Learning to love your learners: why Engagement is taking centre stage at eLN Connect

Basil Fawlty was once described by John Cleese as a man who could run a top-notch hotel if he didn’t have all the guests getting in the way. I sometimes wonder whether, in the past, there hasn’t been a bit of Basil about the way the elearning business has been run. We’ve been very good at designing and managing all that lovely elearning; now if only the learners would be reasonable and get on and do it we’d all be happy… But times are a changing. Things have quite definitely moved on and the real issue of the day is engagement and how can we help people learn.

At this year’s eLN annual conference, engagement sits centre stage. Top of the agenda are two captivating keynotes on gamification and digital storytelling. Supporting this are a multitude of strategic and practical sessions to help e-learning professionals find new ways to capture the imagination of learners and win their hearts and minds.

With so many distractions in the workplace, it’s harder than ever to capture the interest of learners, let alone keep them engaged or better still, getting them to come back for more. Gamification ticks all the right boxes, yet all too often, we focus all our efforts on the 10% of the 70:20:10 model, ignoring the bigger prize at stake.

In his keynote, gamification guru Pete Jenkins will reveal how to apply gamification principles to the ‘70’ and ‘20’ in 70:20:10. With millions of people watching billions of hours of online multiplayer video games every month on YouTube, Pete will tell us how gamification principles exemplified by eSports can drive amazing success in workplace learning. He’ll explore why principles that work so well in the gaming world can work just as well for on-the-job processes and how to capture that illusive 70%.

When it comes to exciting and engaging learners and winning their respect and loyalty, we can learn a lot from other industries too, not just our immediate peers. In particular, marketing, advertising and the entertainment industry have all been quick off the mark to demonstrate their mastery of gamification and digital storytelling techniques.

Our second keynote, Guy Gadney, is an expert in story-driven interactive entertainment with award-winning projects for blockbusters Sherlock and Downtown Abbey under his belt. In his keynote – Is it Harry or Hogwarts? How to really build learning engagement via digital storytelling – Guy will examine how in today’s digital world of apps and social media, the story has moved from simple monologue to interactive dialogue.

Guy will explore how stories are now conversations and the huge implications this has for elearning: engagement can double when dialogue is used. Interactive technologies have changed the opportunities for building stories and captivating the interest of learners and Guy will reveal, with reference to Harry Potter and Star Wars, the surprisingly powerful elements required to create engaging programmes.

With a plethora of new technologies and techniques making it easier than ever to immerse learners, the trick is knowing which techniques to use and when. With a first class speaker programme of thought leaders and industry experts, anyone attending eLN Connect will be guaranteed to come away armed with the insight and the practical know-how to help today’s digital learners to learn better.

Tickets are going fast for eLN Connect on 10th November at The Grange Tower Bridge, London. To get yours while you can from only £95 visit http://elnetw.wpengine.com/eln-events/eln-connect-learning-in-a-digital-world/

by Tanya Randall, xtols Group

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