This week, I participated in a free Webinar series titled, “Creating e-Learning that Makes a Difference”. This webinar was conducted over four 1-hour sessions and was led by Ethan Edwards (chief instructional strategist and principal consultant) for Allen Interactions. I thought I would share a few of the things from the session.
- E-learning should include interactivity characteristics such as context, challenge, activity, and feedback.
- Context should communicate relevance, add meaning, invite participation, provide “what’s in it for me”, elicit emotion, create immediate impact.
- Challenge should actively engage learners within context, activate prior knowledge, create a sense of urgency, urge personal investment, build on the context, and set standards for performance.
- Activity should create physical involvement, build commitment to stay with learning, encourage investment, transfer ownership to the learner, and involve their full senses.
- Feedback should clearly communicate correctness, preserve learner’s response, deliver content, provide consequence of non-performance, continually reinforce context, delay judgment, and be compelling to the learner
To gain the full extent of knowledge available from the sessions, you will need to attend them, but here are a few things that really stuck out to me and I thought I would pass them along.
- Make it immediately clear, via graphics and content, what the purpose of the e-learning is up front. A lot of e-learning examples remind me of commercials on television. Can you remember the last time you watched a commercial and looked at your significant other wondering what message the commercial was really trying to get across?
- Training and Development is never completed; it’s just abandoned–IDs will always try to make it better! Funny quote from Ethan! Does this sound like you?
- People don’t read text objectives; for that matter, they don’t read 70% of the text in training materials. We should all keep this in mind.
- Learning objectives are too specific; too technical for people to understand. Use them, but not communicate them verbatim in the e-learning lesson. Do you remember the last time you took a training course? Did you just pass by the page that listed the learning objectives? Enough said!
- Rapid e-learning tools don’t make e-learning go faster! Good e-learning takes time. Marketing loves to push the tools; management gets sold on the “rapid” part but it’s a myth! Marketing of rapid e-learning tools feeds the “I Need It Now” culture.
- An Instructional Designer’s motivation to learn is never the same as the learner’s motivation to learn.
- Create content that is non-linear (page turning). Remember, we want to engage the learner not put them to sleep!
- Design your e-learning to make people think more. Encourage and expand the learners’ thinking!
- Providing too much feedback when a learner gets something right, kills interest!
- Delay feedback! Let the learner experiment with options before revealing the results. Providing “You failed… move on” feedback too early, causes the learner to stop thinking.
Do any of these statements ring true for you? If so, I would love to hear your comments.