eLearning personalisation: 3 creative ways to grab attention

We are all egocentric at heart. We love being recognised. We love to think that not only are we special, but other people get that we are special.
 
Coca Cola’s ‘share a Coke’ campaign of 2011-2014 used our egocentric nature to their advantage, in the most simple, yet powerful way. It simply puts people’s names on Coke bottles. This campaign reversed a decade long decline in sales for Coca-Cola.
 
Personalising eLearning can have an equally dramatic impact on the engagement you can make with your learners. Here are three key areas where you can look at personalising your eLearning systems:
 

1. Personalise the course

The most obvious place to start, this can be as simple as capturing and inserting the learners name into your content. But we can take eLearning personalisation further than this. For example, personalising based on environmental factors, such as the time of day or month of the year. These simple features can have a dramatic effect on engagement, that now seems so much more relevant.
 

2. Personalise the LMS

However you deliver your courses, there is probably a portal the learners must login to to access them (and this is probably an LMS). Customising this portal allows you to deliver true eLearning personalisation.
 
This ‘next level’ personalisation through your LMS will be due to two elements:
  1. Access to courses that your learners feel are applicable to their career growth.
  2. A brand, look and feel that your learners relate to.
Allowing your learners to take charge of their learning journey is a great way to personlise their learning path. Stop dictating to learners* when they should take a course. Let them decide. They’ll feel empowered – which improves both engagement and retention!
 
*Of course, mandatory training still exists, and you will still have to tell learners when to take this.
 
Secondly, the language and appearance of your LMS should ‘speak’ to your learners. Off-the-shelf LMS’ can be a little, how shall I put this, well – boring. Now, that very formal corporate voice could be just what you want. But if you are an über-cool high street fashion brand, you probably want to use the language your employees (and customers) use. And have a visual design language that matches.
 
Oh, and this shouldn’t just be on the login page but should permeate the entire portal.

 

3. Messaging personalisation

Finally, an often over looked opportunity to personalise eLearning is in the communication of it. From course availability announcements, to nudge emails reminding people to complete mandatory training – these can all benefit from the personalisation we have discussed above.
 
Make sure, where possible, communications are addressed to people by name. Change default text to considered language the uses the voice of the organisation. And modify the content based on the characteristics of the audience. For example, if you are sending our details of a new starters’ induction session you might want to be more explicit about what they need to do to login to the system and where to go for help should they need it.
 
 
Each of these recommendations undeniably take more time and effort than a homogeneous approach. But if the challenge of online learning is how to gain and maintain the attention of the learner, then eLearning personalisation is a great way to go.