneak peeks of upcoming eLearning courses or modules they can look forward to. For instance, a brief overview of what’s included in the latest negotiation skills course. This gives online learners the chance to start prepping for the eLearning course and building related skills.

6. Offer Ample Opportunities For Self-Reflection

Self-reflection allows online learners to evaluate their own study habits and weak spots. But they often don’t evaluate their performance without being prompted. This is due to the fact that basic human nature dictates we don’t like to admit our own shortcomings. However, you can include eLearning activities that facilitate self-reflection so that they can analyze their progress and behaviors. For example, personal anecdotes that encourage them to question their own performance or beliefs. Or simulations that allow them to identify behaviors or decision-making processes that hinder their progress.

7. Invite Online Learners To Create Personal Training Contracts

Don’t make it mandatory, but invite online learners to develop personal training contracts so that they have more accountability. Encourage them to include their learning goals, growth timeline, and tools they’ll use to achieve success. You can also pair it with a peer-based mentoring program. Online learners can meet once a month via video conferencing to review their contract and see how the're performing. Then make any necessary changes and provide feedback.

8. Host Live eLearning Events To Keep Online Learners In The Loop

Hosting regular live eLearning events allows you to keep online learners informed about eLearning course updates and interact with them directly. You can even plan webinars that center on specific topics, as a supplemental learning resource. This bridges the distance and breaks down geographical barriers that may prevent online learners from fully engaging with the eLearning course. Online learners can attend live eLearning events that pertain to their learning goals or course requirements. Or even host live eLearning events of their own if they have unique expertise to share with the "class".

Distance learning can be difficult for individuals who lack motivation or drive. But even those who have all these things in-check may still struggle due to other commitments and time constraints. These 8 secrets can help you help them succeed in distance learning. No matter where they are or what they need to accomplish their learning goals.

Do adults learn in the same way as their younger counterparts? Or do they need their own special approach to absorb the information? Do you know what your adult learners need to achieve their goals and tackle everyday challenges? Are you looking for ways to keep your adult learners engaged during your eLearning course? Download our free eBook Designing eLearning Courses For Adult Learners: The Complete Guide to find out about adult learner characteristics, the obstacles they need to overcome, ways to engage and motivate busy adult learners, some amazing adult learning facts and stats you need to know as an eLearning pro, and much more...