E-learning and procrastination: 5 tips for effective support


Procrastination is normal, some struggle with decision making, others flourish under time pressure. With the right e-learning approach, everyone can learn successfully.

Procrastination; we all suffer from it sometimes. One more than the other. There are two types of procrastination: passive and active. Passive procrastination is when someone postpones a task because they have difficulty making decisions. With active procrastination, someone procrastinates because a deadline in sight simply works better for them: only then do they really get to work.

Procrastinating from time to time is therefore very normal and human. But sometimes it can be a major problem where people miss deadlines, work far too long in a row, experience tremendous stress, and don't deliver the quality they could have delivered if they had started the project or task earlier. Procrastination can even lead to health problems such as headaches, trouble sleeping, and digestive system problems.

It is often thought that only people who none suffer from procrastination are successful when they participate in an e-learning. But nothing could be further from the truth. If the e-learning was created according to the following 5 tips, everyone can participate successfully, whether you are a “procrastinator” or not!

1. Make it manageable

For a “procrastinator”, there is nothing worse than having a big mountain of work in front of them and having no idea where to start. Therefore, make sure that the e-learning is divided into small pieces. Modules with short lessons, short videos, short descriptions, and assignments that can be completed in five minutes or less.

It also helps to install a tracker that allows the student to use his or her progress can keep track. Every time he or she finishes a lesson, the “complete percentage” increases again: that gives the procrastinator brain a boost!

2. Send reminders

Is there a specific part of the e-learning that the student gets stuck on? Send him or her an encouraging reminder email. You can set all of this automatically. Offer tips in the mail: why is this module especially important? What is the result after completing this module? Do you need help?

Also, encourage students to make connections with other students: having an accountability buddy can make learning a lot more fun and easier, and the threshold for asking questions immediately feels a lot lower!

3. Create a connection

How nice is it when you can spar with your colleagues about what you've learned? Can you challenge each other to discuss what you have learned? Can you remind each other how important it is, what you are learning? This online connection can be established in various ways. For example, consider the discussion forum on the online learning platform (like Pluvo), on social media, or in an online community.

You can also facilitate focus sessions or co-working sessions. One idea is, for example, to start a co-working session, check in with each other: what are you going to do today? What will you be working on in the next hour? Then an hour (or more!) silently (with camera on!) collaborate and then check in again: how did it go? Did you do what you wanted to do?

4. Create a schedule, manage expectations

Although e-learning is known for its flexible nature, it is all the more important for “procrastinators” to have a clear schedule, because: no action without deadlines! So set up a schedule in advance (you can automate this too) that will be sent to the student as soon as he or she logs in to the e-learning for the first time. You can then set up reminder emails about upcoming deadlines, and also send a reminder email if they have NOT completed the modules or assignments before the deadline.

Prior to the e-learning, it is important to manage expectations and thereby also make a claim to the intrinsic motivation of the student: why does he/she want to participate? What will it bring him/her? This is valuable input to include in the reminder emails.

After a few weeks or months, this motivation can sometimes have subsided quite a bit, and then it's good to be reminded of why the e-learning is so valuable again!

5. Inspire and motivate

The benefits of e-learning seem obvious, but it's a good idea to remind students again. A change of environment, for example, can do wonders for motivation and productivity. Encourage them to change their environment and work or learn in a coffee shop, library, or other room in their home. Even better: encourage them to meet up with fellow students, work together for a few hours in a focused way and meet each other “in real life”. Who knows, friendships might even develop!

And of course, it's important to keep students “on track”, but don't forget to reward them when they actually do the work! Rewards in the form of points, a small (digital) gift, or a digital medal are very motivating!

You can also simply discuss procrastination. For example, add valuable information (videos, book tips, etc.) to help students procrastinate. That way, they know that they are not alone!

Pluvo is an ideal e-learning platform to support students with possible procrastination. Curious about what we can do for your company? Contact us via chat today!

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