In the realm of eLearning, there's a crucial truth that often gets overlooked: Learning that doesn't align with business needs rarely delivers real value. The cornerstone of creating learning experiences that drive business performance is an upfront investment in understanding three key elements: the learner, the specific business need, and the problem that needs solving. This article is here to guide you through three practical tips to achieve just that.
Let's get real about design—sure, we all want our courses to look good. It feels great to pour our hearts into making something that catches the eye. But here's the thing: if your slick design isn't also crystal clear and easy to use, it's like a sports car with no engine. Looks great, but will it get you where you need to go? Nope. You know the drill. You click into a course full of excitement, only to get lost in flashy features that make it hard to find the actual content. Or maybe the text is so tiny or the colors so jarring that you're squinting two minutes in. Frustrating, right? That's why nailing eLearning design is more science than art. It's about knowing what makes your learners tick, what draws them in, and what drives the message home so that it sticks. Get this right, and you're not just sharing information; you're creating a learning experience that could change the way they see the world. Sounds powerful, doesn't it? That's because it is.
Have you ever wondered why big brands pour so much money into market research before launching a single product? It's not just a high-stakes game of guesswork. Imagine this: a brand skips the research and dives headfirst into creating something. Sounds bold, right? But it's also a recipe for disaster. Here's the thing—brands exist for their customers. They're not just creating random products; they're crafting experiences tailored to what their customers crave, wrapped up in an irresistible package that delights the senses. Now, think about your role as an eLearning designer. It's not all that different, is it? Your mission is to craft learning experiences that pack a punch, sure, but they've also got to be eye candy for your learners. After all, you want them to enjoy the journey with you, to be engaged and eager for more.
Isn't it curious how the human brain works? We've all been there—grasping for a name or face we just learned last week while vividly recalling a movie character from our childhood. Think about it: those history dates from school vanish like smoke, but the details of a high school chemistry experiment? Crystal clear. It's a quirky thing, memory. Some stories fade into the mist of our minds, while others stay with us, as sharp as the day we first read them. Now, if you're an instructional designer, you're probably nodding along, because you're on a mission to crack this code. Why do we hold onto some pieces of information as if they're treasures, yet let others slip away? That's the million-dollar question. You see, you don't just want to fill heads with facts. You're aiming for the kind of learning that sticks, that lasts way beyond the final quiz—knowledge that's there when it's needed in the real world. That's the dream, right?
Navigating the realm of workplace learning presents its own set of challenges and opportunities. In particular, t, two terms have become quite prominent: eLearning and mLearning. But what truly distinguishes them, and do they significantly impact the way we learn and grow on the job? These terms encapsulate nuanced differences that are well worth exploring. Traditionally, the prevailing belief was that any training program should be accessible primarily through desktop computers. However, the landscape has evolved, hasn't it? Now, in the year 2023, the folks you're looking to gear up—those enthusiastic team players hungry to level up their skills—are packing a variety of gear, from laptops and tablets to trusty smartphones. And guess what? Each of these gadgets is like a ticket to non-stop learning. The numbers back it up too: a solid 60% of users are all about that mobile device convenience when it comes to diving into workplace learning materials and info. Yet, here's where the challenge and the opportunity lie: we've arrived at a juncture where merely converting existing training content to fit mobile formats isn't sufficient. Designing an effective eLearning experience for mobile devices isn't simply about adapting content to a smaller screen. It entails a holistic approach that leverages the unique strengths of mobile devices, creating a learning experience that seamlessly integrates with the dynamic pace of modern work life. In this article, we will delve into the fundamental distinctions between eLearning and mLearning in a workplace context, shedding light on how each approach can shape and elevate the learning journey of employees. Also read: Embracing a Mobile Mindset for Learning and Development
Did you know that a whopping 80% of what we process online is visual? Yes, our brains are hardwired to respond to visuals, especially when we're learning. This means that visuals, especially colors, are more than just design choices - they're game-changers in eLearning! Color isn't just a design choice; it's a dynamic tool that taps into the learner's psychology. Whether it's evoking a certain emotion, drawing attention to key content, or providing a calming backdrop for intensive learning, the strategic use of color can significantly amplify the effectiveness of eLearning materials. But, like any powerful tool, it's crucial to use it judiciously. Overwhelming your learners with a rainbow riot might just lead them down the path of cognitive overload, negating any positive effects.
Let's talk about interactivity. What is it, really? We all have an idea of what it means, but putting it into words is no easy feat, right? From an academic standpoint, interactivity is defined as "a mutual action between a learner, learning system, and material". Makes sense, doesn't it? It's been proven time and time again that interactivity has a strong, positive impact on learning (Bosco 1986; Fletcher 1989; 1990; Stanford; 1990). In fact, one study by Bosco (1986) reviewed 75 studies and found that interactive media not only helped people learn faster but also improved their attitude toward learning. So, you might then think, that more interactivity must be better, right? Well, not necessarily. There's a fine line between a richly interactive eLearning course and one that overwhelms learners with endless hurdles and challenges. Just like chocolate, wine, and Netflix series, interactivity is best enjoyed in moderation.
Are you planning to create an eLearning course but don't know where to start? While there are many resources out there that tell you what to do, it's just as important to know what NOT to do. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the common mistakes to avoid when creating your eLearning course. From overwhelming your learners with too much information to neglecting to test your course before launching it, we've got you covered. So let's dive in and ensure your eLearning course is a success!