Why User Experience (UX) is Important for Learner Engagement?

Viren Kapadia September 13, 2021
Why User Experience (UX) is Important for Learner Engagement?

Strong Correlation

Amongst trainers and in the training circles, it is well recognized that there is a strong correlation between user experience and learner engagement. Learning is effort elastic and a disinterested learner will not take the trouble to stay focused on the knowledge and skills he initially stepped up to acquire. Poor engagement is not conducive to knowledge accretion.

Defining Learner Engagement

Learner engagement refers to the trainee's commitment and involvement towards the subject being learned. A committed learner will stay invested to not only acquire the knowledge but also retain it. It leads to satisfying and successful outcomes for the trainer and the trainee. Most auto-motivated learners keen on personal growth and self-development will make all-out efforts at engagement with the taught topic. However, even the most hard-wired learners may often find themselves disassociated with training inputs if the ensuing experience is not up to their satisfaction. Revisiting, additive learning, revisions, etc. as a usual requirement of training, become an impossible task when UX is not good.

UX ab initio

Getting a disenchanted learner back on track is an uphill task especially in the current e-learning scenario with the preference of short duration courses and microlearning over traditional teaching methods. There is hardly any time to re-engage and get back the required attention.

Therefore there is no gainsaying that the process and elements of engagement have to be developed ab initio. Trainees that are self-driven and passionate about their interests will push themselves towards maximizing gains from learning. But it is just a part of the whole story.

Building UX

Learner engagement is not merely a behavioral trait; it can be induced and encouraged through pull elements in training courses. User experience (UX) is an important pillar of any teaching that considerably increases the possibilities of learner engagement. UX is not only a preventive measure against learners distancing themselves from learning but an active mechanism to attract and retain learner interest. Course designers and trainers must consciously develop engaging features as integral and indispensable components of any training program and strategy. Well-structured course design, content that has real-life connections, graphics and multimedia presentations, interactive and social learning, and collaborative tools like forums, webinars, break-outs, and discussion rooms, etc. all contribute to satisfying the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social needs of a learner. UX that encompasses all these four levels leads to enhanced degrees of learner engagement.

Critical Elements

In the context of e-learning, which mode is more pervasive and acceptable in current times, some of the elements that must form part of training to improve learner engagement by satisfying the 4 needs cited above Are listed hereunder.

  • User Interface (UI)

    the UI is the first touchpoint in the learner's journey. A difficult-to-understand and access UI is a strong barrier to engagement. Discomfort with UI will put off the best of learners.

    UI should be intuitive with easy-to-use navigation. Ergonomics, colors, icons, visuals, and graphics, etc. should be pleasing to the eye. Cognitive overload should be avoided. Users should be comfortable and in control without the need for any specialized pre-knowledge to interact with the UI. Consistency across screens will help avoid disassociation.

  • Content

    well-structured relevant content aligned to training goals will ensure that learners stay focused. Communicating the benefits of a particular training at the outset is an important motivator and engagement factor. Put learners at the center while creating content. Preference be given to chunks and nuggets, microlearning, key points, and reiterations to make knowledge absorption convenient and easy to digest and retain. Pepper the content with quizzes, discussions, tests, and interactive material that call for learner contribution and attention. Gamification features, infographics, and multimedia use will make lessons an enjoyable and memorable experience. Real-life work problems, situations, and solutions that resonate with the learners should be creatively incorporated.

  • Communication

    Being in constant touch with the learner not only through the course but offline also is a good means of keeping learner interest intact. It establishes an emotional connection and adds to an overall positive user experience. Regular notifications, reminders, and updates, etc. keep learners informed and involved. Feelings of being recognized and valued through personalized communications make learners keen to stay engaged. It makes the learner a part of a larger social group-the learning and knowledge community.

  • Convenience

    anytime anywhere learning is the norm now. If training programs do not offer this ease, learners are likely to drop off. Courses have to be omnichannel mobile device friendly so that the learners continue to consume knowledge at their convenience. User convenience is an integral part of user experience.

To sum up, the learner experience is a product of many factors notable among which being ease of access, convenience, creative content, real-life application and purpose, a sense of self-growth, and achievement of personal goals.

Enabling Technology

With technology, learner engagement is no longer a vexing problem. Given the strong linkages between user experience and engagement, appropriate technology is available today to provide a unique user experience to learners and prevent learner disengagement.

Technology provides us ready tools to achieve the right mix of features in training to draw and keep learners engaged. Current good LMSs work on the principle of people-centricity. Ease of use with personalized, tailor-made solutions makes LMSs vital to any training strategy and trainees' user experience. LMSs with SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) compliant standards and advanced tools like xAPI help create interactive and immersive content. Testing, feedback, rating, documentation, analytics, and other features make LMSs feature-rich for an engaging user experience.

We at Gyrus share the training industry's concerns about learner engagement. Disengaged learners imply wasted resources and a failure to achieve training goals. We understand. We have solutions that can initiate or turn around your training system for positive desirable outcomes and compelling learner experiences. Our GyrusAim LMS has powerful features for any aspect of your training needs right from onboarding to reskilling and upskilling in user-friendly and customizable formats. We are here for you.