Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

H. Quincy Brown

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Heather M. Annulis

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Jonathan Beedle

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

John J. Kmiec

Committee Member 5 School



eLearning platforms have become the primary method for employee development in organizations (Dellagiacoma et al., 2020). This shift from the in-person approach has increased resources and budget allocation for authoring software applications needed to develop interactive eLearning programs (Kshirsagar et al., 2020). Despite spending a considerable amount of money on eLearning authoring software, there are concerns that most workplace eLearning programs do not achieve the desired outcomes (Jones, 2016; Patel, 2017; Sidhu, 2019). Although studies show that eLearning programs have effectively enhanced learning transfer, the same studies suggest that employees do not retain information in some eLearning programs (Dellagiacoma et al., 2020; Jones, 2016; Patel, 2017; Thalheimer & Kinnamon, 2017). Studies also show that employees are dissatisfied with workplace eLearning programs despite the availability of modern technologies (Dellagiacoma et al., 2020; Jones, 2016; Thalheimer & Kinnamon, 2017). The dissatisfaction is attributable to elements available in the persuasive learning design framework but missing in other eLearning programs (Patel, 2017). While studies show the impact of persuasive learning design in K-12 and higher education, there is little research in corporate settings.

Therefore, this study explores the effectiveness of workplace eLearning programs developed using persuasive learning design. Persuasive learning design is a framework that ensures that instructional materials have the capability to (a) recognize (or measure) learners’ abilities or prior knowledge, (b) use triggers (hints or suggestions) to engage learners, and (c) motivate learners through a user-friendly and interactive interface (Fogg, 2003; Gram-Hansen, 2016; Kristensen, 2013). Participants completed an open-ended survey embedded in the eLearning program followed by an interview 30 days after the program. The data obtained from open-ended surveys and interviews helped the researcher understand participants’ learning experiences and explore the adoption of persuasive learning design framework.

Three factors that influence employees’ learning experience in the eLearning program developed using the persuasive learning design are identified. The identified factors include attracting learning attention, adapting instructional materials to align with learning needs, and giving learners the flexibility to accelerate learning. These findings influenced employees’ learning satisfaction, engagement, and information retention. The findings align with the existing literature on persuasive learning design and the theoretical foundation that underpins the study.