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7 Tell-Tale Signs of eLearning Drop Outs and How to Prevent Them

Posted by Christopher Pappas on May 24, 2018

Are your online learners looking for an excuse to permanently log off? Are your attendance rates at an all-time low? In this article, I’ll share seven warning signs that your online learners may be ready to say goodbye.

person holding lightbulb representing new ideas for elearning

The secret to successful eLearning courses is active participation. That requires online learners to be present, both mentally and emotionally. They have to be fully invested in the eLearning experience to reap the rewards and achieve the desired results. But how can you tell if an online learner is ready to look elsewhere for skill-building resources? Here are seven tell-tale signs that may lead to eLearning drop outs.

1. LMS Metrics Show A Decline In Learner Engagement

LMS reports are usually one of the first indicators of eLearning drop-outs. As they say, numbers don’t lie. Low engagement and participation rates are a major warning sign that online learners are ready to unenroll from your eLearning course. If the eLearning content isn’t offering them the value they need or holding their attention, they are likely to click away. This is one of the most convincing reasons why you should closely monitor your LMS metrics. Analyze the data on a weekly basis to spot areas for improvement and adjust your eLearning strategy when necessary.

2. Online Learners Stop Participating In Group Collaboration Activities

You’re encouraging online learners to interact with peers and solve problems as a group. However, certain individuals are missing out on these valuable team building opportunities. This may be a sign that they aren’t connecting with the eLearning content or their peers. Or they aren’t getting the information they need from the eLearning activities. Thus, they don’t feel that a group collaboration activity is really worth the time or effort. Why would they want to explore the subject matter in a group setting if the ideas or concepts are of little interest to them?

3. eLearning Assessment Scores Sharply Decline

eLearning assessments give you a clear idea of how online learners are faring. Low eLearning assessment scores indicate that they do not comprehend the subject matter or they don’t have the motivation or drive to prepare for the exam. Thus, eLearning assessment results that sharply decline may be a sign of eLearning drop outs. This is due to the fact that your online learners aren’t able to absorb the information. At least, not in the format you’re currently using. You need to offer them a broad range of learning materials to cater to different learning preferences. In addition, simplify complex topics to avoid frustration and eventual eLearning drop outs.

4. Social Media Groups Go Quiet

You’ve set up a social media group or online discussion for your online learners, but the boards seem to be going quiet. There’s very little online activity and posts are completely off-topic or outdated. Online learners tend to disengage from social media groups before they disenroll because it’s seen as an extracurricular activity. However, emphasizing the power of peer-based knowledge sharing can boost eLearning participation and prevent eLearning drop outs.

5. Live eLearning Event Turnout Drops

Chances are, you spend a lot of time preparing for live eLearning events. You craft a script that is conversational but professional, invite guest speakers, and send evites well in advance. However, when the time comes, there is only a fraction of your online learners in attendance. Online learners must be emotionally invested and genuinely interested in the eLearning content to attend live eLearning events. They are taking time out of their busy days to watch the webinar, but only if it offers them real-world value. Online learners who are thinking about dropping out aren’t likely to attend eLearning events, primarily because they no longer feel like they’re part of the online learning community or invested enough in the eLearning course.

6. Online Learner Log-Ins Are Low

Your LMS metrics indicate that online learners aren’t logging in as often as they used to. They are not as enthusiastic about the eLearning content or aren’t concerned with their attendance records. So, why bother even signing into the Learning Management System? This particular warning sign usually comes last. Online learners have already disconnected from the other online training outlets such as social media groups, online discussions, and live eLearning events. Another issue that may keep them away from the eLearning course is external distractions. For example, they have obligations that occupy most of their time. They must choose between your eLearning course and other personal or professional commitments.

7. They Voice Their Dissatisfaction Directly

Online learners may be so dissatisfied with the eLearning course that they share their concerns on social media pages or online surveys. This is the most valuable form of eLearning feedback, as it allows you to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your eLearning strategy. Thus, you can make improvements to retain online learners and keep them from clicking away. In fact, you may wish to take a more proactive approach and ask online learners for their input. For example, conduct online questionnaires or polls to solicit their eLearning feedback.

Top Tip To Prevent eLearning Drop Outs

The key to preventing eLearning drop outs is to acknowledge these tell-tale signs and identify the root of the problem before it’s too late. Create eLearning content that resonates with online learners and helps them fill personal gaps, instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach. You should also evaluate your Big Data on a regular basis. For example, monitoring LMS metrics allows you to tap into online training pain points and individual areas for improvement. Thus, you can provide online learners with the custom-tailored learning materials they need to achieve their learning objectives. In addition, you may want to offer in-course incentives, such as eLearning badges or points for online learners who actively participate in online discussions or receive high marks on eLearning assessments.

Are your online learners exhibiting any of these 7 warning signs? Do you need to fine-tune your eLearning strategy to personalize the eLearning experience and cater to online learners’ needs? Keeping your online learners engaged is no easy task. However, creating relevant eLearning resources that tie into real-world applications is a good first step.

Are you looking for more tips to prevent eLearning drop outs and boost online learner retention at the same time? Watch the on demand webinar How To Easily Create Interactive Content in Your LMS to discover useful tips to prevent eLearning drop outs and boost online learner retention.

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Topics: Learner Engagement

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