A Basic Guide To The Types Of Learner Engagement

A Basic Guide To The Types Of Learner Engagement

A Basic Guide To The Types Of Learner Engagement 1216 806 VP Legacies

Did you know you can lose 31% to 51% of your employees as a result of low engagement in the workplace? For high retention rates, your staff not only needs to feel appreciated for what they do, but they also need to know they have a chance to improve and grow professionally. This makes them feel a Personal Connection® to your team and fosters a sense of enthusiasm for their roles.

The best way for you to create a positive environment is to implement a learner engagement strategy to raise individual morale through practical training methods. 

Related: How to Sell Upper Management on eLearning

What is Learner Engagement?

Teaching without engaging your students is a waste of time. This is true for professional development too; any parlayed information won’t have an effect if your audience doesn’t feel a Personal Connection® to the topic.

To create this connection, a specific learner engagement model must be used according to the individual’s preference. Every learner is engaged differently, so how do you reach everyone in one setting?

Offering several learning options is a way to let the learner choose how to best retain and use the information given to them. Learning methods are based on personality types and a combination of teaching techniques. 

Old ways of teaching are based on repetition and memory. This old teaching method does not take into account the limitations of our memory. Placing information into long-term memory takes more than repetition. 

In a learner-based environment, the goal isn’t just to retain facts and information. Instead, it uses engagement to make information relative and practical. This makes the learned content a part of your student’s life.

In the workplace, you don’t want your employees to go through training only to show that they have completed a course. The purpose of the training is for the employee to excel in the field and feel more connected to the work they do.

How Do You Know When a Learner is Engaged?

Showing up to the class is not a clear sign that a student wants to learn or even be there. 

Learner engagement becomes evident through participation, self-initiative, and even feedback on the course.

When employees in training ask questions, make suggestions, and ask for additional resources for the topic, they show their excitement. Sometimes the course sounds exciting to your employees, but the method of teaching does not translate.

Give your employees a voice in how the modules will be taught in addition to the topics and skills to be learned. Communicating with your staff will actively engage them in the course before it even begins. 

You also need to keep in mind that every learner is different. So, keep an eye on the entire class and be flexible. New methods of teaching can be introduced when you need to accommodate various learners. Because we know how important it is to reach everyone, our eLearning courses at VP Legacies include videos, short readings, and multiple choice questions. Helping all kinds of learners engaged on multiple levels is key, as you’ll see below.

Types of Learners

2 women discussing and learning by drawing out designs on the white board

Your learner engagement playbook will include 3 basic types of personalities based on how your student learns best.

You can use these personality types to develop lesson plans and make personal connections in the classroom. These connections will transfer into the office as a form of respect and understanding.  

Remember that these traits are broad and intertwined. One person may reflect the characteristics of all three personality types, but one may be more dominant. Others may have an even combination, and still, others might clearly identify with just one.

So, use these qualities as a base for learning, not as a definitive guide to the complex structure of the human mind. 

Related: 7 Types of eLearning Methods for Corporate Training


The achiever thrives on setting goals and meeting them. They like a challenge because they aren’t afraid to show off what they learned. 

They may also be competitive in nature and desire to be the best at a new skill. It might seem easy to engage this type of learner, but keeping them actively engaged requires stimulation. This might include multiple choice questions and multimedia presentations, like we have in our eLearner course.  

The method of micro-learning effectively breaks information into pieces. For an achiever, this creates levels and mini-goals to tackle. It also uses steps to focus on one topic at a time. 

For an achiever, moving too fast is a common pitfall. By separating information into segments, the learner can move at a slower pace. Each level is an accomplishment that doesn’t feel rushed. 

Encourage achievers to stay focused on one topic at a time to retain information with learner engagement strategies that reward progress often. Each step should effectively teach a new skill that will lead to the next lesson.

Achievers also have a lot of energy and enthusiasm that can be useful in the classroom. They can be engaging presenters and mentors to more shy classmates and coworkers. 


