10 Ways to Get Your eLearning Strategy in Motion
Different types of content can be delivered through eLearning, including facts and concepts, principles, processes and procedures. However, each of this is appropriate for different situations. For example, students learning facts or concepts may benefit from realistic illustrations. On the other hand, content like processes and procedures can greatly benefit from animations, which can be used to accurately illustrate a process and allow users to internalize it.
We think it’s high time you experiment with other strategies to increase engagement levels. Read on for ten approaches we think you should be implementing to create great eLearning courses.
Case studies provide the proof that a certain strategy or decision will work if planned and applied correctly. How to start? Search and compile specific examples of how your company has been successful. Case studies could include facts and historical context, phases and steps, key players involved, and generated results. This is a great way to get learners involved and encourage immediate use of newly acquired skills. Use them to ask students what they’d do in specific situations, and think what could have been done differently.
Success Stories and Examples
Don’t hesitate to put dull and boring content in the form of a story. Supposing you're introducing a new product in the company, present different examples of other companies that recently introduced products successfully. Students can analyze the most successful, creative and appealing approaches to find ways to improve. As well, they can learn how to apply some of the best tips. Don't forget that learning from bad examples is also very helpful. Students can learn effectively from those activities and practices that haven't worked in the past.
Many people learn by actually trying out a system (hands-on approach). Simulations are a great way to give learners a way to try out a system without being live. This promotes learning through trial and error and avoiding serious mistakes while handling real-world applications. As well, it actually makes it very easy to understand a procedure and build the required end-user competency. You can convert a series of steps involved in a software application into a simulation. Just try to keep the interactivity for the user as real as possible!
Games apply better to some eLearning content than others. For simple concepts it is sometimes best to take a humorous approach and gamification is one way to approach material that may seem almost insultingly elementary, yet which is not being retained. Games designed as a well structured activity with a clear learning objectives allow students to embrace knowledge and use them to solve work related issues in a fun relaxed environment. Jeopardy, Hangman, Puzzles, or Scavanger Hunts are just some types of games you can choose from. Check out SHIFT’s Game Engine, where you can choose over 20 different types of games.
If you have a lot of dull information you could also convert it into a scenario. This is a good way to make it “real”. You can create scenarios that relate to the learner’s context to help them understand how they can react in a given situation. For example, if you are training customer relations people, give them guidance on what a typical customer problem looks like and on preferred solutions for the more likely questions. Contrary of what you may think, scenarios don’t need to be complex (Check out SHIFT’s Scenario Builder).
Animated graphic elements are great to use in your eLearning courses. They're attractive, and can get a message across that words or audio many times can’t. Animations go from simple text animations, to animated characters. They definitely take ordinary eLearning courses to new, exciting levels. Use animations for things like step-by-step procedures, course navigation, simulations, assessments or interactive material. It is very important to develop animations that suit the time and budgetary limits, without compromising on quality.
Images and graphics:
Images and graphics can be invaluable in getting a point across visually and as a full gestalt rather than as a set of facts to be regurgitated. There's a reason why so many organizations use these resources – they will get a far more detailed examination, often, than would be afforded to a chunk of text.
Learners love quick facts and figures and aggregating the latest data about a topic in visual charts, infographics and/ or diagrams can increase their engagement. This will definitely provide a focus on your course that will keep your students coming back for more.
Thought Leader Interviews:
Interviewing experts in the topic of your course or people recognized in your industry will provide great content that will entice your learners with their insights. It can be a video or text in a Q&A format. It’s a fact that videos of people have the best impact, not only for their humanizing effect, but they are more likely to inspire learners.
Video is always popular, but try to avoid uninterrupted sequences of talking heads. Even news shows where professional interviewers talk to fascinating people switch up camera angles and cut-ins and cut-outs, and intersperse visuals on the topic at hand. Short clips are the most effective and easily digested. Speaking of video, why not add Live streaming to your list as well? This sort of content is excellent for real-time learner engagement. Moreover, spark discussion online before, during, and after it streams. Afterward, make sure you offer a recording of the livestream for on-demand viewing.
Using quizzes wisely can be a fantastic learning tool. Test often. Its proven students remember material they are tested on. As well, it helps you to test the extent to which they have understood the information. Drag and drop questions, matching, multiple choice, true or false or even games can be used to evaluate students throughout a course. Don’t have any time to design a quiz? Don’t worry, there are tools like SHIFT that have more than fifteen customizable and pre-built templates that can instantly make your evaluations dynamic and engaging (check them out).
Creating engaging and effective eLearning courses can be resource intensive. The above ideas are just a small sampling of how to come up with great eLearning. Have any other ideas worked well for you? Please leave a comment below.