Last week, Learning Technologies took over much of the Kensington Olympia events complex for its eponymous two-day conference and expo, a permanent fixture in most L&D professionals' calendars, and one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe. Normally we would have a stand in the exhibition hall with an iPad or two, but this year we thought we'd try something different. Teaming up with leading industry benchmarkers Towards Maturity we created Generate, a community-led initiative that aimed to solve a few L&D's problems. And it went pretty well!
Here was the process:
Ask our community the L&D questions they want answers to via a survey promoted through blog posts and social media
Pick the eight most popular
Pin them to our crowdsourcing wall at stand 418 in the Learning and Skills expo area
Liberally distribute post-its and marker pens
Let the delegates provide the answers
And beneath are the answers to question 1: How do I engage my learners more effectively in online learning?
Not all the answers are practical, and I've tried to group them together thematically.
Involve learner in design (not just pilot)
Listen to learner feedback
Build learning around learner
Peer learning/community learning
Get learners to lead the teachers
Involve learners in the development of the solutions from the start
Set up a YouTube channel
Answer the question ‘what’s in it for me?’
Look at Amazon review as a model
Make online model interactive via @ericzemaitaitis
Ask questions but not just assessment-type questions via @ericzemaitaitis
Embed video and audio too via @ericzemaitaitis
Make it non-linear
Mix F2F and online
Integrate into employee workflow (i.e. don’t make it an event)
Think about what learners need to do not just what they need to know
Look outside L&D and inspire learner feedback
Sell the benefits to your unique population
Provide face-to-face support post-course
Use relatable rather than abstract examples
Make it real and believable e.g. use drama and authentic voices
Keep content real and solve practical problems
Enable honest feedback about content AND context
Make it completely customisable
Fun and active learning
Reduce unnecessary animations
Make people enjoy it so don’t call it learning
Give them information at point of need
Find a way to do it and share successes
Make it engaging and relevant
As short as possible but as long as necessary
Communicate with the learning population to advertise it
Make it immediately relevant
By giving them a reason to log on and make the experience a fun one
Make it fun!
Keep it short
Short and sweet
Use a blend!
Carrot and stick!
Keep your eyes peeled for more posts to come.
A big thanks to Laura Overton and everyone at Towards Maturity without whom this wouldn't have been nearly as successful as it turned out.