EdApp by SafetyCulture

12 Self Paced Learning Tips


September 20, 2022


Shera Bariuad


Self Paced Learning Tips

Self-paced learning gives learners control over their learning experience, allowing them to decide when, where, and how they want to learn. To incorporate this learning style effectively into your training, we’ve listed 12 self-paced learning tips that are intended to increase engagement, boost motivation, and improve knowledge retention. 

1. Deliver training via mobile learning

For convenient self-paced learning, it’s important to make your training materials easily accessible for your learners. Site workers typically don’t have immediate access to desktops or laptops, while corporate employees usually have heavy schedules and deadlines to meet. To make training easily available for them, you can apply a self-paced mobile learning strategy instead of synchronous and instructional virtual training. Mobile learning is mainly about creating training content for mobile viewing and incorporating smartphone technology into the training programs. With training content made accessible across multiple devices, especially smartphones, your learners can conveniently take their courses at their own pace, anytime and anywhere, with no need for trainers. 

Self paced learning tip - Mobile learning

SC Training (formerly EdApp) is a mobile-first learning management system that makes all your training materials and courseware accessible through its mobile learning app. With SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s mobile learning solution, your learners can easily take their courses or quizzes and decide on the time they’re most susceptible to learning. You can even use its Communicate via Heads Up feature to inform them when new courses are available and track who has seen it


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2. Break down lessons into bite-sized form

During self-paced learning, it’s important to prevent cognitive overload in which the brain is forced to absorb overwhelming information. You can do this by adopting the microlearning strategy, a strategy used in elearning development, which breaks down a bulk of training content into bite-sized lessons. This strategy enables you to focus on key messages to make topics easier to understand. When your learners are not feeling overwhelmed and pressured during their self-paced training, information gets better embedded in their long-term memory. With the compact nature of microlessons, they can be combined with mobile learning, making them easier to take and complete.

Self paced learning tip - Microlearning

To create your own microlessons, you can use digital learning platforms like SC Training (formerly EdApp). It provides a cloud-based authoring tool that includes 80+ interactive templates for easy content creation. If you have existing training PowerPoint presentations, you can easily transform them into engaging courses with its AI Doc Transformer (coming soon). After transforming your PPT slides into interactive microlessons, you have the option to review them and select between different slide templates so you can further customize their layout and further improve your learning courses. 

3. Make training engaging with gamification

Research suggests that the use of play elements in a formal environment, such as work, can significantly boost employees’ engagement and interest. To increase engagement in a self-paced learning environment, you can incorporate gamification into your lessons. You can do this by adding gaming elements and transforming lessons into casual smartphone games. Instead of making your employees read or watch their training materials, you can apply concepts like matching key messages or identifying the right sequences of a process. This informal learning strategy serves as an effective way to make training interactive even without the actual presence of a facilitator or colleagues.

Self paced learning tip - Gamification

Among SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s interactive templates includes gamification templates, such as find-a-word, image/word match, letter jumble, and many more. You can also access SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s editable course library to find hundreds of gamified microlearning courses. Simply import a course relevant for your employees and deploy them. You also have the option to customize it to your own expertise for personalized learning before sharing it with your employees. 

4. Incorporate feedback into your training

To recognize and understand your learners’ needs and further improve your training approach, you can include surveys and gather feedback from them. To make this step feel like less of a chore, you can use gamification templates for your surveys. This allows you to gather feedback from learners in a fun and interesting way. Incorporating feedback into your training enables you to continuously improve your self-paced learning content and delivery while simultaneously making learners feel valued.

Self paced learning tip - Feedback

SC Training (formerly EdApp) facilitates this concept with a built-in survey template. Along with other intuitively-designed templates found in this LMS platform’s extensive template library, the Survey templates exist so you can easily gather feedback from your learners about your lessons. 

5. Use spaced repetition to improve knowledge retention

According to the Forgetting Curve by Hermann Ebbinghaus, nearly 50% of the content of a piece of lengthy information is simply forgotten within the first hour, while 70% of those data points are lost within 24 hours of training completion. To effectively reinforce the information in your self-paced learning setup and combat the forgetting curve, it’s best to practice the spaced repetition strategy. Using this technique, key learning concepts are repeated at regular intervals until knowledge is fully embedded in the long-term memory of your learners. Memory and learning go hand in hand – the more frequent and effective information is reinforced, the more effective learners absorb knowledge.

