4 obstacles that prevent you from increasing engagement in your online courses and how to overcome them

Given that many companies implement e-learning in the training plans that they offer to their employees, the most pressing challenge now for HR and L&D departments is to increase engagement and motivate professionals to take and complete the online courses they have available.

Quality content appropriate to the training needs of each employee, conveniently tailored to their learning cadence, is imperative, but it’s not enough. Especially, if the courses are not mandatory, engaging with digital corporate training is complicated.

E-learning platforms have evolved significantly in recent years and are increasingly flexible when it comes to promoting innovation in online training, but do courses achieve the expected satisfaction rates? Mostly, they don’t.

In fact, in Gamelearn’s latest Contradictions of Corporate Training 2022 report, which analyzes the responses of more than 1,000 HR and L&D professionals and employees from different sectors, this concern is evident among those responsible for training programs in their organizations. Specifically, the second most cited concern among respondents with this profile is to increase student engagement with online courses.

Main challenges of HR departments and training consultants, according to Gamelearn’s Contradictions of corporate training 2022 report.

Let’s review some of the recurring problems when it comes to achieving the expected engagement with online corporate training. Along with viable solutions that could alleviate them. 

1. Students have little time to take courses

Despite the growing relevance of lifelong learning in professionals’ priorities, their perception is usually that they don’t have as much time as they would like for continuous learning, even if provided by their employers.

Solution: Organizations can give access to easy-to-use e-learning platforms with open catalogs, where students can find courses of different durations and with different objectives. This way, they have the possibility to complete more training in less time, depending on their availability.

For example, through the Campus on Gamelearn’s platform, organizations can offer their staff all the courses, either individually or grouped into learning pathways. This allows each employee to define their priorities and take responsibility for their own learning and skills reinforcement.

2. The content isn’t related to employees’ professional activity

It’s curiously common for the material included in corporate training, both digital and in-person, to have little relevance to employees’ daily jobs. The reasons? Often the content is too abstract or theoretical, or it doesn’t relate to students’ actual responsibilities.

Solution: Integrating simulators capable of reproducing real-life situations in a safe environment into the courses. This is a classic role-playing technique that helps make the course more relevant to the student’s experience. It also favors immediate feedback during learning. In this way, the student can experience the consequences of their responses to different situations, learning as they go, but without the potential psychological or even economic costs that those consequences might entail in real circumstances.

3. The approach is impractical

In line with the previous point, some courses employees are receiving from their employers lack a sense of practicality. 

Solution: Approaching skill development from a practical perspective, that is, using real-life cases, as suggested above, can be the answer. This is a well-known concept in education: learning by doing. That’s the key.

4. Courses are tedious and not interactive

Finally, as the Contradictions of corporate training 2022 report already showed, one of the most common complaints about online courses is that they are boring. It was the most cited disadvantage among the surveyed employees. It was followed by a lack of interactivity. 

Solution: Introducing engaging stories (storytelling) as a common thread in courses is one of the best resources to end the tedium plaguing e-learning until now.  Another resource that is being used more and more is gamification, the application of game mechanics to e-learning courses. 

If we combine the four solutions in one, there is no doubt that training video games are a generator of engagement in e-learning. More immersive options such as augmented reality or virtual reality are similarly effective, but they are still too expensive for most companies and lack scalability. Video games have so far become the perfect key to natural, accessible, fun, personalized, and relevant continuous learning for the needs of all generations of workers today.

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