Chris Willis, Director of Product Content, recently gave a great virtual session at HR.com’s Inspire conference.
In her session, 5 Things Remote Learners Wish All Trainers Knew, she covered:
- What research tells us about the attention spans of today’s learners
- Five things remote learners wish all trainers knew
- Once you know—what you can do about it!
Have you heard the goldfish myth?
That people today have a shorter attention span than a goldfish?
This theory is bandied about training and development circles to justify low learner engagement and retention. But it’s not real!
The goldfish theory has been debunked a million times over, and it’s time to stop using it as an excuse. Your learners deserve better.
(Also, I’d like to know how you even measure a goldfish’s attention span.)
According to a 2018 Prezi study, 56% of professionals rate their ability to give a piece of content undivided attention as greater today than one year ago.
So, what do your remote learners want you to know—other than the fact that their attention spans are superior to tiny yellow fish children win as carnival prizes?
5 Things Your Remote Learners Want You to Know
- I think training is boring.
- I wish learning were easier to access and take.
- I need training that’s relevant to my job.
- Don’t train me on what I already know.
- I’m willing to learn, but you need to make it more engaging.
Let’s break down a few of these statements.
In that same Prezi study I referenced above, 49% of professionals admitted they’ve become more selective about the content they consume.
This is important for points 1 and 5.
Pretty much everyone has experienced some type of stale, boring training in their professional lives. Workers hold preconceived notions about training—it’s your job to challenge those notions and develop a learning solution that will engage them in unexpected ways.
Learners need to be engaged and motivated before they can apply higher-order creative thinking skills to the content. They’ll understand the information and be better able to apply it to real-life situations they encounter at work if they think deeply about the content during training.
What are a few ways to engage your learners and prevent another boring training experience?
Conversational scenarios, engaging narration to videos, or even a quirky guide character can add some stimulating dialogue and draw learners in.
In the same vein, a great story can be the hook that catches an otherwise reluctant audience. Check out this past webinar on storytelling elements for eLearning.
Lastly, your learners expect great visuals. In this world of addictive mobile games and amazing movie special effects, your course MUST look good.
For many instructional designers, the visual design can be the most difficult part of building a course. Pre-built templates and stock asset libraries provide a jumpstart and an easy way to put together a design that stuns.
When delivering training to remote learners, these elements are even more critical. Today’s learners are dealing with more distractions than ever and they need engaging, relevant training content that will help them succeed.
Sign up for a free trial of the eLearning Brothers Authoring Suites and get access to everything you need to create engaging, professional-looking eLearning, including stock assets, templates, and Lectora® authoring tool.