How to assess learners’ engagement in training

Sophia Wichtowska, Content Writer

As those responsible for workplace training know, it can be difficult to find high-quality, engaging eLearning content. 

It can be equally challenging to know whether your colleagues find the learning process insightful, or if they are just ticking the necessary boxes.


When looking at how to address a growing need for learning within an organisation, regularly assessing learner engagement is crucial to a successful learning and development strategy.

If employees find the learning content interesting, they are far more likely to take new information on board and be able to apply it to practical situations. 

With this in mind, we have looked at the best ways to measure learner engagement, and which strategies you can use to assess the quality of a learning experience.

What does an engaged learner look like? 

Learner engagement reflects the quality and quantity of a learner’s participation in their courses. It is a measure of how successful a learning experience is for each individual. 

When reviewing how engaged your colleagues are in a course they are taking, look out for the following signs that they are both enjoying the process and on track to learn something new. An engaged learner will be:

Actively engaged - when a learner is enjoying a course, they will actively take part in the process. They might ask questions, or do further research of their own to explore a concept. 

Eager to participate - there are a few signs that a learner is excited to take part in a course or lesson. If you are present while the learning is taking place, their body language and general attitude will give you very quick feedback as to how they are finding the process. If they are completing the learning in their own time, well-structured follow up surveys and feedback will also give you clear indicators.

Willing to expend effort - an engaged learner will go beyond the bare minimum to participate in training. They will strive to do well in the course they are taking, and log in to the training platform regularly. 

Motivated - if a learner is motivated, they will be both willing to expend effort and are eager to participate without too much extra encouragement. They’ll be keen to find out what they’re learning, and eager to engage with new material.

Inspired - this can be a little more difficult to achieve when there is so little time for learning at work, but there is nothing better than a colleague being inspired by a course or lesson they have taken. Being given the opportunity to learn something inspiring will also make them feel valued and happier in their work. 

Tips for assessing learner engagement

While data on the LMS dashboard will tell part of the story of learner engagement, the following strategies will give a more in-depth understanding of the learning experience in your organisation:

Talk to colleagues

As your colleagues start engaging with an online course, organise a time to catch up with a few of them to ask key questions about their learning experience. Ask them to be as honest as possible! While surveys are useful, conversations with a few, carefully selected people will provide you with a more in-depth understanding.

Ask for feedback on courses 

Although some eLearning courses will come with in-built feedback features, you might like to design your own surveys to ensure that the learning content is meeting the specific needs of your team. While the majority of content is targeted to specific industries, each organisation is unique and the learning might need to be adapted to suit your context.

Use assessment data

Your LMS dashboard is a great place to assess learner engagement. The login and completion rates can be helpful, as if these are low, it could be a sign that the content isn’t quite the right fit. 

If you are seeing low numbers, a few other issues could be the cause. The content might have been engaging, but perhaps the learners found it difficult to use. Maybe they didn’t have enough time to complete it. You may need to do some further digging, but finding out will be beneficial in the long run.  

Observe learning in action

Although time constraints are a factor with workplace training, finding opportunities to observe learners using their new knowledge or skills in a real-life context can help to determine whether a course has been successful. For example, if you have organised a course for compliance in your hospitality business, look for practical opportunities to check whether your colleagues are able to apply the new knowledge. You could do this through observing their process at work, or chatting with them informally as they complete a task. 

A one stop shop for all things training, Go1 makes it easy to compare the best training options available, and find the right resources for your professional development, compliance and business training needs. 

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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