Tips and tricks for successful adult eLearning
Until recently, most training took place in-person, but in recent years this trend has started to fade, especially after the COVID-19 era. So this is when adult learning becomes more difficult than ever. Adult training, in general, is not an easy task, neither for the trainer nor for the trainee. Their attention is often divided into different areas (e.g. work, finances, children, etc.). Additionally, they may lack time, motivation and interest. eLearning for adults offers the opportunity to learn at home, especially when it is asynchronous. Education seems more comfortable than ever. Trainees choose the location, time and date.
However, how can we actually help an adult learner focus more on learning, without making them complete online training while cooking, answering emails, and scrolling through their news feed? How to attract their attention and develop their motivation?
How to Make Adult eLearning Work
1. Give the brain a stimulus
We know that the average attention span is between 10 and 15 minutes. This means that we need to give constant stimulation to the brain in order to achieve a longer attention span. Whether in synchronous or asynchronous learning, you can ask a question or make a joke when attention span decreases. This will revive the brain as another type of information is presented.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Who likes long training courses that take hours, especially when they’re not that interactive? Person! Give the necessary and important information regarding the topic you are presenting, in the form of outlines/pieces. What’s better than training divided into small sections, with all the necessary information explained in bullet points, images, diagrams and short videos?
3. Keep an Eye on Look and Feel
A friendly, well-designed environment is the foundation and first impression. You win them or you lose them. Imagine you have to work in a messy office, where old and new post-its are everywhere, where folders have their place on your desk, where pens are hard to find and you can’t find an empty place to leave your cup of coffee! The same is true here… you need a friendly, clear and structured environment. Carefully selected images, clear diagrams, appropriate colors, clear fonts and sizes all play a crucial role in the game of attention won…or lost.
4. Include your interns
Don’t you feel important when they include you? Include them as part of the training. Engage and encourage them. Without them, no training will take place. Training is a team effort. Ask them about their relevant knowledge. Let them talk about themselves, share their experiences, and embrace storytelling. Give them options. “Would you like to learn this today or this?” To ask questions. “Do you think this is important to you and your business/life?”, “How will you react if this scenario happens in your life tomorrow?”
5. Real-life examples and experiences
Understanding is easier when you have examples, especially when something happens in real life. It’s also easier to remember examples or stories than a 750-word plain text.
6. Tap “Replay”
Repetition is the key to success. Every time information is repeated, our brain’s memory performance increases, because when we try to remember something, our brain makes neural connections. So it’s important to ask people to remember information. We can do this by regularly asking related questions, mentioning information we want them to remember, giving examples, telling stories, etc.
In conclusion, eLearning for adults can be challenging, but it is also an exciting game. Always keep the education game interesting. Try to break down the information you want to share into bite-sized chunks and help people digest it through repetition, punchy images, real-life examples, real-life stories, and interactive moves. Make them feel part of the game!