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13 Ways to Improve Your Online E-Learning Experience

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Krista Neher

Mar 19 2020

We’ve offered online digital marketing training for over 10 years (we stared off mailing DVDs to people) and have worked with some of the biggest companies to create powerful online and virtual learning experiences.

Here is what we’ve found works best to drive completion rates of online training and create an engaging user experience.

1. Do it as a Group

Doing virtual training as a group drives accountability and makes for a fun experience. We’ve had people sign up in groups of 2 or 3 and teams take the training together. This drives accountability and creates a group experience even though the training is online.

2. Short Sessions

Don’t try to complete a huge long course at once. You won’t be able to absorb all the material anyways. Aim for short sessions and choose training that is broken down into smaller modules (not one long 30 minute video per topic) so you can break the topics down.

3. Close Everything Else

Make sure that when you take online training you stay 100% focused and actively engaged. It is easy to get distracted on your computer. Close other apps so you can focus.

4. Take Notes or Build a Plan

All of our Digital Marketing Certifications include action planners. These are important to use during the training because learners are thinking about and applying what they learn immediately.

5. Include Incentives

Most of the organizations we work with that have the highest completion rates include fun incentives. A prize for the first 100 people who get certified. A special gift for someone who logs in every day. Incentives make the training experience fun and rewarding. Our online training already includes badges and rewards to help achieve this. If you are doing the training yourself you can also give yourself an incentive or reward for finishing.

6. Give Recognition

Recognize people who completed the training in your organization, or recognize yourself on social media. Internal recognition in a company can be a big motivator. It is a huge accomplishment to complete a training program, so share, share, share your certification or completion.

7. Set a Plan and Timeline

The challenge with online training is that you have access to a lot of content for a long time. It can be hard to find the time and it is easy to put it off. Give yourself a clear plan and timeline to stay focused. Put it in your calendar.

8. Keep it Collaborative and Discussion Based

Just because training is virtual it doesn’t have to be isolating. You can still have discussions about what you learn with instructors, other participants or your coworkers. This drives accountability and leads people to feel like they are participating in something with a group vs. alone.

9. Look for Resources to Implement

The goal of training isn’t just to learn – it is to do something better afterwards. Knowledge is only one piece of the puzzle. This is why we include templates, checklists and guides to drive performance and results and not just share ideas.

10. Put it in  Your Calendar

It you fail to plan you plan to fail. Get it in your calendar so that you know exactly when you have time to do the training and be consistent. Some learners join and after a year still haven’t even started. I get it. We have the best intentions (I have shelves of unread books). Put your online training into your calendar and aim for 2 hours slots over a few weeks or months vs trying to do everything at once.

11. Set a Learning Objective for Yourself Personally

You are taking training because you want to learn something, but why? Why is it important to you and what is the result that you will get. Write this down before you get started so that you can stay focused in your efforts. There is often a lot of content and it is easy to get distracted or overwhelmed. Focusing on your specific personal goal will help you keep focus.

12. Share Thoughts and Ideas as you Go

Make it a point to share ideas and thoughts as you progress through the training. This forces you to synthesize and really think about what you are learning, and also creates a group learning experience. You can share on social media or with an internal team if you take the training together.

13.  Take Control and Think Impact

In any course (in-person or online) there are people of varying knowledge levels. The advantage of online learning is that you can get what you need when you need it. If you already know a section, skip it. Most training is built based on the average knowledge levels of learners. If you are ahead take charge and focus on the content that can drive the biggest impact. We encourage our learners to skip sections they already know while realizing that others may not be at the same level. It is your time, so focus on your return on time investment.

 

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