Giving Your Learners an Audible Voice
Learning is a multi-faceted endeavor
Experts, since time immemorial, have focused on refraining from a completely one-way learning approach. Although the creation of robust content is indispensable to the success of the corporate training endeavor, an opportunity given to the learners to create and contribute content from their end can be an efficient way to grasp certain, or perhaps all of the topics better. There is, however, a great difference between encouraging and compelling. Making it mandatory for learners to contribute content might make them uninterested in the whole affair, altogether. So, the question now boils down to—how to encourage user generated content among learners?
Make Social Learning an Integral Part of the LMS
An individual, when socially at ease, will not shy away from sharing knowledge
Learners must always have access to the tools they require to have discussions and share content with one another. A social Learning Management System (LMS) is, therefore, becoming an integral part of technology training. As the community of learners begins to enlarge, there will be higher knowledge sharing among the learners. As they delve into a certain topic, they will encourage one another to create and spread user generated content.
Rejoin with the Learners
Recognition of one good act leads to several good acts
Once the learning community is set up and user generated content is spreading, you must officially recognize those learners whom you spot sharing knowledge. This recognition can range from a simple comment of appreciation to contributor badges, thus sending a clear message to the learners with a positive connotation. You can take this appreciation one more step ahead by including the user generated content into the course curriculum. Rejoining with the learners will not only encourage them but also the others who witness the efforts of learners being applauded.
Fuel Competitiveness with Accolades
A medallion, after all, is a tangible form of commendation
It is one thing to praise somebody and another to reward them. Recognition will have a huge impact on learner participation which can go even deeper with tangible prizes. Set up a competition and challenge the learners. Offer prizes for the best content. And then you will see the learners going an extra mile to share knowledge with everyone thus enhancing the whole LMS.
Make Learners’ Efforts More Focused
The finest of the archers will not be able to show their dexterity if they have nothing to aim at
Learners must have the free reign to create content as per their choice, but this would sometimes result in efforts not meeting the goals. Sharing content about something that is becoming obsolete will not be beneficial for the learning community and the LMS. Even the individual learners, who share it, will not get the benefit out of it in the long run. Suggesting the learners a topic that is relevant will put the focus on the right areas. For instance, you can suggest DevOps to the learning community, who will concentrate their energies on it rather than learning and sharing content about spiral or waterfall models of software development.
Ask Questions and Commend the Good Answers
Some people would never prefer to answer unless you ask them
There will, sometimes, be the need of user generated content quickly. ‘Ask when you need’ is the simple rule. Moreover, some learners tend to shy away and not participate until asked to. Posting a question with the promise to reward the best responses will have a magical effect on the learning community. It will have a two-way advantage where your learners will provide you the answers quickly, and have a morale boost when they realize how important their ideas are for you.
One of the most desirable aspects of corporate trainings is to engage your workforce. This can be attained through directly involving them with the training program. In technology training, encouraging the creation of user generated content is one of the best ways to ensure workforce engagement through direct involvement. This is how you give your learners an audible voice.