Motivation and engagement – what is it but more importantly how do you access it?

How many times have I heard – why do I have to take this – I will never use this in my job – it reminds me of high school – why do I need to learn algebra – it has no real life meaning unless I’m going to be an astronaut? Not much has changed from then until now. Learners are still lamenting the same song – why?

In developing curriculum and e-learning training one of the biggest challenges is how do you motivate the learner to learn in the first place and once you have them, how do you keep them engaged? Developing phenomenal e-learning modules is the goal but a challenge with limited time, corporate constraints and bland branded templates.

This is where gamification can help – I think by making learning less like learning and more like fun learners will want to learn – to start it at least? Why wouldn’t I want to spend an hour playing a game and get paid for it?

Accessibility is another key factor for motivation – if I can use my commuter time to do e-learning as a game – well, I’m playing games anyway to kill time so why not – a good example of extrinsic motivation.

How do you tap into the intrinsic motivators? According to some, extrinsic and intrinsic motivators are at opposite ends of the scale – I disagree. I think they are symbiotic. What motivates me externally motivates me internally – for example – if I get all the words right on my language app, I earn hearts – the more hearts I earn the more competent I feel and the more I feel the more I want to play. The external taps into my internal process of “job well done” and that motivates me to continue.

Small successes – I think that’s the key – don’t make the goal too large or too far away – it’s a case of ongoing wins not one ginormous win– I don’t want to say the proverbially dangling carrot but something along those lines. Keep bringing them back to the water cooler – how may did you score today – I got X – start the competition – make it game – have a learning super bowl. Create the right environment not only within the e-learning module but within the organization itself. But that is topic for another day… how to create a culture of learning within your organization.


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