Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Are You Doing to Motivate Learning?

by Shelley A. Gable

We all know that attitudes toward training vary greatly in the workplace. Some people seize every professional development opportunity possible and are always eager to learn something new. Many are less enthusiastic.

Why are some people less enthusiastic? The reasons are numerous...and even those of us who work in the training field have probably felt less than enthusiastic about some training we've had to complete (I know I have!). Common gripes I've heard include:
  • Disinterest in the topic
  • Boredom with the presentation
  • Feeling that the training isn't as important as the work they should be doing during that time
  • Not seeing how the training will help them in their job

Of course, we also know that if people don't feel confident in their ability to master the training content, a common reaction is to be resistant to the training.

Clearly, we should do something to overcome these gripes and motivate people to learn. But how do you motivate people to learn? John Keller answers this question in several articles he has written about his ARCS model. ARCS is an acronym that represents four components of motivation in training: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction. Each of these components is briefly defined below.
  • Attention: Capturing and maintaining learners' curiosity and interest
  • Relevance: Meeting learners' individual needs and goals
  • Confidence: Helping learners feel that they can be successful
  • Satisfaction: Reinforcing learners' accomplishments

So now what? How can these motivators be designed into an eLearning module? Fortunately, some of these things are simple touches that can easily be worked into the training. Below are a few techniques I've seen in my organization. You can click on the table below to enlarge it.

After I've storyboarded an eLearning module, I'll often go back through to identify places where I could work in something motivational. Considering how effective these basic motivational tactics can be, the extra step seems to be time well spent.

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