Of course, we are not suggesting that learners will hop onto the learning management system and binge-watch content, learning certainly doesn’t work that way. However, there are strategies OTT platforms use to keep users interacting with the platform; Can L&D professionals benefit from that?
Here’s a quick summary if you want to read through. But if you want deeper insights, keep scrolling!
Learner engagement is the key to L&D success; however, it is still a big challenge that needs to be cracked. Taking a page out of popular OTT platforms that continue to capture the attention of users and keeping them hooked, L&D professionals can design immersive and engaging programs. While a parallel can’t be drawn where users relax at the end of the day to binge watch a tutorial on Angular programming, the engagement strategy of OTT platforms can be replicated to keep the learner engaged as they learn. The data points for recommendations (recommendations on What to watch vs. What to learn) in these two use cases could be different, but hyper-personalisation, cross-platform promotion, and interactive content can be effectively used to captivate learner interest and make the learning memorable and long-lasting.
In physical or even phygital settings, learner engagement partially can be tackled through interaction, discussion, and activities keeping the learner in-the-moment. This largely helps in skill retention as well. However, in self-paced learning, L&D professionals are not just fighting with the decreasing attention span or lack of interaction – there are multiple distractions related to work/life in the learning environment.
The solution to this is found surprisingly, not in learning platforms, but in the popularity of OTT platforms. Even in the ever-cluttered digital space, OTTs (Like Netflix or Amazon Prime) have managed to successfully capture the attention and keep users hooked. “It’s a key takeaway for L&D professionals: People can focus, if the experiences are designed keeping engagement as the central focus.”
Cracking the code for higher engagement:
Time spent on learning platforms, course completion %, learning streak, etc are a few indicators of learner engagement. OTT services have cracked the code to achieving high numbers against these metrics by simply creating captivating content meant for binge-consumption, perfectly tailored to individual interests.
While L&D professionals should not encourage binge-learning because it can lead to cognitive overload and poor retention, they should be inspired by the captivating quality of streaming sites to engage their learners.
OTT services may appear to be able to attract users’ attention because they share entertaining rather than learning content. But engagement isn’t just about the content – it’s about how the content is presented to captivate audiences.
You can design your initiatives in a way that keeps viewers learning for as long as they’d like by emulating how streaming sites present content.
Learner engagement strategy inspired by OTT platforms
- In a personalised playlist, Netflix recommends the show – Focus on personalised learning journeys and recommended content based on the learner’s requirements
- You could use Netflix from any device – Make the learning accessible across devices
- Not just on the platform, OTT platforms create buzz about upcoming shows and use notifications and reminders to get people on the platform – L&D professionals should also create engagement campaigns to get people excited about learning
We are listing a few more methods OTT platforms use to grab users’ attention and we’ll show you how to apply these principles to organizational learning approach.
CREATE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL CONTENT
When you sign up for the platform, it recommends a series of shows or movies based on a previous video you watched. These lists may appear as “Top Picks” for you, or they may be based on a single film or television show that you watched.
- Take away: Users will be motivated to watch similar TV programmes that the platform recommends if they recall how much they enjoyed the most recent show they watched.
- Actionable: Reassure learners about the value of your course by offering personalised learning options in your learning management system, similar to how Netflix encourages users to watch by offering personalised playlists.
- PROVIDE A HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING EXPERIENCE ON ALL DEVICES
Most OTT platforms are well-suited to mobile viewing, so users enjoy watching it on their phones and tablets. For instance, the platform employs machine learning to detect device differences and make necessary adjustments to provide the best possible viewing experience. Users are more likely to watch Netflix shows even if they only have access to a mobile device because of this dependability.
- Take away: People are much more likely to engage with your content if it is mobile-optimized because portable devices are so convenient to use.
- Actionable: To attract learners, L&D professionals should use a learning experience platform (LXP) that provides a high-quality mobile experience.
Use the following checklist to assess your LXP’s mobile capabilities:
- Examine the navigation: Is the LMS’s design user-friendly across all platforms?
- Watch a video on the LMS: Are the dimensions for each device properly reconfigured?
- Keep an eye on the loading times. Is the LMS as fast to load on a mobile device as it is on a computer?
Keep learners engaged by using a high-quality, mobile-optimized LMS to deliver your courses.
3. MAKE YOUR CONTENT AS INTERACTIVE AS POSSIBLE.
Netflix’s recent programming backs up this assertion. In fact, most OTT platforms nowadays are building features that makes the content interactive. It’s no longer passive viewing – The user is prompted by the platform to watch previews as stories, short funny clips, or auto-suggest after finishing a show.
- Take away: Interactivity in learning is essential, as anyone who has worked in L&D knows—it grabs your learners’ attention by forcing them to stop and actively engage with the course.
- Actionable: L&D professionals should strive to make their courses as interactive as possible in order to engage learners. To see how far you can go with active learning content, consider these three levels of interactivity from LMS/LXP provider.
Basic: Quizzes are limited to multiple-choice and true-or-false questions, and learners progress through courses by clicking a simple “Next” button. There is little to less interaction on LMS other than courses.
Intermediate: Include drag-and-drop activities, incentives for logging in and learning, and courses include “click and reveal” interactions.
Advanced: Many interactive media elements, such as interactive infographics and videos, are included in courses, and quizzes include branched scenarios in which learners follow a specific path based on their responses. There is gamification integrated as a part of interactions on the platform.
While you don’t want learners binge-watching your course content, implementing these streaming service strategies can help you create effective learning experiences and rich skill development programs.
Netflix/OTT style learning is great but L&D can do one better by adding collaborative learning, social features, practice-labs, and gamification even to make the experiences much more enriching as just consuming content is not the end goal, rather the application and skill retention are the priorities.