Engaging the Disengaged – The IKEA effect
How can we "engage" the disengaged to learn something? It's a great question, and is surely one often on the minds of every CLO, L&D manager and trainer. The word "engage" in quotation mark because it reflects what I learned and researched especially during my last 10 years of L&D experience prior to starting Learngage where we live, eat and breath ‘learner engagement’.
The IKEA effect
In 2012, Dan Ariely, Michael Norton and Daniel Mochon conducted a study into the effect of labour on how people value things. This study demonstrated that the more effort we put into something, the more likely we are to disproportionately value it.
This cognitive bias was later dubbed ‘the IKEA effect’, in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created. The name derives from the name of Swedish manufacturer and furniture retailer IKEA, which sells many furniture products that require assembly or DIY.
Humans generally find it difficult to motivate themselves to achieve longer term rewards. If we take the same analogy to learning, unless companies co-create learning platforms for learners and not for learning administration, a lot of LMS’s are bound to fall down – given that they don’t see the learner’s personal investment of time and effort and in turn reward him.
While I don’t make any claims to be an expert in this regard, here are 3 modest suggestions I have for re-engaging the disengaged learner
Integrate Movement into Lesson plans
The classroom routine of sitting for long periods of time either listening to a trainer or a virtual training session is often a source of disengagement.
Opportunities to learn on the go and provide chances for learner’s to use their pent-up energy in ways that renew involvement in thinking and learning is the first step. By maximising the effects of small contributions such as polls, voting and feedback, the more easily learners will be able to see how their contribution, however small has improved the system for themselves and other users, the more likely they are to become attached to the system, and assimilate it as a natural part of their working life
Encourage Learners to Connect
Use chat-based forums to encourage the full process of thinking and not simply for endless learning.
Engagement often begins with an opportunity to connect and collaborate with each other. Allowing learners to learn within their peers by collaborating on thinking and sharing not only builds a repository of knowledge but also encourages facilitators and mentors to listen, observe, give feedback and make note of the types of topics that hold their interest.
Link Efforts to Rewards
One of the simplest ways of encouraging investment by your learners is through facilitating rewards and recognition.
While one of our e-commerce clients incentivises their learners by giving them 10 Paytm points for every course completed on the Learning App.
While another IT client uses FB like ‘thumbs-up or thumbs-down’ voting system that allows learners to up vote their favourite lessons of the course. This, in turn, alerts other users and trainers to content that they too may find useful, allows the organisation to better optimise suggested content, and gives the course a small ego boost, making them more likely to run it again.
The reason why it can be difficult to build a valuable community of learning is because you are asking the learner to do a bit of work but compelling him to do most of it on the learning platform. Often too much work, too early. You can’t expect all of your learners to be engaged digitally all time.
A better strategy is to ask your learners to concentrate application of learning in the workplace and associating that with reward-winning behaviours for others to follow
At Learngage, we are helping our clients improve learning experiences and engagement leading to better outcomes with our platform based services.
Do reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you create the IKEA effect for you in 2018…Our learners deserve nothing less.