Symptoms of a demotivated learner:
- During interviews, they frown over the concept that you are going to teach.
- They do not appreciate the fact that HAVE to take the course. (I can't blame them.)
- They try to convince you that they know everything they need to about the concept (you know otherwise through research).
- They tell you that this course is not going to be useful for them as this concept will not help hone their core skill.
- They are against the mode of delivery (elearning, ILT, or plain training) because of bad experience in the past.
- What can I do to ensure that the learner takes the concept seriously? How can I make it interesting for them?
- How can I show them that they do not know everything they need to know about the concept?
- How can I show them that this concept if mastered is going to help them work better?
- How can I change their bias against the mode of delivery?
Suggestion 1: Challenge the learner
The learner thinks he/she knows all there is to know about the concept. Well, challenge him/her then. Design a very hands on course. The intention is to make the learner perform tasks designed keeping the theories of the concepts in mind. We want the learner to realize for themselves, 'Oh! I did not know that' or 'This is probably more effective than how I have been going about it'.
Suggestion 2: Do not bore them with theory
Please do not tell the learner blah blah blah. You will lose the learner even before the end of the screen. They do not want to hear the theory. Stick to pure application. It is definitely easier to describe a theory. Try teaching a theory with absolutely no words. Use tasks and examples. This is incredibly challenging for the ID and SME. But, trust me, the experience is absolutely worth it.
Suggestion 3: Ensure that your course is visual
This learner profile is not going to read anything more than two lines. Avoid content. Make it visual by displaying images/animations of examples. I avoid content heavy screens by using a bigger fonts. Try it sometime.
Suggestion 4: Encourage social learning
Introduce videos from YouTube, share blog links, create or encourage learners to join discussion forums. Do all that you have to and bring them in contact with other people. Encourage them to share their ideas with peers and experts. I do not have to stress the important of social learning.
Suggestion 5: Design challenging knowledge checks
Design the tasks keeping in mind the learner's reality. Make them curious about things. Ensure you grab their attention. Ensure that the answers are not obvious. Design assignment that have no correct answers. Encourage them to post reports or assignments on blogs/forums. Allow them to discuss their ideas and answers with others.
These are my list of suggestions. If you think there are other suggestions that help tackle a demotivated learner, please share them.