Learning can be a challenge, especially when you encounter obstacles that hinder your progress. Boredom, lack of motivation, and lack of focus are typical barriers to learning. These barriers can strip away a person's motivation and deprive them of the opportunity to learn what they should know. When education continues after graduation, the barriers to learning do not disappear. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to address these barriers in learning and achieve better results. In this article, we will explain how to identify invisible barriers within yourself and provide solutions to overcome them.

  1. Emotional Barriers

These are barriers that make learners feel extremely uncomfortable, disrupting the learning process. Individuals may experience fear or doubt, feeling "not good enough" to try. Emotional barriers include resistance to change, fear of failure, and lack of focus.

a. Resistance to Change

Every effort brings about changes and takes us out of our comfort zone. People may feel unprepared for this. It manifests in two forms:

  • Hesitation towards technology: Individuals may believe they are not tech-savvy, making it challenging to adapt to the digital process.

  • "I know it all": People may think there is nothing new in their industry to the extent that they have to participate in another training or a new online course.

How to overcome these emotional learning barriers: We should accept the truth that starting something new is not easy. If you initiate training in your class, it is crucial to recognize learners' fundamental resistance to change.

Provide learners with comprehensive information about your course. For example, if you implement online training with a Learning Management System (LMS), you can tell learners that participating in online courses and answering questions online is no harder than surfing the internet. Create tutorial videos to explain how to use the platform and provide users with all the help documentation they need.

Initially, choose software with a visually intuitive, user-friendly interface so your learners can use it right away.

b. Fear of Failure

People often prioritize safety over taking risks with uncertain outcomes. This prevents many learners from acquiring valuable skills and seizing excellent opportunities.


How to overcome this emotional barrier:

Allow learners to make mistakes and use empowering language to help them develop a positive attitude towards learning.

Encourage them to practice and explain that making mistakes in learning now is much better than not knowing how to act in work and real-life situations. Help them enhance their self-correction skills so they can learn how to identify and fix errors immediately.

With online training, you can significantly reduce the fear of failure. If you use an authoring tool to create questions, you can allow multiple attempts on the same question. This way, if learners make mistakes once or twice, they still have the opportunity to provide the correct answer.

You should also incorporate encouraging or explanatory automated feedback for each response. Phrases like "Well done!" or "You're doing great!" or "Next time you'll get it!" will help learners overcome fear and keep trying.


c, Lack of Concentration

When learners overcome resistance to change and the fear of failure, are they ready to learn? However, this is another challenging barrier to learning. According to researchs, learners only have an average of 120 minutes per day for learning and practicing. That's only 1% of their typical daily work. Even within these 120 minutes, it's not always easy for them to concentrate as the workplace can be noisy and distracting.

How to overcome this emotional barrier:

During your teaching process, it's best to eliminate distracting factors and create a space for silence. This could be a "focus hour" for everyone, a dedicated space for focused learning or quiet time, or they could receive purposeful guidance on specific strategies to enhance focus and productivity. Smartphones can be distracting in the classroom and workplace, but if you switch to online learning and provide it on mobile devices, you can leverage technology to your advantage.

Learning apps for smartphones and tablets allow learners to participate in courses anywhere and anytime they want, even while on the move. This helps them have additional time and space for training when they find themselves focused.

  1. Motivational Barriers

Now that we have overcome the initial emotional barriers, the next challenge is to continue learning. You may notice that suddenly your employees drop out of courses or refuse to participate. These are motivational barriers. They are hindrances when the learning process begins. Let's examine the main reasons for this and how we can address it.

a. Lack of foundational knowledge

Just as a child learns to crawl, then walk, and finally run, the learning process occurs in stages and should not skip any stage. If learners lack basic knowledge or are transitioning to a new field of work, or have never been introduced to the product line, this hinders their further development.

How to overcome this learning barrier:

Your course should be consistent, so plan ahead. Ensure that it progresses seamlessly from basics to advanced topics. With a Learning Management System (LMS), you can create lessons and materials following a tailored curriculum for a department, group, or specific individual. The system will automatically assign suitable courses for the selected group of learners.

For example, you can create specific learning paths for each new learner, and they will have access to a systematically organized training program from day one.

b. Unclear purpose

Learners may perceive training in learning as purposeless if they don't see how it benefits them in their lives or jobs. This is a challenge for adult learners: they want to know how education or training will change their lives for the better and make their daily work easier. Therefore, your training purpose will not be convincing until it meets the practical needs of learners.

How to overcome this learning barrier:

You can start with a new headline to stimulate interest in your course. For example:

"Time Management" versus "How to Maximize Your Efficiency and Avoid Working Overtime"

"Strategic Thinking" versus "Setting Goals and Planning Necessary Action"

Do you see the difference? Being straightforward about the goals and outcomes of training will save you time explaining why learning is worthwhile. And, of course, fill your courses and training materials with advice, solutions, and practical exercises so learners know how to apply the knowledge in real life.

c. Boredom

Some topics may not be designed to spark interest in learners. However, they are necessary, important for the job, and, like other compliant courses, tend to be mandatory.

But the seriousness of a topic is not a reason to have sloppy, hard-to-read slides that immediately make people feel bored and lose focus. Boredom is the main enemy of learner engagement and can be a strong barrier even for those passionate about learning.

How to overcome this learning barrier:

If you deploy direct teaching, ensure that your learners interact with their peers and with you. Work in pairs or groups, organize Q&A sessions, give them quick exercises, and breaks to recharge their brain energy. If you use presentation slides to support your presentation, make them less verbose and use more multimedia.

For virtual classes, prepare rich content including videos, screen recordings, images, infographics, animations, and sound. Use the whiteboard feature to visualize some ideas.

Design engaging warm-up and wrap-up activities to captivate learners and enhance memory retention.

  • Personal Barriers

a. Different Learning Styles

It seems that reading texts or listening to lectures are common ways to learn and acquire new information, but they may not be sufficient. To truly engage learners, instructional content sometimes needs to become more visual or tangible.

For example, some people may not excel with numbers and cannot tolerate tables with figures. Some may easily recognize differences in images, while others may not. Some may remember audio better than graphics. Therefore, if the instructor only explores one of these ways to convey information, not all learners can follow.

How to overcome this learning barrier:

Introduce diversity in how you convey information and interact with learners. Combine everything with various formats. By using authoring tools like Avina Authoring Tools, you can include screen recording tutorials, video-based courses, and questions with audio, all with a single tool. Interactive, diverse learning content like this will make your training program more appealing to a wider audience.

b. Decreased Learning Outcomes

In this case, what causes a decrease in learning outcomes may be the learner's personal reasons such as health, work, or life.

How to overcome this learning barrier:

When you complete creating a course, your top priority is to ensure that all learners can access that course. Follow these steps:

  • Write step-by-step instructions in simple language.

  • Provide subtitles and captions for all videos.

  • Keep all other text concise, clear, and well-structured.

  • Ensure all images have good contrast and add alternative text.

If you use Avina Authoring Tools to create online courses, don't hesitate to use its features to automatically adjust learning materials without creating a separate course version from scratch.

II. Conclusion

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "I see only my objective - the obstacles must give way." This statement also applies to the obstacles in learning that hinder us from progressing, discovering new opportunities, and continuous development. But if learners focus on their goals, confront the fear of failure or change, and identify what demotivates them the most, then learning barriers will no longer be obstacles.

Let us know about common learning barriers that you or others have faced and how you overcome them! Avina Authoring Tools is always ready to accompany you in overcoming learning barriers.