Self paced learning tip - Spaced repetition

6. Stimulate visual thinking

Stimulating the visual thinking of learners through visual elements like pictures, graphics, and diagrams helps them understand concepts better and improve their knowledge retention. These visual elements serve as the perfect solution for an engaging discussion. This highlights the importance of creating well-designed and visually informative learning content. 

Self paced learning tip - Visual thinking

But, this process can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for training managers with little to no graphic design knowledge or experience. To help you easily adopt visual learning strategies into your training, SC Training (formerly EdApp) has editable, ready-made course templates that enable you to choose from a wide variety visually engaging content that you can tweak to suit your needs.

7. Boost motivation with a friendly competition

In a self-paced learning environment where there’s a lack of interaction with peers, you can boost their motivation by creating friendly competition. You can do this by adding leaderboards into the lessons. To rank on the board, your learners can earn points from their elearning activities, such as completing courses and passing assessments. This strategy will inspire them, especially the underperforming learners, to focus more so they will achieve better results.

Self paced learning tip - Friendly competition

With SC Training (formerly EdApp), you can apply the achievements feature to your lessons or quizzes. This gives your learners the opportunity to earn badges and banners from their learning performance and compliance training.

8. Recognize learning achievements

To foster a sense of fulfillment among learners, you can acknowledge learners for their time, effort, and hard work in achieving certain learning milestones. You can do this by allowing them to earn certificates and learning badges for every achievement. Similar to the concept of leaderboards, this strategy gives learners the opportunity to further step up in their training and beat their own progress. 

Self paced learning tip - Achievements

SC Training (formerly EdApp) makes this easy with its built-in certificate management feature that lets you grant learners with course completion certificates, which they can easily save, download, and share. Aside from certificates, SC Training (formerly EdApp)'s Achievements feature also gives the option to export each learner’s Achievements to internally shout out top achievers and learner’s milestones. 

9. Reward learners with real prizing/rewards

Another way to give top-performing individual learners or teams instant recognition is by giving them incentives, prizes, or awards. This technique helps employees boost competency and motivate them to perform better in their learning and development activities. Rewarding them with tangible prizes for their hard work in learning will make them feel appreciated, especially when your prizes are relevant and useful for them. It also serves as an effective way to combat resistance to training. 

Self paced learning tip - Real prizing

10. Simulate scenario-based training

To make training interactive even with self-paced learning, you can apply scenario-based training to your program. It’s a learning method of using immersive simulations like virtual reality and role-play training to demonstrate training and develop important skills among learners. Applicable in blended learning, this strategy allows your employees to practice and use skills that they’ll need for their role in a controlled and simulated environment. It serves as a practical approach to learning where employees can explore consequences and see the impact of their decisions at work in virtual classrooms before applying them in real-work situations. 

Self paced learning tip - Scenario based training

In SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s template library, you’ll find the Chat template that you can use for creating scenario-based lessons. This template allows you to simulate real-life/workplace conversations using speech bubbles, and ask learners to pick the most appropriate response for a given situation. It can be used to contextualize training for retail, sales, and other related industries.

11. Commit to a schedule

One of the challenges of doing self-paced learning is commitment. It can be easy to stray from finishing your course or training when no one’s keeping track of your learning journey. But, having a timeframe and setting deadlines for yourself can help you stay on track. That’s why a great self-paced learning tip is to commit to a schedule. If you have a hard time committing to something as big as a course deadline, you can set reminders for tasks like finishing modules or completing course assessments at a certain date. Committing little things can help you progress through your self-paced learning and ultimately, finish your training.

12. Set reasonable expectations for yourself

Part of the reason why self-paced learning doesn’t work for everyone is that you set unreasonably high expectations for yourself. You buy a ton of courses online and think you can finish them within a month. But then life happens and you find yourself piling up on your self-paced learning tasks and lessons. That’s why apart from committing to a schedule, you need to be able to set reasonable goals for yourself. Make a commitment that works for you and your lifestyle. Make a commitment that you can adhere to.


Shera Bariuad

Shera is a workplace learning expert with a background in planning performance-driven solutions for various business industries. She’s dedicated to driving better learning and development outcomes by providing training strategies for training managers and curating lists of tools and courses for learners. Outside of work, she spends her time reading, illustrating, and designing.

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