SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Our blog provides the best practices, tips, and inspiration for corporate training, instructional design, eLearning and mLearning.

All Posts

25 Ways to Reduce Dropout Rates in eLearning Courses (Part I)

Elearning provides solutions to typical on-campus education problems such as schedule flexibility, expenses related to travel time and residence, and accessibility. Unfortunately, these benefits are countered by the steady decline in eLearning completion rates, a threat that eLearning companies and advocates have been battling over the last decade. Elearning development managers must fully understand the factors that cause high attrition rates in order to properly address the problem and ensure high completion rates.

Here are some of the top causes of low completion rates and how they can be solved:
Make sure you check out Part II and read the other 14 items. 

New technology

Problem: eFirst time eLearners, especially the less tech-savvy, may find the deviation from traditional learning methods overwhelming and may distract them from the actual study module. Managers must devote reasonable time to acquaint eLearners with the procedure before introducing the eLearning syllabus. 

describe the imageSolutions:

1.  One step at a time. Let them get used to the eLearning environment before you ask them to start to using the software.  

2.  Give them options. Managers can either implement a technology acquaintance session for all learners or offer the option to learners who indicate themselves to be new to the procedure.

Lack of motivation

Problem: Unlike the typical classroom setup where there is face-to-face interaction between students and instructors, eLearners literally report to a computer. 


4.  Reinforcement learning. Reinforcement learning can address this concern. A person's behavior, whether positive or negative, is reinforced according to the outcome of a specific action. In eLearning, good study habits can be reinforced by regular exams and timely feedback from the administrators. When an eLearner feels that he gains significant knowledge and skills, he is motivated to learn more. Another suggestion is to implement a flexible virtual classroom where learners can interact with one another as well as the instructor, as the group dynamics help foster motivation for learning.

eLearning success5.  Get your learners talking! Encourage interaction between learners and also with the instructor. These social and the group dynamics will help foster motivation for learning.

6.  Build a “learning culture” that supports and values eLearning. This culture should take online learning just as seriously as classroom training.

7.   Set expectations clear up front since the beginning. Include expected behaviors either in a syllabus or at the start of the course. 

8.  Encourage managerial guidance. If learners receive reinforcement and follow-up and if they feel their progress is been tracked, they are more likely to finish the course. 

Lack of support

Problem: Elearning development should encompass strategies that make it easy to provide answers toeLearners' possible questions in real time. It may be difficult to answer questions in real time, but managers must have frequent and regular interaction with eLearners, may it be in the form of chat, email, or phone conversation. The virtual classroom setting mentioned above is an excellent real time support dynamic, however, the problem will lie in flexibility. Matching the schedule availability of instructors and learners can help address this, e.g. matching instructors with learners in the same time zone.


eLearning support9.  Vary the types of communication, for example use a bulletin board for discussions and e-mails. 

10.  Offer incentives for group participation. Encourage learners to participate in group discussions. As well, make it personal by answerign individual questions on a bulletin board.

11.  Have a dedicated coordinator or manager who will be a contact point for learners.


Do you have any suggestions to ensure that your employees complete the online courses assigned to them without dropping out mid-way?

Just a tip for getting started: Before you publish your course, ask yourself if it's something you think your learners will want to read and complete. Is a course worthy of taking? 


Karla Gutierrez
Karla Gutierrez
Karla is an Inbound Marketer @Aura Interactiva, the developers of SHIFT. ES:Karla is an Inbound Marketer @Aura Interactiva, the developers of SHIFT.

Related Posts

Would You Take Your Own eLearning Course?

Anyone seeking to create meaningful and engaging eLearning courses can benefit by remembering what it is like to be on the other side. It is bad practice to subject learners to any training that you would not participate in yourself. It’s time you stop blaming the “boring” content and commit to stop tormenting the learners who are required to take your course! Our job as eLearning designers is to FASCINATE and DELIGHT the learner from beginning to end. In the excitement of launching a new course, it’s easy to overlook details. Therefore, it can be very useful to have a checklist for last-minute touches.

  • 5 min read
  • Sat, Oct 16, 2021 @ 09:46 AM

Are You Measuring The Impact of Your Online Training Programs? Start here

Beyond the traditional learning metrics like registrations and completion rates, how can we begin to understand the real impact that online training is having within our organizations? 

  • 11 min read
  • Thu, Oct 14, 2021 @ 05:55 PM

Motivate Employees to Participate in Training: 8 Ideas

Let’s face it; the word “training” rarely inspires much joy in an office. People commonly associate training with school, and few people really want to go back there or take time out of their job to do it. But, the fact remains, that training is still pretty much the best way to make workers better at their current job and possibly even to move them up to a higher position. You might think “shouldn’t telling employees to take a course be enough of a reason for them to do it?” Making training mandatory will up attendance, but it is motivation that actually allows learning to happen. Motivation is what turns an interest in a subject and a desire to get ahead into actual action.  Consider how many times you have said you want to do something like write a novel or learn a new language but have you done those things? If you have those goals but haven’t accomplished them, then you have experienced the frustration that comes with having the desire but not motivation. Your employees also need this push of inner strength that motivation brings in order to actually seek out and absorb the information available. But how do you motivate learners to participate in training? Read on to get an insight into getting your employees to take action towards development.

  • 12 min read
  • Sat, Oct 09, 2021 @ 08:49 AM