Many people think online learning is boring, and why wouldn’t they? Engagement is something that the world of learning technology has overlooked. Fortunately, learning platforms have grown in leaps and bounds since people started to take learner engagement more seriously.
On the back of game-changing developments in social learning, a new creature has emerged. The learning campaign will change the way you think about delivering training.
What Is a Learning Campaign?
In the past, training developers have overlooked something important: Learning doesn’t happen in one event but is a journey that takes place over time as information is absorbed, contextualized and put into practice. Because of this oversight, people see e-learning as huge units taking anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes to complete. It’s no wonder people think online learning is tedious!
Learning campaigns flip the old model on its head. Instead of ineffective information dumps, the content arrives in smaller, bite-size chunks.
This method has several advantages over the traditional model:
- It’s easier to retain. Smaller units are easier to remember than longer ones. Running a campaign also gives training managers more opportunities to reinforce the content.
- It’s easier to create. With a learning campaign, you don’t have the momentous task of creating a large e-learning unit. Instead, you can work on smaller assets over a longer period of time.
- It’s easier to edit. By its nature, a learning campaign is made of smaller chunks of learning. If anything new crops up, it’s not a huge task to edit the relevant part.
The easiest way to picture a learning campaign is to look at another type of campaign with a long history of success: the marketing campaign.
Marketing to Your Learners
The purpose of marketing is to make potential customers aware of a product or service and then move them along to making a purchase. Marketing managers need to engage these customers and speak to them in terms that will resonate with them.
Training managers have a similar mission. They need to engage learners and encourage them to change their behavior. This process happens through four stages:
- The Hook: First impressions are important. You need to “hook” the learners and secure their buy-in. Your campaign has to stand out in a world of information overload. For that, prominent banners and high-impact visuals will help grab attention. Create a sense of urgency by emphasizing the need for the campaign, and highlight what your learners can gain from it.
- The Response: Once you have your learners’ attention, you need to hold on to it. They need a reason to keep returning to your platform if the campaign is to be a winner. Methods like gamification can help boost their commitment to the campaign, but for real success, you need to account for the way the learners access the content. Most people today prefer to use mobile devices than desktops; therefore, mobile learning needs to play a major part in any learning campaign.
- The Conversion: In marketing, a conversion typically means that the customer has bought the product at the center of the campaign. In learning, you’re looking for a change in behavior. You need to ensure that the material in the campaign has triggered the intended improvements. Learning campaigns are more interactive than old-style e-learning courses due to their focus on social learning and knowledge-sharing. As part of the campaign, ask learners to give input. This in itself is a cornerstone of any advanced organizational culture, but it also shows the training manager how the training is being put to use.
- The Result: In a learning campaign, the result goes beyond simply communicating a learning objective. Continued learning is the mark of real success. With each campaign you create, you need to be open to the possibility that a community of learning might develop. Once you have a group of learners discussing the topic and helping each other, your learning campaign has done its job!
Learning Campaigns: The Future of Training?
The world changes every day, and that rate of change is only growing. Your training needs to be adaptable enough to meet those changes head on. Learning campaigns help you create training initiatives that can evolve and grow. With this tool in your arsenal, you’ll be well on your way to training that engages the learner and generates real results!