5 Strategies to Supercharge and Measure Engagement in L&D

Lindsey Seril
By Lindsey Seril on November 21, 2023

How can you be sure that your online learning and development sessions are having the impact you want? The key lies in understanding and using the power of engagement.

A study by Memon et al. (2019) found that work engagement and training satisfaction were key predictors of an employee’s intention to stay with an organization. Similarly, Minnick et al. (2022) found that employee autonomy and active learning approaches led to significantly better retention of training material. Understanding and integrating these research-backed insights is critical for organizations and facilitators aiming to make an impact through L&D.

With these findings in mind, let's explore five strategies to increase and measure engagement in corporate training sessions. If you'd rather learn these strategies through an interactive online session, check out our Engageli playback room.

1. Make Dynamic Use of Virtual Space

Engageli Small Group TablesThe human brain is wired to respond positively to novelty, movement, and change. Translating the dynamism of an in-person training room into a virtual learning environment can significantly boost participant engagement. This can be achieved by:

• Incorporate collaborative activities and small group work into training sessions.

Change up participant groups as frequently as it makes sense with the training material.

• Don’t cluster all the group work in one part of the training - instead, space it throughout the session.

• Use tools like Engageli's tables to change seating based on poll responses, thus maintaining a dynamic training session.

Sample Activity for Creative Use of Online Space:

Start virtual training sessions in small groups rather than the traditional large gallery view. This gives participants the opportunity to chat informally with a couple of peers as people are joining and the meeting is getting started, similar to the way people chat with their neighbors in an in-person meeting while people are filtering into the room.

The Engageli platform always starts participants at small table groups, taking away the load of coordinating these small sessions off the facilitator.

2. Foster Informal Peer-to-Peer Interactions

Engageli Chat and NotesReal connections often form in the informal, spontaneous moments of training sessions. To foster this in the more rigid online space:

• Encourage real-time, water-cooler-type conversations that go beyond text-based channels like Slack and discussion boards.

• Provide both structured and unstructured opportunities for these interactions to support and include all types of participants.

• Use features like Engageli's table mode during breaks, coupled with icebreakers and timed activities to promote informal engagement.

Sample Activity for Promoting Informal Employee Connections: 

Regularly include icebreakers that are not on the session topic to promote engagement and discussion among peers. For example, during a training session, ask participants to write down a short recipe for a dish from their state, region, or country that they find comforting.

In small groups, they can share the name and origin of the dish. This allows for participants to get to know each other on a deeper level through guided conversation. Using Engageli's notes feature, participants can easily upload the full recipe to the wider chat to share it with their peers.

3. Incorporate Spaced Repetition

Engageli Playback RoomsRetention of training content easily fades over time, particularly as participants learn new material. To combat this, incorporate spaced repetition of content. Spaced repetition is a learning technique that involves revisiting and reviewing information at increasing intervals of time. This method is based on research which shows that people learn better when concepts are studied multiple times over a long period. To incorporate this technique in your training sessions:

• Develop opportunities for participants to review material in spaced intervals, so that they can access information just-in-time and apply it to their specific work or personal context.

• Provide the ability to return to the same space and the same materials to make new connections with their work.

• Offer persistent, always-on spaces like Engageli playback rooms for participants to review and connect training with their work.

Sample Activity Leveraging Spaced Repetition:

When starting training on a new topic or concept, create an extended Know-What-Learned board. Using a collaborative whiteboard, map out three columns: What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned. As a group, participants can fill in the first two columns. At the end of the session, they can add items to the third column on what they learned that day.

Throughout the training, and even months down the line, ask participants to return to the editable whiteboard and keep adding to it. Seeing items move from "Want to Know" to "Learned" can be a great motivation and reminder. Engageli's built-in whiteboard persists between live and asynchronous sessions, allowing participants to easily return to and update the board over time.

4. Include Regular Retrieval Practice

Engageli FeaturesRetrieval practice, a learning technique where learners are asked to recall and apply specific information from memory, is the most efficient method for mastery of knowledge. Implement this by:

• Use real-time polls to check participant understanding.

• Encourage participants to generate questions for peer groups or engage in Q&A sessions with trainers or subject matter experts.

• Use tools like Engageli for built-in polls, timers, and collaborative documents to facilitate this process.

Sample Activity for Training Retrieval Practice: 

At the beginning of your training, cover important information on a topic that you would like your participants to remember. Later in the training, even once you've moved onto different topics, include polls that ask participants to remember the information covered at the beginning of the session. 

For example, at the beginning of this article, we highlighted research that found training satisfaction and work engagement were key predictors of an employee’s intention to stay with an organization. To facilitate retrieval of that information, we can include the following multiple choice poll:

5. Make Data-Driven Decisions

Engageli Data OutcomesIn virtual settings, where non-verbal cues and body language are less obvious, understanding diverse forms of engagement is key. To achieve this:

• Recognize that engagement manifests in various forms, even when cameras are off.

• Collect quantitative and qualitative data to iteratively improve training content.

• Build and facilitate training content based on real-time and post-session data.

• Use analytics tools like Engageli to identify and replicate engaging activities.

Sample Activity for Making Data-Driven Training Decisions:

Ask your facilitators what types of engagement data would be most useful for them, including out-of-the-box information that goes beyond attendance like talk time in both small and large groups, chat and Q&A usage, hand raises, and poll responses.

Brainstorm how this data can be captured and used to inform facilitation and engagement. For example, if a student has no talk time in a small group setting, when is the right time to intervene? Engageli's platform displays all this data and more at both the individual and class level, making data-driven decisions simple.

Engageli: A Tool for Effective Learning and Development

For learning and development leaders looking to increase engagement and impact of their training sessions, Engageli's purpose-built design for learning and engagement stands out. Here are some key features that make Engageli a helpful tool for effective L&D:

Flexible: Facilitates seamless transitions between virtual and in-person sessions.

Data-Driven: Provides detailed engagement analytics.

Inclusive: Caters to varied learning styles.

Collaborative: Encourages learning with and from peers.

Research-Based: Grounded in learning science.

Active: Promotes active learning experiences.

Engageli Feature Infographic


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Published by
Lindsey Seril
Lindsey Seril
November 21, 2023