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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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10.6. OFFER BRIBES (EXPLICIT EXTERNAL REWARDS)

In a conference presentation a couple of years ago, I asked the audience to shout out the methods they used to motivate learners in training. Shouts and laughter followed until one fellow silenced the room with a single word: "Bribes!"

Bribes, in this context at least, are explicit external rewards. External rewards do not themselves increase learning [94]; however, they do get people to pay attention to the material, which is a prerequisite for learning from it. Though they can never replace the inexpressible joy of learning, they can prop it up and urge it on nicely.

What bribes can we offer our learners?

10.6.1. Monetary rewards

Try cash. Dollars, Euros, Yen, Marks, Francs, Kronor, Pounds, and Pence all will do. Take some of the money you are saving by using WBT and spend it on the people who are saving you the money. Consider a simple monetary reward for the first learners to complete a new course or the ones who get the highest scores.

Cash too crass? How about some other rewards of substantial value?

  • Products your company sells

  • Stock in your company

  • A computer

  • Movie tickets and a dinner

  • Extra vacation days

  • Discounts on future courses

10.6.2. Token gifts

Token gifts are rewards with more symbolic than monetary value. They, too, can be powerful incentives to complete a course. Tokens you can use to entice WBT learners include:

  • Coffee mugs

  • T-shirts, windbreakers, and sweatshirts

  • Screen savers and desktop wallpaper

  • Book bags and satchels ...

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