Why are we still stuck in the 90s mindset in eLearning Design?
Do you have this sinking feeling in your mind that the number of eLearning courses being churned up by companies around the world is seemingly similar? Why does one get a sense of déjà vu when looking at these courses, the strange suspicion of having viewed the course already? It may seem to be a bit comical but this is largely true. We see the same techniques and ideas being used; be it similarly designed avatars or mascots, games that do not truly add value, monotonous voices reading out the script or background templates that seem to be factory-made.
Why is it that despite powerful animation and story-boarding tools available, video creation and synchronized authoring tools on offer, extensive gamification opportunities; we still seem to be stuck in a time warp of sorts in terms of workplace eLearning?
When was the last time you saw a course that truly blew your mind? Something that made you pause, reflect and marvel at the work that the team had designed the course; can you recollect? The truth is that the presence of umpteen generic off-the-shelf offerings at similar price points has now made mediocre and average work to become a standard of its own, which is extremely frustrating. L&D managers around the world look for quick solutions that can help cover their immediate training requirements. The demand now is for learning, which is easily customizable, personalized, effective and not obscenely priced.
The ideal workplace eLearning course should have a mix of:
- Anytime-Anywhere Accessibility – AAA!
- Curated Content
- Interactive eLearning
- Relevant Games
- Success Stories
- Defined and Measurable Outcomes
The design should be fluid, responsive and pleasing on the eyes! Too often we see graphic designers and animation artists going overboard with their creative ideas to create something too cartoonish and irrelevant to the learner. This is something to be avoided at all costs. Let organizations remember that they are not competing with Pixar or Disney to win an award for the best animated movie; they are creating an eLearning course for working professionals.
The course should be designed to motivate and encourage the employee to actually complete the course. Put your learners on a quest or an adventure where they seek knowledge and the final fruit of labour is the successful achievement of the learning outcomes defined up-front. Like a game where the player unlocks levels by completing specific tasks in a defined time period; structure your course into relevant levels and modules that require the learner to complete each level in a specific period. Acknowledge the completion of each level by providing digital badges that the learner can flaunt on their social profiles.
Employees should be motivated to create videos or blog posts relevant to their work and their professional expertise. Only by keeping the employees engaged and happy can they be retained and expected to perform better towards achieving organizational goals.
It would be great to bring in elements of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality into a workplace eLearning course; but would it serve any real purpose? Remember, technology should only be used to empower the learner; purposeless artificial gimmicks are not going to help anyone or serve any useful purpose.
Taking up and completing a workplace eLearning course should be as easy as downloading an app and using it on your smartphone. Let’s un-complicate and de-mystify eLearning at the workplace and make life easier for everyone! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for insights into a clear, crisp and effective eLearning solution for your organization!