Learner Experience: Why It’s Important and How to Improve It
What can businesses gain from prioritizing learner experience? Discover how to create captivating L&D journeys that engage and inspire.
Transforming Training By Prioritizing Learner Experience
More and more often, businesses face lightning-quick advances in the corporate world, which have resulted in a significant talent shortage. For this reason, reskilling and upskilling employees have become a top priority for forward-thinking organizations. However, any organization that wants to invest in corporate training needs to remember that a learning program is only as good as the learner experience it creates. In this article, we talk about why businesses should prioritize learner experience as well as the factors that can guarantee long-term success.
Learner Experience Vs. Learning Experience
Although these two terms are associated with the same concept of knowledge sharing and development, that doesn’t mean they are synonymous. A learning experience refers to any course, program, interaction, or experience where knowledge acquisition takes place, whether it happens in a traditional classroom, virtually, or outdoors. On the other hand, learner experience not only refers to the content that makes up learning but also the way the learner approaches it. Specifically, learner experience encompasses preexisting knowledge and perceptions, the learning environment itself, as well as the learner’s interactions with colleagues and instructors. Therefore, when designing an effective learner experience, these are some of the factors you should keep in mind.
Why Should You Put Learner Experience First?
There’s no exaggeration when saying that the way you design your learner experience can make or break your training program. When you put the learners at the center of the design process, you ensure the creation of a learning experience that caters to their specific needs and interests. Consequently, learners become engaged in the learning process, as they can see a direct correlation between the learning objectives and their professional development goals. In addition, a well-designed learner experience boosts knowledge retention by conveying new information using formats that correspond to the learner’s preferred learning style. All in all, a positive learner experience enhances learning by helping employees build the necessary skillset for a current or future career.
Now that you know why prioritizing learner experience design is essential for the success of your training program, let’s see what you need to focus on to create an engaging experience for your online learners.
4 Factors That Enhance Learner Experience
There are many elements that can determine the effectiveness of the learner experience. Below, we discuss 4 factors that we feel will make the most impact on your training program.
1. Understanding Your Learners
The first step in creating captivating learner experiences is analyzing the unique interests, abilities, and requirements of your learners. Conducting an in-depth analysis using interviews, surveys, or assessments helps you paint a picture of the training needs of your employees, their key motivators, as well as the behaviors they need to develop to achieve their goals. For example, it’s useful to know which employees are motivated by digital badges or which prefer practice over theory. This information will help you design customized training experiences and, in turn, ensure maximum levels of engagement throughout the learning process.
2. Customized Content
As we just mentioned, the way your training content is formulated is a vital part of the learner experience. The most important factor to keep in mind is that training courses tend to bring better results when content is customized to each learner. It is very common for modern businesses to be composed of employees of different ages and backgrounds, not to mention their different expertise. It’s only normal that not all of them need to receive the same training. By personalizing learning paths, you allow employees to focus on the specific behaviors they need to develop for their role and not waste their time on cookie-cutter approaches.
When working towards prioritizing learner experience, creating an interactive learning environment must be one of your top priorities. The reason for that is that when you support your employees in turning theory into practice, engagement and motivation increase significantly. Interactive learning is easy to achieve with an online learning platform that comes with features such as quizzes, simulations, or collaborative exercises. On top of promoting knowledge acquisition and retention, interactivity adds an extra factor of fun to the learner experience. This way, learners are subconsciously motivated to keep learning and achieve their training objectives.
4. Ease Of Use
Finally, a high-quality learner experience requires learning to come effortlessly. If the User Interface of your training program is filled with flashy colors that confuse the eye or action buttons that are hard to distinguish, the learner is not likely to access it very often. Therefore, during the design process, opt for simpler visuals that provide the right amount of information and are easy to navigate. In addition, content must be easily accessible from multiple devices at any time. If employees need to open their laptops at a specific time to access training material, they will quickly fall behind. Instead, create bite-sized content that can be accessed on any device and completed in a few minutes. This way, employees will always find time for training despite their busy work schedules.
A training program is only as good as the experience it creates for the potential learner. Focusing on prioritizing the learner experience ensures that your employees will not only efficiently acquire new skills that are relevant to their roles but also be able to implement them in their daily routines quickly and seamlessly. Hopefully, this article has shone some light on the key factors you need to focus on to create an impactful learner experience that will elevate your corporate training program and maximize its ROI.
If you want to know more about how prioritizing learner experience has transformed real-life organizations, read the following success stories:
SAVVAS Makes History With An Interactive Classroom Experience
International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Responds To Challenges With Collaborative Skills Training