9 ways to keep learners engaged

9 ways to keep learners engaged tip sheet

We put together a quick list to help you manage the day-to-day priorities that come with running an education program. To keep up with any learning program (certification, certificate, badge, the list goes on), engagement is key. So we’ve collected tips and tricks from experts and friends across the learning landscape.

Skim through our 9 ways to engage below, or download the cheat sheet version to keep at your desk (or kitchen, or coffee table, in the car, stuffed in your bag…you get it).

It also features recommended tools (that you may already have!) to help streamline any education program.

1. Play Matchmaker. 

Resources: quiz or interactive tool platform like Survey Monkey (anything with branching logic) 

Match learners to the right resources, credentials, and experience. Create a short quiz to assess your learners’ strengths. Then offer customized resource recommendations based on their results. If you offer multiple credentials or certifications, create something a bit more interactive to capture precisely what they need. 

2. Level Up (and Out). 

Resources: workflows within your LMS or learning platform 

Some learners will breeze right through your course materials – others will need extra support. Set up different workflows so your high performers can “test out” of subjects in which they excel (banishing boredom) and your struggling enthusiasts can easily find extra resources (freeing them from frustration). 

3. Stay in Touch. 

Resources: marketing automation or email marketing platform  

Communicate often with your learners throughout their journey. This keeps them informed, excited, and motivated for the next step. 

4. Build Stepping Stones.  

Resources: courses and/or workflows in your LMS or learning platform 

A certification can feel overwhelming or even insurmountable. Consider offering micro-credentials – this break things up into smaller, simpler pieces along the path to a certification. Similar to helping learners level up and staying in touch with them, these quicker wins increase their positivity and pacing towards that larger goal. 

5. Make It Public. 

Resources: a public directory and search function within your LMS or learning platform 

Once a learner completes their certification, make it easy for current or prospective employers to verify the accomplishment. A public online directory lists credential holders with certification details (date earned/ expired, program requirements). Bonus: boost visibility AND alleviate staff time on manually verifying credentials.  

6. Give Learners the (Self Reporting) Power. 

Resources: a CE tracking tool in your learning platform 

Give learners a place to easily record, upload, track, and document progress on their certification journey. The benefit is two-fold: learners have an organized, self-service tool to manage a (often) multi-year process, and you can better track progress, promote courses, and communicate in a timely manner (i.e., don’t send that “you’re short on CEs this year” note on December 31st). 

7. Join the (Accountability) Club. 

Resources: online community platform or member directory in LMS or learning platform 

If we share our goals, setbacks, and wins with others, we’re more likely to keep at it. Plus, everybody likes a slick new badge. Assign learners “candidate” badges when they first start to show off in your online community or member directory. This creates accountability and buzz, making it easy for learners to find each other and foster that support network. 

8. Make It Easy + Keep Them Moving Forward.  

Resources: marketing automation or email marketing platform, workflows in LMS or learning platform 

The right communications help remove obstacles and banish that pesky procrastination monster. And don’t forget: veteran learners going through re-certification need love to. Share status updates and suggestions on how to earn CEs – certified members are loyal members, so remember the Stay in Touch tenet and apply it here, too.  

Subtle scare tactic: a dip in certification renewals can have a ripple effect. Think decreases in revenue sources, from membership dues to conference attendance. 

9. Let’s Brag. 

Resources: digital badge software, course tracking tools via LMS or learning platform 

If your learners have completed a certification, it’s time to celebrate! Provide digital badges through easy mechanisms (think simple software like Badgr to direct links to LinkedIn or other social profiles) where they can show the world.