Numbers are down. Your learners aren’t engaged … or so you think.

If you have the right learning management system (LMS), the data might tell a different story. You might see that learners access course content frequently to help them succeed. You might have high completion rates, because learners find the content relevant. You might see your learners’ confidence increasing along with this engagement. And, best of all, you might know that your training is making a difference in your learners’ lives.

If you want to transform your eLearning program, then you’ll need an LMS that increases learner engagement, encourages team collaboration and enables data-driven curricula.

Increase Learner Engagement

Entertainment companies like Netflix and Nintendo are masters of addictive content, and these and other entertainment giants have set the standard for what people expect from digital experiences. How can your LMS imitate entertainment platforms to make your online learning experience so engaging that it keeps your learners coming back for more?

Make Your Online Courses Personalized

Netflix gives users personalized recommendations based on content they previously consumed. But should learners only access content they enjoy? Probably not. Instead, they need personalized content based on their role, their confidence in the material, or their areas of strength and weakness.

The right LMS software provides a personalized learning pathway that guides learners toward their goal, whether it’s passing a test to earn a certification or credential or completing a training to demonstrate a new competency.

The right LMS also enables you to segment your audience so you can proactively push training to the people affected by changes within your organization, whether there are new technical skills a certain team needs to learn quickly or a new piece of software that requires training for a specific group.

Create a Gamified Training Experience

People find games addictive. In fact, video games activate pleasure circuits in our brains. You can make your eLearning program activate the same pleasure circuits by gamifying content — adding game-like elements designed to hold your learners’ attention. Gamification in your online courses helps your learners practice as they engage with your material and spend more time on your learning platform.

Make sure your gamified learning experience offers in-the-moment feedback. While your learners gain new levels of understanding, your LMS should give timely, focused feedback about their developing strengths (and challenges). That way, studying feels more like a game where learners improve their skills and see their progress.

If your LMS includes baked-in gamification features, you’re well on your way to transforming your eLearning program — and even your whole organization. If not, look for a platform that offers hyper-engaging elements like leaderboards, milestone rewards or badges, flashcards and games, and feedback that supports confidence-based learning.

Encourage Team Collaboration

People around the world spend a whopping two hours and 23 minutes per day on social media. Wouldn’t it be great if they spent even a fraction of that time completing online courses on your LMS? They might if the software acted more like a social media platform.

Leverage Discussion Boards to Boost Connection

People love to feel recognized and accepted. A 2016 survey found that 82% of American employees felt that their supervisors didn’t sufficiently recognize them, and 40% would work harder if they received more recognition. Why not use your LMS to recognize your learners’ great work and give them a forum to discuss and learn from each other?

In addition to showcasing your learners’ accomplishments, a discussion board can also enable them to pose questions to solve a problem. If you add expert moderators to your discussion boards, your LMS will give your organization’s top performers a space to share best practices and collect feedback from peers and mentors.

Embrace Communities of Practice

At the end of a great training session, people feel eager to implement new solutions and ideas. Sadly, the excitement drops off after just a few days if there isn’t a plan in place to keep up the momentum. And it’s not just learner enthusiasm you stand to lose. The forgetting curve suggests that if your learners don’t repeat and apply what they learn from your training, they’ll soon forget it.

A virtual community of practice, housed on your LMS, will give learners the support they need to make lasting change. Learners can connect with others facing similar challenges and create innovative solutions, and they can discuss and apply what they learn to keep it top of mind.

Build a Data-driven eLearning Program

Designing a training curriculum is challenging when you’re trying to balance the desires of your subject matter experts (SMEs) with the needs of your learners while meeting business goals. As a result, new online courses can easily fall flat. Avoid sinking too much of your time on lackluster courses by using data from your LMS to guide the design of your eLearning program.

Use Your Microlearning Data

If you use a microlearning platform to push learners short eLearning lessons on a daily basis, you’ll discover you’re sitting on a wealth of data. It will tell you which topics your learners need refreshers on and which topics they understand.

Since designing online courses takes time, it is a good idea to leverage learning platform data to make sure you’re going in the right direction. Send out a few questions to see if learners need the information or if they already understand the concept. These quick knowledge checks can help guide you through the course design process months before receiving feedback during the course testing phase.

Mine Data From Discussion Boards for New Course Topics

If learners post about problems they encounter in their daily work, those topics offer a great jumping-off point for a new curriculum. You can bet that if some people experience this challenge, others are having the same issue. For organizations with a global presence, discussion boards also offer a good opportunity to see if learners in different countries face the same challenges. Then, you can modify content to personalize it for users in different parts of the world.

With the right LMS, you will transform your eLearning program into a digital-first training program that puts learners in the center, with social learning and data-driven curricula. The truth is, though, that many organizations are at the mercy of outdated, traditional learning management systems and courses, leading to low learner morale, high dropout rates and revenue loss. You can begin to fix this problem by developing a learner engagement strategy that’s powered by your LMS. For a deeper dive, check out the e-book “The 3 Pillars of an Effective Learning Program.”