To an explorer, it doesn’t matter how fast or efficient the learning process is. Instead, they enjoy connecting with peers and mentors to discover new information. The reward isn’t in the end result, but the journey of learning and making mistakes. 

In fact, it is the mistake that teaches an explorer a lesson and leads to progress. This makes them great planners and reflectors of the past. They see their mistakes as a map toward the future. 

Let explorers be creative and free. They should be trusted to come out of their learning experience successfully. 

They may also be shyer than achievers, as they prefer to work on their own methodology of learning. While they like to work on their own, explorers can still be guided. This might mean using a microlearning module for individual learning and holding group sessions in which everyone can communicate and discuss what they have learned.

Don’t let an explorer go too far on their own since their way of learning can be beneficial to the whole class. They discover things that may go unnoticed even to you, as a teacher. 

Keep them engaged by asking for updates on their progress. Let them criticize, edit, and alter the course of your teaching. This is the way to get explorers to communicate and open up to you and their classmates.


On the learner engagement rubric of personality types, there is always the person who prefers group activities. They don’t like to tackle a problem alone as they see strength in numbers.

This isn’t a fault, but a useful skill, since they feed off of others to grasp concepts and encourage people to connect. They also love to share their insights, as they understand deeply the benefits of cooperation and collaboration. 

Make it easy for socializers to discuss the topic with their coworkers. You can include group activities, presentations, and role-playing to the lesson plan to accommodate the socializer. 

Let them be expressive by allowing them to use a more hands-on approach to learning. They may prefer offline activities over eLearning modules. 

Socializers tend to enjoy group success as they congratulate each other for achieving a goal. Allow socializers to complete tasks that they can then translate into a personal milestone.

Related: Build Story-based eLearning Content to Engage Your Learners

Holistic Teaching Methods

Despite having many personality variations to consider and to cater to in your lesson plans, your approach should be holistic. 

A holistic teaching method includes more than a relay of information. It considers the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive abilities and experiences of the learner. 

Taking these factors into consideration will help you develop a course that fits each personality type. 

As you develop your course, consider these levels of pedagogy that allows employees to conceptualize and retain course material. 


This is the basis of your lesson plan. It includes the steps to complete the course without further insight. Think of it as the outline that displays your topics and subtopics. 

While this is necessary to develop a course, this alone doesn’t allow any student engagement. Further structure is needed to expand your employees’ knowledge by actively including them in the topic. 


This part of your course offers your students an objective for learning – in other words, telling them what they will learn. It may explain the skills that your students will acquire, but without practical application. It is important to incorporate conceptual learning, especially to connect with explorer-type learners. This helps them get a sense of how they will engage with the material and what kinds of thinking they will use.


Explaining why and how the skills translate to a particular life function will offer your students a sense of purpose. They will be able to see why the lesson is important to their job.

This will also provide excitement for the learning process and, once the class is over, a feeling of accomplishment. This is an especially useful way to engage the challenger-based aspect of learning. 


2 colleagues working on 2 laptops, and analyzing their notes

This is the most important part of your class because it leaves the classroom. Allowing your employees to analyze the skills learned and apply them to their life is the goal of the class. 

They should make the skills personal and transferable to various aspects of their life. The student should also be able to expand their knowledge of the topic on their own, making improvements and additions. 

Getting Help With Learner Engagement

Creating learner engagement strategies in your company takes some trial and error. Fortunately, getting help from our professionals at VP Legacies to develop communication strategies can point you in the right direction. Learners tend to fall roughly into three categories – challenge-based, explorer, or socializer. In order to engage all three kinds, you can use holistic teaching methods that explain procedures, explore concepts, show consequences, and utilize analysis. A learning course that engages your employees on multiple cognitive levels and appeals to different personalities is one that will aid professional development and enhance your company’s ability to reach and exceed long-term goals.


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