Remember those whodunits or the comic books from your school days that you stayed up late to finish? Or those old movies that stirred you so much that you still can't stifle a sob or resist a chuckle when you think about them? Was that an autobiography, a piece of news item, or a meeting that inspired you to ditch a bad habit or take up a cause for life? We all have memories of such stories that touched our hearts and changed our lives. Don't you wish your eLearning courses would touch people's lives in the same way? Blame it on tight deadlines, stringent budgets, boring (read: technical) content, or dictatorial managers, but most amongst us have created ho-hum courses that have managed to put many learners to sleep. We ourselves cringe when we remember these courses! So how can you create eLearning courses that wow learners even when the constraints remain in place? How do you create courses that change minds? Here are four proven ways:
It is true that we learn design principles from a bunch of theories. But too often, we eLearning designers make the mistake of relying on these theories to give us design ideas. They can provide ideas but only so much. You need to think beyond the theories and look around you to find inspiration and break free from the creativity rut. Last week we published the first part of the Creativity Series. Here we will continue giving you more design hacks.
How often have you spent hours staring at a blank screen in front of you trying to come up with an innovative eLearning design? Waiting for inspiration to strike is agonizing, and if ideas take too long to show up, you begin to wonder if your creative juices have dried up. Scary, isn't it? Admit it; we don't get to enjoy too much variety in the content for the courses we create. HR policies, health and safety guidelines, sales techniques, team management and leadership roles, and application and systems training—we seem to circle round and round these types of content, often for years. Our learners often belong to the same demographic group, which means they tend to have similar learning styles and preferences. It is not surprising that most of the time we fall back on tried-and-tested design strategies, either because we fear experimenting or we run short of ideas. We end up falling into a design rut. Beware! Do not let your creative juices dry up. Follow the tips below to cultivate and nurture a creative mind that is always brimming with ideas.