The effects of your online training environment and course designs are greatly impacted by how well you curate an experience that is sensitive to the factors that enhance or inhibit learning and retention. The agency users have in their learning experience, the extent to which they feel motivated to continue learning, and the aesthetics of the learning environment are all important considerations.
Here are some guidelines to follow as you develop your training programs to be great user experiences.
Tunneled or Tailored
Some training programs need to be linear, or “tunneled” toward a set trajectory, so learners are building upon information as they move through a course or set of courses. If this is necessary for the successful training of your people, then be sure to design your training environment to guide learners through content step-by-step. Make it obvious what course the user should take first, second, third, etc. Some ways to do this are:
- Set the learner’s expectation for how many courses are required, what order they will be taken in, and how long each course takes on average.
- Use numbers in the course titles: Example: “1 of 5 – Safety Training,” “2 of 5 – Safety Training,” etc.
- Keep courses locked until the learner completes prerequisite courses or activities.
A tailored approach involves personalizing the learning experience of users depending on their varying needs. If giving learners a self-guided experience is your goal, be sure to provide options for learners to choose their own relevant tasks.
There are a few different ways to personalize the online training experience. Consider micro-training strategies that allow learners to build their own learning plans. Or, design a course that gives users the power to decide the order in which they progress through modules. Providing learners with an element of choice will increase their engagement in the learning experience overall.
Many learning management systems offer gamification features. If yours doesn’t, get one that does! Incentivizing desired behaviors can have a substantial positive impact on the learning experience and knowledge retention. Rewards systems and incentives could be used to increase interest and encourage engagement with your curriculum. Learners love this, and the practice creates motivation to finish your programs. Here are some ideas for how to incentivize the learning experience:
- Allow learners to earn rewards for course and activity completions.
- Let learners see each the successes and accomplishments of others to prompt friendly competition.
Simple, Light, and Colorful
The simpler your learning environment design, the better. By making complex tasks simple, you increase the likelihood a learner will behave as the design intends. Use color intentionally to call attention to actions you want the learner to take. Remember that white space is your friend. Our eyes take several involuntary rests on white space during intensive study, so be sure to provide fatigued eyes places void of text, images, and distraction. In short, reduce cognitive load whenever possible. Tips to remember include:
- Light backgrounds are your friend.
- Simple text layouts with headers support reading text on-screen.
- The fewer words, the better — a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Use icons or intentional areas of color to bring attention and prompt action.
Think of a training experience as a theatrical experience. You want to set the stage for engagement and mastery. You want your learners to grasp and retain your training content, but you also want them to leave feeling good about the experience and ready to dive into the next course that comes their way. The positive impact exceptional training makes on your business is like the applause at the end of a performance, and Remote Learner is here to help you win it.
Interested in learning more about how you can design your learning experience in a way that maximizes impact? Check out our blog on designing to persuade a learning state of mind.