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Learning: Let’s get personal

Generic communications, which lack personalization, are annoying. At the very least, marketers should use data to tailor their communications (this coming from someone who works in public relations and integrated marketing).

The same goes for education. Each learner has her own preferences and learning styles. So, it’s wise for organizations to personalize educational offerings.

A new whitepaper by Growth Engineering gives tips for engaging learners with personalized online learning.

Consider the neuroscience of learning. All brains are wired differently and are shaped by physical experiences, the paper says. And people have an easier time remembering things when information if personal and meaningful.

One tactic to provide meaningful learning: Allow users to personalize their profiles in your LMS. Encourage them to create a profile picture, change their nickname, write a portfolio bio and share accomplishments and fun job titles. 

After organizations determine what they want to offer for new and long-term learners, personalization should start from the beginning.

First, the whitepaper says, personalize the invite to learn. At the very least, emails should include names. Send tailored messages to departments since learning needs are different. And entice learners by giving details about their experiences and what they can expect.

Second, personalize incentives. We all love rewards, but when they’re for things we really like, we get excited. Growth Engineering suggests asking managers what their employees like or want.

Finally, make the benefits clear to each learner. Explain how the knowledge and skills gained will benefit each learner’s career. 

Growth Engineering says social learning can be an effective training strategy. As learners engage with each other in the platform, educators and moderators can keep tabs on how learners are faring – stepping in to provide assistance when needed. If there’s a particular topic that’s confusing, fostering conversation among learners allows them to feel in control.

And that’s the key, the whitepaper says. Personalized learning is about putting learners in the driver’s seat. It’s about making them feel valued. 

“When it comes to engaging your workforce, one of the best methods is to get your learners more directly involved with your training program,” the whitepaper says. “And one of the best ways to get your learners more directly involved is to encourage them to create user-generated content.

“Learning should never be a one-way process. While you will undoubtedly build a robust library of content as you deliver your training program, giving your learners the opportunity to create and contribute their own content is an excellent way to help them better understand the topics.”

I’d like to know – How do you personalize your learning? Email me at kristen@eventgarde.com.

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