In part 1 of this blog series, we discussed that quality eLearning must be designed for the distance learner from scratch. Even from a low-budget standpoint, the simple idea of learner experience plays a vital role within any platform used. You can read that blog here.
Let’s take that idea forward in this blog. Building quality eLearning does not take much effort at all. However, there are a few vital factors to consider when considering a strategic eLearning approach.
- User Engagement
- Course Language
User engagement is critical due to its application in distance learning. Think back to flipping mindlessly through the boring PowerPoint. The only engagement present is clicking on the Next button. Instead, quality eLearning should engage the learner. Learners can click on certain elements to make decisions or use drag and drop buckets to identify specifics. Bullet points can be converted into flip cards with engaging graphics relevant to the learning content. You can toss in a video, link out to additional content, or even create fun quizzes to assess knowledge capture. It’s about how you look at activities and apply them to the content to generate an exciting and robust learning experience.
The language used in a quality eLearning course is vital as it adds personality. We’re speaking of the language used in audio tracks or simple notes and slide content. The language must address distance learners rather than someone in the classroom. Keep it clean, clear, and precise. Distance learners get bored quickly, so keeping their engagement is critical to the success of the eLearning module and overall learning approach.
Audio and Video are common elements that are often underutilized and leveraged incorrectly. In today’s technology-driven world, we are accustomed to quality voice narration that is automated and, most importantly, “human-like.” Siri, Amazon Polly, Google Voice, etc., have come a long way since inception and are now leading the industry. Your audio can make or break your eLearning. You can have all of the bells and whistles, top-notch content, ample user engagement, but a poor narration can ruin the entire experience. This is likely why some tend to stay clear of voice narration. However, if you can get it right, it makes a world of difference! The same rule applies to video. Use video sparingly and keep it to short “snippets.” Like audio, use video strategically and ensure that the content flows. Don’t just throw in a video because it’s flashy. Ensure it is relevant and adds to the user experience.
Last but not least is follow-up. Whether it’s with your supervisor or just a learning buddy, follow-up is what makes the learning stick. This can be in the form of practical application, practice, or even teaching the information to someone else. Reviewing the learned information helps it set like concrete. Even before the learning event, having a conversation can help set the stage and get the learner to open their mind for learning. Sometimes having little information on a subject can dramatically help with content absorption while taking the eLearning. Post-learning activities will only compound what has already taken place and move the content over to long-term memory, netting you the potential for maximum learning retention!
So, if you’re asking yourself if eLearning is just another presentation, you can confidently answer “No.” Instead, it’s a strategic approach to learning. By looking at content through a different lens, you can dramatically change your language and overall strategy, maximizing your learner’s potential and increasing on-the-job performance through quality eLearning solutions.