The world of work has changed significantly since 2020. The need to constantly learn and relearn has grown is growing at an accelerated speed. In this context, it is inadmissible to waste time designing eLearning courses that are not generating the expected results. Take a moment and reflect: Have you ever wondered why your employees don't remember what they learn in your eLearning courses?
Whether you’re fresh out of school or a seasoned commander of an eLearning design team, you need to make sure your design habits are helping you thrive. In fact, one of the worst traps you can fall into as a designer is allowing consistency to turn into complacency, which is more likely for an experienced professional. To combat this, all of us have to practice looking for inspiration in new places and drawing from the other creative types, trends, and events around us. You also need to look back at your own projects. Do you hate what you did a year ago? Yes? Good! If you look at your past work and think it’s as good or better than your current stuff, that’s when you need to worry because the only way to stay at the top of your field is to be in constant competition with yourself. To get in the habit of increasing your skills while keeping good design theory in practice, we have some tips for staying inspired:
Humans love visuals. In fact, we are wired to respond more to visuals than to words. That is why we are so hooked on Pinterest and Instagram. This is also the reason why Facebook posts and tweets with images get liked and are retweeted the most. But as an Instructional Designer, what should interest you more is the fact that the human brain can process visuals faster than text. So if you care about creating more engaging eLearning, you MUST include powerful and engaging visuals in your courses. Visuals take away from the burden of reading through tomes of text, navigating language ambiguities, and making sense of jargon and complex sentence structures. Learn the ten most useful tools that you can incorporate into your eLearning courses to get your content to stick and resonate with your audience:
You have to schedule meetings with the SME. You have to speak with the business executives to figure out the learning objectives. You have to know the target audience. It seems you have your hands full. Why should you bother to rack your brains and think of a story? Why would you need to tell a story in an eLearning course? Stories hold enormous power over our minds and hearts for a reason. They are how we think, how we make sense of information, how we define ourselves, and how we persuade others. According to an article in Psychology Today, stories continue to hold power in this digital age because the human brain hasn't evolved as fast as technology and it's only through stories that we can connect to the various digital platforms and media messages out there today. Stories can improve your eLearning courses, not only making them more instructionally-sound but also more engaging, thus more impactful.
Understanding the target audience is one of the cardinal rules of effective eLearning development. Knowing your learners helps you to shape your message in a way that's most likely to resonate with them. Also, having a thorough knowledge of your audience before you prepare your course, will help you to choose the appropriate informational material, figure out the most effective instructional strategy, design an audience-sensitive message, select the right media to transmit the message, and create a learning environment where learners feel supported.
Unless you have a phenomenal photographic memory, chances are you struggle to remember things and wonder how you can make information stick better. The answer? PAY ATTENTION! When you pay attention, you are far more likely to retain that information. This also applies to the learners you design eLearning courses for. Effective eLearning course design starts with understanding the science of attention. Neglecting this important step makes the difference between learner’s remembering your content for a few minutes, hours, or a lifetime. Try some of these techniques for getting learners’ attention from the get-go:
Even more than other types of education, eLearning must struggle to attract learners' attention: the Internet is full of distractions, and adult learners are both busier and free to indulge in distractions. Helping students to pay attention is a primary concern of training professionals, so here are some optimal methods to win the attention game.
10 Seconds. About the time it takes to check your phone “real quick” is all the time you have to make a first impression. This goes for your eLearning course too. People who view your course may be looking to learn, but before they ever read any info you’ve written, they will judge it… and judge it quickly. Not only are first impressions fast in general but also with the ever-growing amount of information thrown at us online, you need make your impression fast and make it count.