What starts must also end at some point or other. This is the normal way of the world. Similarly, a journey of learning started with the purpose of gaining knowledge or learning new skills also should reach its fruition. But there are numerous aberrations to this culture of learning that hamper its completion.
An act of botheration
Starting with a course but never completing it and taking it to a logical conclusion has been one of the single most important acts of botheration for a large number of Learning and Development heads cutting across businesses.
Dismal rate of completion
Just have a look at these figures, and mind you these are no figments of someone’s imagination or data culled under Bacchus’ influence. A study by industry specialists paints a very dismal picture of the rate of completion of online courses. It is only in the range of 5-15 per cent or thereabouts.
Drain on resources
This means a majority 95 to 85 per cent of learners leave their courses half way through without ever coming back to complete it. It amounts to not only drainage of valuable human and material resources but also puts a big question mark on the contents made available for learners and their seriousness in completing the learning process.
But, it is also a fact that there are courses with 100 per cent completion rates. People have completed certification courses of as long as 40 hours duration without dropping out in the middle of it. What makes such a magical transformation to the situation, increasing the rate of completion from just 5 per cent to 100 per cent in some cases?
Combination of measures
A combination of measures aimed at retaining the learners’ interest in their learning processes can ensure a higher rate of course completion by them. Though many agree that increasing completion rates from as low as 5 per cent to a peak of 100 per cent may be a daunting challenge, something in the realms of improbable, any increase in completion rates by 80, 60 or even 50 per cent should be considered a notable achievement.
Clear plan of action
Merely uploading a certificate course for online learners is no guarantee for its completion.
Organisations need to firm up a clear plan of action to keep learners continuously engaged with the learning process.
· This effectively ensures learners never forsake the course in the middle and complete it in a time bound manner.
· Setting a time-frame for completing the course helps learners plan their schedule accordingly.
· By blocking time in almanac ensures learners are aware of the duration and time of the course and find ways to complete it.
· It is important to keep the channels of communication with learners always open for ensuring the successful completion of courses.
· Organisations can also keep track of the progress of learning till its completion.
· Incentivizing learning is a fantastic way of keeping learners’ interest alive in the learning process.
Don’t scare away
One of the major reasons for non-completion of learning is the heavily loaded content and lengthy nature of the courses or learning process. This often scares away learners rather than attracting them to the learning, rendering the entire exercise of skilling, up-skilling or re-skilling a non-starter.
· Learning heads have found an effective way of dealing with the problem of learners’ drop out by formulating small duration, easy and chewable courses that stick to learners’ brains and are retainable.
· Many stagger their courses, dividing learning into very short, hourly sessions spanning a week or so. This makes learning even long-duration courses a fairly manageable affair as learners chart out their own independent paths to complete the learning process with ease.
After all those efforts at ensuring that an increasing number of learners complete their learning, it becomes imperative for organisations to carry out a proper follow up on those still finding it difficult to cope with the learning process and complete it. This sense of being cared and helped is bound to act as a great motivator. It may also become an important catalytic for learners to continue with and complete the learning process.