Defining Readiness to Learn
Learning readiness seems simple enough – learners just have to log into their LMS and they’re ready, right? Unfortunately, it can be more nuanced than that.
Learning readiness “refers to how likely a person is to seek out knowledge and participate in behavior change.” It also refers to whether the learner has attained the “foundation of concepts, command of language” necessary for learning at the level the course is at.
Basically, it evaluates whether learners have the baseline skills, physical ability, and motivation to approach elearning with success.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the steps you can take to ensure that the learners you are trying to reach have obtained these baselines for readiness.
Train Your Learners in Technology
If you’re attempting to reach learners who work out of an office, they’re likely to have enough computer literacy to feel comfortable using an online course. But there are many professions where workers don’t use a computer every day. Plus, the most common piece of technology people use today is their phone, which has become a replacement for the personal desktop for many.
Well-designed LMS software will have a great user experience and be relatively intuitive to use. However, your learners may have never taken an online class before. Learners unfamiliar with LMS software may need some sort of introduction or lesson to be comfortable making the most of mobile learning, interactive training, and more.
Without proper technology literacy, learners may be able to click their way through the courses, but interacting with material in an environment they don’t feel comfortable in or can’t use to its full extent will probably render the course less than effective.
To evaluate the technology readiness of your learners, it may be appropriate to distribute an assessment or ask managers to evaluate how skilled their employees are with using computers and LMS software.
Teach Time-Management Skills
Online courses are often designed for flexibility and self-directed learning, at least to a certain extent. Microlearning and mobile learning can be fit in between meetings or on the go. Longer courses can be conducted at the learner’s chosen pace.
That means, in order to get courses done efficiently, the learner must also have good time management skills. Otherwise, they may rush through a course just before a deadline. Again, possibly lowering the efficacy of the course.
Before letting them loose in the LMS, give an example of how learners can effectively integrate online learning into their schedules and make time to complete assignments and tests. You could also send email reminders at specific intervals to keep training top of mind. These emails can usually be automated within an LMS for each course.
Learners could possess all the skills they need to complete a course well, but they are unlikely to be motivated to engage with mandatory training unless they understand why it benefits them and the company.
When introducing new learning requirements, it’s important to state how the learning objectives will help make their jobs easier, more effective, or help the learner get to the next level in their career and rise up in the company.
Motivation can also be created with incentives for completing learning. For example, many clients choose to install gamification methods into their LMS to create a fun way for learners to engage with learning. Social learning is another method that’s popular for increasing motivation in online learners.
Bring Struggling Learners Up To Speed
To maintain motivation in learners and keep their readiness in tiptop shape, you need to provide resources to those who may be struggling. These resources can take a variety of forms:
- A “help” page: Learners who still aren’t getting how to navigate the LMS could use access to a help resource for quick tips and solutions for their technological woes.
- Access to a person for technological help: If the “help” resource doesn’t address their questions, learners will need someone they can reach out to in order to get personal help for questions navigating the technology they’re using to complete the course.
- Informal learning on strategic topics: Include links to videos and other informal learning to bring learners up to speed on concepts they encounter throughout the course. A glossary is another useful item to help learners quickly look up vocabulary.
- List prerequisites: In the course information, note if there are any prerequisite courses or information that would be useful to learners to know before they start the course.
These areas must be met in order to foster readiness to learn in your learners.
If the learner is still struggling to feel prepared to take in the assigned material, then they should work with their manager on some kind of educational plan to catch up. If a large percentage of learners are struggling, it may be time to revisit the pace of the material.