Research into happiness and productivity shows quite conclusively that the happier someone is, the more productive they are (Oswald, Proto & Sgroi, 2014).
You’ve probably experienced it yourself: when you’re feeling down in the dumps, it’s hard to get motivated to perform even the most simple of tasks. You’re more likely to drag your heels, half-heartedly stagger through your routine and leave dirty dishes to fester by the sink for yet another day.
On the other hand, when you’re happy, feeling positive and having a quintessentially good day, you’ll have a spring in your step, sail through tough tasks and be spurred on to give the house a thorough clean.
This effect is so strong that people who are feeling happy (i.e. have a ‘positive affect’) are 12% more productive than those feeling miserable and morose (Oswald et al., 2014).
Just think what you could accomplish over time with a daily 12% increase in productivity!
This statistic is one of the reasons why we decided to embark on our mission to make online learning fun for learners. If they’re having fun, they’re likely to be happier, and if they’re happier, they’ll be more productive and will learn much more than if they hated the learning process and found it mind-numbingly, eye-wateringly boring.
Other research has found that when we are having fun, our brains are 68% more active and can absorb a whopping 84% more information (BusyPatch.com). Coupled with a 12% increase in productivity, it’s clear to see that making learning fun will do great things for knowledge acquisition.
We’re not the only company that sees the benefit of making online learning fun. In fact, it’s now quite widely accepted that eLearning modules should be engaging and enjoyable for learners. The general consensus is that eLearning should grab learners’ attention, capture their imagination and get them thinking – not that every piece of eLearning achieves this, of course, but at least it’s recognised as something to aim for!
However, there seems to be something huge that has been overlooked by learning technologies companies, up until now:
eLearning should be fun and engaging for the people that make it, as well as the learners that consume it!
This is because the same effects of happiness, fun, productivity and brain activity apply to content creators as well as the learners who consume the eLearning. If the process is fun, creators will receive the same productivity boost as learners. Of course, fun also provokes fun – enjoyable, fun experiences are inspiring, and a fun creative process can help to create fun content that learners will love.
On the flip side, a boring, unimaginative process will lead to boring, unimaginative eLearning, which isn’t fun for the creator or the learner!
It was a moment of revelation when we put all this together. As proud creators of the #1 Gamified LMS in the world, we like to think we’ve cracked making learning fun for learners. However, it was only when we heard the woes of our clients who had to use traditional authoring tools that we realised, my god, eLearning development SUCKS!
We’ve always believed that online learning should be fun and engaging for learners. Now we have a new belief to shout from the rooftops: eLearning should be fun and engaging for the people who work so hard to create it!
Content creators – by which we mean anyone involved in creating eLearning units, from developers, Instructional Designers and subject matter experts (SMEs) to L&D professionals and reviewers – deserve to enjoy the process of creating eLearning that knocks socks off. If the end product is engaging for learners, the means of creating it should be, too.
After all, why should learners get all the fun?
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