Attention, Relevance, Confidence & Satisfaction: Enhancing Motivation in E-learning

author Carol Mentis, May 19, 2017

E-Learning Software | Claromentis

E-learning is an efficient and effective way to deliver training through your digital workplace and social intranet software, and it’s easy to assume that learners will engage with and be motivated by e-learning simply because it takes them out of standard classroom-based learning models. However, it’s also much easier for an e-learner to terminate their learning by simply logging off. So how can trainers create the sense of motivation e-learners need to stick with their online training?

Before you begin to develop your e-learning strategies, it’s essential therefore that you start a two-way conversation that allows you to capture learners’ attitudes and opinions through polls, surveys and questionnaires and then use the data you capture and data analytics to improve and personalise e-learning content.

In his ARCS model of Motivational Design, John Keller has developed ways to create and enhance motivation through a focus on 4 key areas: Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction. This model is crucial in understanding the kind of multi-pronged attack that helps to ensure learning is relevant and contextualised so learners don’t disengage.

Getting your learners’ attention

Appeal to your learners’ curiosity or develop strategies that are out of the ordinary. Gamification, rewards and badges and even humour can all be powerful tools to engage e-learners within your digital workplace. Video is gaining traction and by 2019 will comprise 80% of the world’s internet traffic. Integrating video clips from YouTube and Vimeo, plus live video streaming from programmes like Periscope into your e-learning platform, unlocks the benefits of digital marketing techniques relating to video engagement and retention to create engaging learning scenarios.

Use microlearning to tailor content to the way individuals like to learn, personalising content into bite size and easily digestible chunks. Visual variety and interactivity will stimulate perceptual arousal, while something as simple as a provocative question or a problem-solving exercise appeals to the inquisitive nature of e-learners.

Ground your content in real world experience

Using social intranet software to create curated content is another emerging strategy that encourages learning teams to select user-focused content from blogs, guides, and articles to deliver holistic learning content from relevant real world sources. By tying the e-learning experience into professional relevance, you’ll drive learners’ motivation to know more.

Storytelling and the use of scenarios can be powerful e-learning tools that increase a sense of engagement by directly relating to real world benefits. Profile previous learners whose e-learning experiences have directly benefited them in real life, or develop other examples of where learning is directly relevant to lived experience.

Boost confidence across the learning journey

Instil a sense that success is achievable by carefully mapping the learning journey and the correlation between effort and achievement. Move away from an approach grounded in learning support and towards the creation of challenging and personalised content that creates competence and breeds confidence.

Clearly map out objectives, structure, and milestones along with a sense of the commitment involved. Giving your learners clear expectations will motivate them to achieve.


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The satisfaction of achievement

The uses of reward systems can provide both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation by appealing both to the learner’s sense of self-satisfaction in their achievements and the recognition of their peers. Be careful when designing a reward system that rewards are both meaningful and commensurate with effort. And motivation through reward encourages your learners to learn more and progress further.

With 70% of learners accessing e-learning content via mobile, give them the satisfaction of being able to access content that is relevant, responsive, and optimised across mobile devices and operating systems.

Develop a social e-learning strategy

Exploit the social intranet software in your digital workplace to create a credible social learning strategy that uses social media to encourage interaction across the e-learning environment. By using social polling and ratings, feedback can be shared between learners to encourage informal learning opportunities. By opening up learning spaces beyond the yes/no and wrong/right paradigm, learners become more social and less isolated, receiving and contributing feedback to enhance the learning experience.

Social collaboration, online discussion groups, and encouraging sharing and communicating around e-learning objectives using social media tools can both deepen understanding and improve engagement and motivation for learners. Acknowledging multiple perspectives and allowing knowledge to diversify is a powerful way to deliver a satisfying e-learning experience. And that, in turn, motivates your learners to engage.

Key strategies for motivating your e-learners

Before you begin: open the conversation with your learners and design e-learning content that is relevant to their needs. Clearly map the learning journey and expectations and goals for the e-learning experience.

During the course: Provide dynamic content optimised for mobile and use a wide range of social learning and visual strategies to create engaging content. Use social media to give and receive feedback and gamify learner satisfaction with badges and rewards.

When the course is over: Celebrate the completion of the course and provide concrete takeaways that both reinforce learning and motivate learners to implement their new skills in the workplace.