Strengthening Engagement With An Online Coaching Platform

Posted on
December 10, 2021
Edan Kertis
CEO at myQuest

Strengthening Engagement with an Online Coaching Platform

A sense of personal presence, relevance and engagement are the most important factors in determining the success of an online experience. Sufficient authentic engagement creates attachment to the experience for the learner, and this is a key step in actualizing positive behavioral change and building effective habits. Online experience platforms need to work hard at preventing feelings of isolation which might inhibit the learner’s progress and cause them to drop off the experience, because it's just too hard to stay engaged. An online coaching platform solves this problem.

Overcoming Barriers and Getting It Right

A sense of learner isolation is often the result of a simple lack of feedback. Research into online experiences shows that a lack of feedback is likely to diminish feelings of engagement and self-motivation and cause a dip in completion rates. The results of more than one study revealed that instructor-student interaction was needed for the student to feel supported in an online course. 

Making use of blended learning and an online coaching platform, allows for this kind of interaction in a natural and seamless manner. To ensure your programme can nurture relevant engagement during online experiences, ensure that your learning platform provides for online coaching. 

Running a coaching program for employees in 2022, which is how many human resources leaders are increasing employee engagement, necessitates the use of the full spectrum of coaching tools. Add a coaching platform to this to optimize the digital coaching experience. Coaching apps integrated with online coaching platforms are some of the most impactful tools that professional coaches can use to foster engagement and ensure that client’s progress steadily during the online coaching programs. 

Instead of just giving coaching homework, coaches can use a coaching platform to grab the learners / person being coached (PBC) attention and focus them back on their journey, in between coaching sessions. 

Everybody knows that attendance issues are a concrete sign of low engagement. When people don't arrive online or in person we ask hard questions about how invested they are in the experience. Being able to track progress, having a dashboard on learner experience and immediate data driven feedback, all provide the insight you need to get the learners / (PBC) back to learning fast. How? Make use of notifications sent to their phones, from the online coach. 

To stay competitive, coaching businesses must embrace the best available methods of increasing engagement and transformation with their coaching clients. Coaching sessions that stretch beyond whatever is communicated during real time interactions and track the application of coaching tools and techniques have been invaluable to PBC. 

Blended Learning and Online Coaching Platforms 

Blended learning refers to learning which makes use of a variety of media and methods to obtain optimal engagement and results. Technology, social learning and asynchronous communication are all hallmarks of a blended learning experience. As Hoffman astutely remarks, modern classrooms are no longer just a place - they have become an experience

Blended learning can increase engagement provided that the workload is fair and technical difficulties do not add to a learner’s confusion or anxiety. Optimal engagement thus hinges not only on the content itself, but the way in which it is presented to the learner. 

An example of a blended learning experience would be weekly group coaching sessions, supplemented by additional videos, lecture notes and discussion opportunities. Not all of the learning content is given during the real-time sessions; rather, the distribution of information is passed to the learner at different times and in different formats. An online coaching platform provides the perfect vehicle for all of the above and adds a differentiated offering to your coaching practice.

Using an Online Coaching Platform to Create Good Habits

Online coaching for employees or students should aim to create positive behavioral habits. 

Urh and Jereb explain that the creation of post-session habits is often linked to the level of social engagement the learner experiences within the coaching program. The habit building approach in myQuest intentionally allows learners to build good habits, and should be the first choice of anyone wanting a state of the art online coaching platform.

myQuest’s online coaching platform considers every element that needs to be integrated in order to create an engaging coaching experience. This includes coaching management data and the use of data science to support reporting. Key features include real-time interaction time with the coach, opportunities to interact and learn with peers through synthesis exercises, post-session resources, asynchronous sources of engagement, and notifications and reminders. 

By taking this approach, the motivation learners / PBCs experience when starting an online coaching program is maintained. This is extended if myQuest’s ‘AFT’ model is applied. It is worth trying and there is a free trial available. 

The AFT Learning Model 

The three letters in the model stand for ‘Action’, ‘Feedback’, and ‘Trigger’. Each of these three segments of the ‘AFT’ model further engagement and enhance the online coaching experience. 

The ‘Action’ aspect of the ‘AFT’ model looks to break away from passive learning. Real life scenarios and learning opportunities are used to maximize the time of the coach and the student. Positive habits lie at the core of the ‘Actions’ that learners will be asked to undertake, such as group discussions or simulations of real world encounters. 

‘Feedback’ is the next portion of the ‘AFT’ model, and focusses in particular on guaranteeing that the learner remains engaged by the course content. Constructive or critical feedback is most useful when given immediately, as this allows the learners to derive whatever lesson is being communicated while the content of the activity they have just completed is still fresh in their mind and accessible for reflection. ‘Feedback’ under the ‘AFT’ model can be given by either the coaches or the learner’s peers, depending on the context. 

A ‘Trigger’ is what is used in the ‘AFT’ model to motivate further engagement after a task has been successfully created. Notifications, reminders and automated messages are used to encourage learners to keep their momentum going, or to inspire them to begin a task that they have yet to open. Once again, the purpose of using ‘Triggers’ is to catalyze effective learning habits and meaningful behavioral change. 

When it comes to an online coaching platform which is able to create positive learning habits, myQuest’s ‘AFT’ model encapsulates the fruits of blended learning. The ‘AFT’ model is the cherry on the cake of myQuest’s offering, making it the most engaging online coaching program available. 

Written by Kirsten Garbini

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