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Lauren Dennish How to identify low learner engagement

Learner engagement has been a trending topic in our industry for a while now, and there’s a good reason for it. Despite designing and delivering fantastic learning solutions, many are not seeing the engagement that their learning deserves.

How To Identify Low Learner Engagement

Before we start to think of ways to tackle low learner engagement, it’s important to consider where you stand right now, and how hungry your learners are. We're all about getting to the root cause of the problem before trying to fix it, so this blog is all about taking a step back and learning how to identify low learner engagement. Then you will be ready to to tackle learner engagement with a brand new learning strategy

In a recent whitepaper, we established that the typical signs of low learner engagement fell into the following two main areas:


Attitudinal signs of low learner engagement are something many of in L&D are familiar with, including some or all of the following objections:

  • Don’t have enough time
  • Don’t see the relevance to them
  • Book onto programmes but drop out at the last minute
  • Don’t have the support of their manager
  • Are part of a long-standing workforce who, over the years, have become apathetic at best, and cynical at worst

These objections are a clear sign of low learner engagement in your organisation.

When learners know what’s in it for them, when they are clear about the value the learning will afford them and the business, they make time. And when managers realise the pivotal role they play in inspiring their teams to learn, encouraging, coaching and nurturing their development, they make their own jobs easier and achieve more.


This is all about how and when your learning is available to your learners. The modern learner is used to accessing information wherever they are with the help of Google and YouTube. This has led to a change in the expectations that learners have about the ease of access to learning. Put simply, they are unlikely to put up with clunky and slow technology which they can only access in the workplace. 

Resolving the physical issues surrounding low learner engagement might seem a bit daunting, especially if you aren’t used to introducing new technology into your learning solutions.

Luckily, we know that mobile learning can help. It is an effective and straight forward way of tackling the physical issues which can cause low learner engagement. In fact, the benchmarking organisation Towards Maturity, in their 2016 report ‘In Focus: Learning and Performance on the Move’, found that your learners are likely to already be engaged with mobile learning:

  • 90% own a smartphone or tablet and 84% are downloading apps
  • 74% use a mobile to access resources they need to do their job
  • 57% like to be able to access learning on the go
  • 42% respond to alerts as soon as they come in
  • 37% are accessing work-related resources whilst they are travelling, only 18% are now learning at their work desks

If you’ve identified low learner engagement, take a look at our whitepaper which gives some great tips and insights on how to create a culture of hungry learners in your organisation.

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Lauren Dennish, Marketing Executive, Bray Leino Learning

Lauren is passionate about exploring new ways that developing a marketing mindset can help L&D – from creating learning cultures to improving learner engagement.

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