Measuring learner engagement is one of the critical aspects of L&D. Knowing what and how to measure it will likely get your course or training to succeed. You will be able to analyze and improve your content materials and course structure. Most importantly, you will increase the possibility of transforming your students.
Generally, Data or Learning Analytics is the key to measuring learner engagement. In this ultimate guide, you will know what is learner engagement, what an engaged learner looks like, and the key metrics to measure your learner engagement.
What is a Learner Engagement?
According to Wikipedia, learner or student engagement is when students make a psychological investment in learning. They try hard to learn what school offers. They take pride not simply in earning the formal indicators of success (grades), but in understanding the material and incorporating or internalizing it in their lives.
What an engaged learner looks like?
You will know if you engage your students through observing them during class. And by this, here’s what an engaged learner looks like. They...
- actively listen and react
- participate in discussions, comments, and games
- ask questions about the topic you discussed
- give opinions about the topic or on their peer's questions
- take notes
Apart from this, remember that an engaged learner is someone who is eager to learn the topic despite having a reward or certificate by the end of the course or training.
How do you measure learner engagement?
When conducting training and creating courses, you might ask yourself how to make sure your learners are engaged during the course or training. This is difficult before, but due to technology, it’s now possible.
Let me walk you through the key metrics that are important in measuring learner engagement.
Learner engagement doesn’t only happen during the course or training. You can also measure if your students are engaged even before they start taking the training or course. How? By sign-up rates.
Try to ask yourself these questions to measure how engaged your potential students are in your course through the sign-up rates.
- What percentage of your audience, workforce, or students sign up for the course or training?
- Do they sign up right away? How many hours, days, weeks does it take for them to sign up completely?
- What are their reasons for signing up? You can include a one-liner question in the sign up form to gather this data
Not only that you will discover how high or low the interest of your potential students in your training or course, hence, but the sign-up rates can also tell you how the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
Apparently, the best part to measure learner engagement is during the learning itself. Let’s explore what are the key metrics you should remember.
Completion & Drop-out rates
Completion and drop-out rates are the best way to measure learner engagement. Why? Let's go back to why you are conducting your training or why you created your course. You are doing this because you want to transform your students. You want them to acquire a certain skill or knowledge that can get them from A to B.
How do you measure this? You can create a simple dashboard of your class attendance. If you are conducting your training or course in an online live session, measure how many students attend early, on time, or late. Also, measure how many students stay until the end of the class.
For self-paced, measure how many students complete the entire course from the start until the end.
Weekly & Monthly Active User
A weekly and monthly active user (WAU/MAU) is also a good indicator of an engaged learner. It would be easy to measure this if you are using an LMS platform. With LMS platforms, they have data analytics where you can measure how long your students get active in taking your courses, grades of your quizzes, and other necessary metrics to check your learner's activities.
One of the best platforms that provide this is Teachfloor. It provides data on your student's grades, class attendance, and completion rates.
Mandatory vs Voluntary Courses
As mentioned a while ago, engaged learners have the highest motivation to learn despite the rewards or certificates they get at the end of the course or training. Measuring how many students take your voluntary courses is also one of the best metrics on how high they are engaged to learn.
With this, you are measuring their curiosity and hunger to learn. They look for more resources and content materials. That's why even if you provide a 'voluntary course', they would want to take it and finish it for the sake of knowledge and additional learning.
It's easy to measure learner engagement with this. Just look at the data on how many students or employees took and finished your mandatory and voluntary courses or training. In addition, take note of who these students are. And those students who most likely take your course whether it's voluntary or mandatory are your most engaged students.
Learning Time Spent
You can easily track this in the LMS platform dashboard. Some corporate trainers and course creators use gamification to reward their students who most likely have the longest learning time. They establish a leaderboard where they highlighted the top learners of the week or who have finished the milestones.
In this way, you are not only able to measure the learning time but you also have the opportunity to increase their motivation and make your training or courses interactive and engaging.
Some LMS platforms provide a built-in feature community builder. Circle.so is one of the most popular platforms where you can manage your communities. Although Circle has some limitations when it comes to a learning platform, you can learn alternatives to Circle.so in this article.
What should you measure in a community interaction? Once you have created your community in your LMS platform, or even in social media groups such as Facebook, Discord, Slack, and LinkedIn, you can look for the following metrics:
- posts, comments, and reactions
- shares, collaborations, and discussions
- organic activities - activities that are initiated by members themselves
In addition, analyze what they talk about, what they ask, and what they usually share. An engaged learner will likely start a conversation, share resources, and ask questions, and comments, without you initiating or telling them to do so.
You can also measure learner engagement through a feedback survey. You can use popular metrics such as Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS). These two will let you get quantitative feedback. For qualitative feedback, you can use a very simple model such as start-stop-continue. Ask your students which one should you start (their suggestions), which one should you stop (they dislike), and which one should you continue (they like).
You can also measure learner engagement after the course or training. This is through:
- Percentage of students using their new skills
- Percentage of graduates who get a job and applied their skills
- Self-assessment questionnaire that you can provide to students
Lastly, take note that by measuring learner engagement, you should be able to identify KPIs or OKRs on individual, team, and organization levels.
That's it! Measuring learner engagement is critical but doable. You just need to know the important metrics and apply them. We would love to hear how it goes with your training and courses! Tag us on LinkedIn and Twitter.