How to promote learner engagement using data analytics


Today, so much learning in business takes place online, whether through on-demand programs or virtual classes. The big advantage of this method, aside from the convenience, is that we have access to a wealth of learner data.

Why should this be a big deal? For a start, it allows for a more personalised approach to training, which promotes learner engagement and makes it easier to track progress.

In this article, we focus on how data analytics can be used to keep learners engaged and commit to completing a course.

How does keeping learners engaged works

Thanks to sophisticated technology, we can measure the quantity and quality of an individual’s learning engagement. Specifically, we can see how active they are in completing activities and assignments, participation in discussion forums, or asking questions of the trainer.

They also complete quizzes and self-assessments, so we can collect data on results and feed those into the software for analysis.

“Learners enjoy getting automated feedback and taking part in self-assessment activities,” says Patricia Santos, Cegos Group Chief, Corporate Offer and Solutions. “Data gathered from online interactions helps us gauge whether a learner is engaged or not. It’s also a critical tool for the trainer, as they can quickly assess if a participant is struggling and take action.”

In addition, automated software presents assessment data to learners as they progress throughout a course. This motivates them if they are doing well or prompts them to try harder if they are not! What’s more, personalised messages can be sent if a learner stalls, if an assignment is overdue or even just as a ‘well done’ for being on track.

In the more sophisticated e-learning software, we use gamification based on learner input to add an element of competition. Learners can even compare their scores with others in their team, which acts as another motivator.

In some cases, the whole learning path can be augmented depending on how the learner performs in each module. So, for example, if a learner is learning about time management and they seem to already understand the main concepts, some of the content can be skipped. Alternatively, they could be directed to deeper learning modules to challenge them further.

This is not always a popular approach, as some learners don’t like to feel they are missing out on content made available to others. However, it does keep learners engaged if they are constantly challenged because they don’t have to plough through content they are already familiar with, which can lead to disengagement.  

The trainer benefits

Automated data analytics is an important tool for trainers, too. Trainers are partly responsible for ensuring learners are fully engaged, so analytics helps them to see which learners need extra encouragement or some other intervention.

Learning Hub – the learning management system at Cegos – allows individuals to access training modules, assignments and scores to track their progress, all in one place. The trainer has access to this information, too, as well as analytics on engagement, which are presented in colour-coded form so the trainer can quickly spot learners who are not fully engaged and make an intervention. Such interventions work to improve learner motivation. Often, the lack of engagement can be down to factors such as time constraints or difficulty understanding the learning content. In this case, the trainer can offer support to the learner to get them back on track.

Another advantage of automated data analytics is that it facilitates learning on a greater scale. Since the trainer does not need to spend time compiling the data or assessing individual responses, they can work with larger groups, focusing their attention on learners who need extra help.

Learning & Development managers also benefit from having access to engagement data. It is much easier for them to intervene on the ground if they see that a colleague is struggling with content, perhaps by linking them up with another participant. They can also use the data to track progress and measure success against KPIs, which we will cover in a future article.

The data provided in real time through digital learning is a luxury that educators did not have access to previously. “You need to have a strategy,” says Patricia. “But once that is in place, you can inject all sorts of elements to keep the learner engaged as fully as possible.”

If you would like to know more about how Cegos e-learning programs keep your people engaged, contact us today.