9 Tips To Engage Left-Brained Online Learners

How To Engage "Left-Brained" Online Learners

The left hemisphere of the brain is believed to deal with analytical thinking and processing, as well as linguistics, mathematics, and practical reasoning. Online learners who are considered "left-brain dominant" are thought to have a mind like a steel trap and can remember large quantities of information. However, they are supposed to lack the same creativity, emotionality, and intuitiveness as their right-brained counterparts. It is important to acknowledge that the left brain vs right brain hypothesis doesn't seem to be confirmed with MRI tests, since studies have shown equal activity on both sides of the brain regardless of one's personality. The terms used here are only a metaphor to distinguish between creative and analytical thinkers, "right-brained" and "left-brained" as they are often called. With that in mind, here are 9 top tips to engage and motivate "left-brained" online learners in your eLearning course design.

1. Break Tasks Into Smaller Milestones

"Left-brained" online learners enjoy goal-setting. This is primarily due to the fact that they are detail-oriented and well-organized. Thus, you should break online tasks into manageable milestones. Be specific about what online learners must accomplish in order to achieve the desired outcome. In addition, give them the opportunity to set a personalized schedule that maps out each milestone. For example, they must complete the first module of the online certification program by a particular date.

2. Incorporate Real-World Simulations And Branching Scenarios

One of the "left-brained" online learners' strong suits is critical thinking and reasoning. Thus, they should have the opportunity to put their problem-solving skills into action through simulations and branching scenarios. Present them with an obstacle or challenge. Then let them use their pre-existing knowledge to explore possible outcomes. Just remember that "left-brained" online learners do have an eye for detail. As such, your real-world activities should be realistic, practical, and immersive.

3. Include Stat-Rich Infographics

While "right-brained" online learners gravitate toward languages, "left-brained" online learners are all about numbers. They are looking for facts, stats, and figures to improve their understanding. Therefore, you might consider infographics that showcase trends, patterns, and other stat-rich topics. For example, a compliance infographic that emphasizes the importance of safety protocols. However, keep in mind that these online learners are not immune to cognitive overload. You should still limit the number of stats in each infographic to improve knowledge retention.

4. Provide Clear Instructions

Include detailed online instructions for every aspect of the eLearning course. From how to access the LMS platform to completing the branching scenario. "Left-brained" online learners are particularly apt at reading and following directions. This also provides them with the structure they crave. Thus, they are more likely to actively participate and engage with the eLearning content. You should also think about adding online training tutorials, walkthroughs, and FAQs to provide them additional support.

5. Offer Asynchronous eLearning Activities

As a general rule, online learners who are thought to lean on the left hemisphere like to fly solo. As such, asynchronous, self-guided eLearning activities are an ideal choice. Give them the opportunity to access the learning materials whenever it suits their schedule, and keep synchronous eLearning activities, like webinars or live Q&As to a minimum. However, you shouldn't omit them entirely, as "left-brained" online learners still need some degree of social interaction.

6. Add Summarizations And Lists

"Left-brained" online learners like to see all the information in front of them. Preferably in list form, such as bullet lists that outline every step of the task or discussion point. Thus, it's wise to include summarizations before and after each eLearning activity or module. Break the subject matter into easily digestible ideas, concepts, and facts so that online learners can quickly refresh their memory.

7. De-Clutter Your eLearning Course Design

A supposed distinguishing characteristic of left-brain dominance is the need for organization and order. For this reason, you should de-clutter your eLearning course design and only include the essentials. Remove any extraneous graphics, images, or text that doesn't align with the learning objectives. This also applies to the audio elements in your eLearning course. "Left-brained" online learners prefer quiet environments that allow them to focus on the task, instead of being distracted by loud background music or sound effects.

8. Encourage Personalized Learning Plans

"Left-brained" online learners are big fans of strict routines. They prefer to follow a set schedule in every aspect of their lives. That includes eLearning. That said, you should also give them the power to plot their own eLearning course. This comes in the form of a personalized learning plan that features structured schedules and customized eLearning activities. Encourage "left-brained" online learners to choose their own eLearning modules and activities from the catalog, and allow them to create their own completion timelines. You can also include clickable eLearning course maps they can explore at their leisure.

9. Offer A Fact-Based Microlearning Online Training Library

"Right-brained" online learners are governed by their imaginations. Creativity is king. But their "left-brained" counterparts stick to the facts. More specifically, facts that are backed by reliable sources. A microlearning online training library offers them the ability to reinforce and refresh the key takeaways. Here are some eLearning activities you may want to include:

a. Bite-Sized Branching Scenarios

"Left-brained" online learners are realistic and practical. Branching scenarios check both of these boxes. They also help online learners hone their critical thinking skills, which is another supposed trait of left-brain dominance.

b. Real-World Case Studies And Examples

Case studies, factual stories, and real-world examples give "left-brained" online learners need-to-know information in a format that's easy to understand. They can relate to the eLearning characters while absorbing the core ideas. Not to mention they are based in reality, which is a big plus for pragmatic "left-brained" online learners.

c. Video Demos With Online Companion Guides

The human brain absorbs information more effectively when it's in a visual format. But "left-brained" online learners also like to see a written breakdown of important facts and stats. Thus, your video demos need to be accompanied by complementary infographics, walkthroughs, and tip sheets.

Though some of your online learners may be described as "left-brain dominant", it's important to note that, as noted in the beginning, both sides of the brain are equally engaged throughout the learning process. For example, those who excel in mathematics could also be encouraged to get creative and foster an emotional connection. Keep in mind that "left-brained" and "right-brained" are just figures of speech and that holistic eLearning is always the best approach.

What do you need to do to engage the creative, right-brained type of online learners? Read the article 9 Tips To Engage Right-Brained Online Learners to connect with your right-brained online learners and give them the personalized resources they require.

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