Motivating Employees to Learn

Instructional Designers (IDs) and Developers are responsible for creating eLearning content that is beneficial to the learner. A key element to producing valuable training material is to know what motivates different employees to learn.

Some ways that IDs and Developers can be more mindful towards learners’ varying needs include:

  1. Adapting to diverse eLearning preferences
  2. Implementing scenario-based eLearning methods
  3. Utilizing Nudge Theory to keep employees engaged

By incorporating this knowledge into the creative process, IDs and Developers can design eLearning trainings that are inspiring, effective, and meaningful.

Adapting to Diverse eLearning Preferences

There are different types of learners. Some employees are visual, others prefer audio, and then there are those who enjoy tactile learning. By carefully researching their prospective audience, IDs and Developers can determine which activities and assessment styles work best for the eLearning training they are designing. Visual learners will appreciate animations and infographics, while auditory learners will benefit from narrated videos, and tactile learners will relish in interactive components and gamification.

Implementing Scenario-Based eLearning Methods

Scenario-based eLearning methods are another useful way to engage learners. These methods include:

  • Amplifying the number of interactive components throughout the training
  • Breaking content down into smaller, more easily digestible segments
  • Combining diverse formats like audio, video, activities, text, and photos to add versatility to the eLearning content

These methods are easy to incorporate, and they motivate learners to navigate the content more effectively. As a result, they lead to enhanced learner attention and participation, reduced procrastination, and more retained information.

Utilizing Nudge Theory

IDs and Developers can also utilize Nudge Theory to create eLearning content that inspires learners to apply their knowledge in ways that meet the training objectives within their respective organizations. Essentially, Nudge Theory is concerned with positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions that aim to influence and/or shape learning skills. There are several ways to use Nudge Theory to motivate learners and generate desired outcomes within eLearning, and they include:

  • Content and web design that is appealing and clear to learners (e.g., colours, font, imagery and/or layouts that are easy to navigate, properly structured, and add a general ‘flow’ to the training material)
  • Content that is easy to use and corresponds to the learners’ preferences and/or needs
  • Scenarios that are applicable to the real-world, establish an emotional connection, and tie into the learners’ job role

By utilizing Nudge Theory, IDs and Developers can ensure that they are creating eLearning content that motivates learners to absorb information and make decisions that are aligned with the training’s objective(s).

To Summarize

All learners are different, and it is important to keep this fact in mind when creating eLearning content. Every individual has a unique set of needs and requirements. These factors will determine whether they are motivated to learn, and if they will remain actively engaged while taking a training. For this reason, IDs and Developers need to gauge their audience and understand that versatility is the key to producing valuable content. Without it, learners will quickly lose interest and disengage from the material. 


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