It can seem like there’s a tonne of work to do when you’re creating a new eLearning initiative. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the details and lose your way. Not to worry, just sit down and take a few breaths. Close your eyes and think of waves lapping on a beach.
Now that your mind is wide open, we’re going to share a few secrets that will steer your eLearning back in the right direction.
1. Lights, Camera, Action: Make it a Blockbuster!
The release of a new blockbuster movie makes people super-excited. After drooling over teasers and trailers, movie fans turn up at midnight showings in Jedi robes or wizard regalia. Maybe we could get the same level of excitement if we treated online learning the same way.
It might seem like there’s no room for creativity, but it doesn’t have to be the case. eLearning be scripted and driven by a great narrative and characters the learners can relate to. With the right amount of thought, organisation and planning you can create something worthy of the red carpet.
You could get the learner to watch a scenario where something goes very, very wrong. This ups the stakes grips the learner’s attention from the outset. After all, if a film doesn’t grab you in the first ten minutes, you’ll probably go and do something else instead. Make sure your online learning isn’t a boring infomercial – make it a hit!
2. It’s Not About You: Make the Learner the Star!
As a training manager, your job is pretty important to you. You care deeply about the organisational goals, about meeting compliance requirements and about your completion rates. But guess what – your learners don’t give a hoot about your problems.
Don’t start resenting them though – it’s only human nature to look after number one. If you’re creating online learning, you need to remember this point. Everybody who takes an eLearning unit will secretly be thinking ‘what can I get out of this?’.
If you build the eLearning around what your learners do and how they do it, they’re more likely to be engaged. Put them in the centre of the action with dynamic text. By using data inputs to drive the story, you can ask learners what their name is and what they do for a living. The eLearning then recalls these details throughout the unit, making it ‘all about them’.
3. Practice Makes Perfect: Get Interactive with Learners!
There’s no point training if you don’t put it into practice. Working through some eLearning without applying it is like sending all the new information straight to your brain’s Recycle Bin.
Your eLearning needs to let your learners apply their new knowledge. The key to knowledge retention is interactivity. Using branching scenarios, drag and drops and quizzes helps to embed knowledge.
Nowadays, you can go even further and dip your toe into game-based learning. Learning games used to cost a fortune to create and the development time alone was enough to scare away even the bravest learning manager. Now, there are plenty of tools that can let you create your own learning games and boost your interactivity even further! Check this article out to see what we mean.
4. Let’s get together: Make Learning a Social Experience!
When you think of the student working in isolation, you might think learning is a lonely experience. In fact, learning can be more effective when it’s done as part of a group. Discussion and brain-storming get ideas flowing. Debating and analysis helps us see things in a different light.
Social learning and informal learning are closely linked. Most of what we learn at work comes from experience or interacting with colleagues. All the eLearning units and training manuals only account for about 10% of work-based learning.
Today, many learning platforms come with live chat systems and discussion forums. They help create communities where learners can give support and encourage each other. On top of that, they also create a knowledge sharing culture, meaning your company doesn’t suffer a brain drain every time someone resigns.
5. Make it fun: Learning Shouldn’t be a Chore!
For some people, learning is a wild adventure for the mind, filled with trials, tribulations, excitement and accomplishment. For others, it’s a long, hard slog that gets in the way of ‘real work’. If you can make the experience as enjoyable as possible, you can satisfy both ends of the spectrum. The better the learner’s mindset, the more they’ll get out of it.
Imagine a world where all your learners are breaking down your door, hungry for more learning content. The more fun the learning, the more chance the learners will love it! The more they love it, the more they’ll return to it and the more they’ll learn. It’s simple! Just because your financial services compliance training is dry and dull, the way you communicate it doesn’t have to be.
Add some badges, points and prizes. Pit your learners against each other on a leaderboard. Throw in some social elements to aid competition and collaboration. In short, if the content itself isn’t fun, work harder on making the process fun!
6. Paint a Pretty Picture: Don’t Skimp on Eye Candy
A massive block of text scares people away, but powerful images attract a crowd. If you’ve been spent any time on a social network, you’ll know how images can thrill, inspire, delight and generally win people over.
Use images but please… don’t plaster your eLearning with corporate stock photos. Break out of the mould and create something that reflects your brand. Hire a graphic designer to draw caricatures of your team. Better still, start a competition and award caricatures to the winners.
But why stop at images? Creating high quality video has never been easier. When it comes to your formal training, you’ll what to keep the production values as high as possible. Meanwhile, every one of your learners has a camera on their phone. Encourage them to share their experiences on the platform’s social feed. In this case, nobody is expecting a high-budget, polished masterpiece, but what they might lack in quality, they make up for with relevance.
There you have it, a few handy tips to make your eLearning irresistible! If that doesn’t satisfy your tip-thirst, download some of our tip sheets from the Archives of Awesome. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the GE Blog, and make sure you don’t miss any more tips in future!