Boost training engagement with a forum or messaging chat

One of the benefits of using a LMS to manage your training program is that it gives you additional tools to help boost employee engagement. Forums and messaging chats within the LMS let learners get quick answers to their questions, discuss ideas with their peers, and engage with the training materials in new ways.

This is an example of social learning, where employees learn from their peers, rather than by sitting through formalized lectures or working their way through online training modules. 

While forums and chats may be new, social learning has always been around. But now, instead of dropping by a coworker’s desk to ask a question, employees can connect online as part of the training.

This can be an incredibly effective way to improve learning.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.
Albert Einstein

When Harvard Business School launched HBX, their online education program, they decided to make social learning a core component by adding forums. Their best practices are worth a read, and what they found is that the training outperformed their benchmarks when it came to key metrics such as completion rate, student satisfaction, and engagement.

How do forums and messaging chats boost training engagement?

1. Facilitate group discussions: If one person has a question, odds are good that other people who are taking that training may have the same question. Posting in the forum allows multiple people to get an answer and weigh in with their own responses or clarifications. These group discussions are a great way to learn, too.  

2. Employees can get answers more quickly: Learners who might be having trouble with a concept or need additional help can use the forum or messaging app to ask questions when they have them, rather than waiting for the next training session. Because other learners can weigh in — rather than just the instructor — it makes it faster to get answers.

3. Teaching others cements knowledge: As the saying goes, the best way to learn is to teach. When learners answer each others’ questions or comment on each others’ posts, it helps reinforce the concepts in their own minds. In essence, they become the teacher.

4. More opportunities to engage with the training: Adding forums and messaging chats to the training is a way to get employees to spend more time with the training materials overall. It can be hard to carve time out of busy schedules to complete training modules or sit through an in-person lecture, but it’s easy to log into a forum a few times a week to chat. 

5. Improves overall employee engagement: Along with helping employees engage more with the training materials, forums and messaging chats are a great way to boost the social connection between employees and improve the overall culture of engagement in your organization. 

(Learn more about creating engaging trainings: Engage employees with interactive microlearning)

Getting this type of engagement is possible when you use an LMS like Opigno, which comes with an internal messaging tool and forums integrated within training. It’s simple to set up for instructors, and easy to use for employees. 

Head to to see an example of how you can use forums and messaging tools in your own training.


Author: Adam Kennedy-Ripon

Design: Simon Contreras