Elearning has gone from a niche type of teaching for techy subjects to being a preferred, growing and almost necessary way to teach EVERYTHING. Technology is expanding and people’s need and desire to learn on their own time and at their pace is making eLearning the goal for many companies.
Motivation. The word is bandied about too much these days. An entire body of literature has sprung up around it. There are coaches who teach people how to cultivate motivation. There are websites, courses, seminars, and workshops to teach the how-to's, the wherefores, and the what-ifs of motivation.
So first, let's address what is motivation? And why should you care about it as an eLearning professional?
A good-looking course is not a guarantee of its instructional effectiveness. Think of all those magazines with glossy covers that you flip over expectantly only to find that the pages are filled with trash. Unfortunately, many course developers have no clue of how visual design can increase (or decrease) learnability of the material.
The thing today is not whether eLearning benefits your business; the real issue is whether you can afford not to join in the trend.
Here are some statistics that show why your company should have already implemented this training method like, yesterday! These stats are so darn compelling; it’s really hard to imagine why companies would not want to start using eLearning to train its workforce.
The quality of instructional design is often gauged on three things: effectiveness, efficiency, and cost.Effectiveness has to do with how well the instruction enables learners to achieve stated goals or expected outcomes. Efficiency deals with the energy and time invested to complete the instruction while cost covers all expense incurred for its design and delivery.
These are good points to begin with. It's equally important, however, to zero in on the details involving the design and development of quality instruction. As with any other good design principles, there are human characteristics deeply involved here.
Richard Buchanan, a professor of Design, Management and Information Systems, said it best: “a good design can be defined not only to be creative, stylish with an extraordinary visual look, but it must consider human engagement in its activities.”
Follow these five golden principles to help you achieve high-quality instructional design:
Think your organization is too young, hip, and fresh to have baby boomers on its books? Think again.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 59,000 Americans over the age of 60 are currently enrolled in colleges and universities. A recent report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates that 70 percent of people aged 50 to 64 uses the Internet, and 33 percent of people over 65 do the same.
Oh and also, did we mention that those over 50 are the fastest growing demographic online? According to Immersion Active, that’s a fact. Wow.
If your eLearning audience are baby boomers then, how do you design eLearning courses that cater to their needs? Well, let’s have a look. What follows is our guide to eLearning design for the baby-boomer audience.
Embrace the race or get left in the dust. While the world of e-learning design might not seem as fast paced or ever-changing as other environments, it is still a business, and there are changes in motion that designers need to be aware of to to stay relevant in the field. In the same way, that education has begun to leave the classroom and is now accessible from mobile devices, technology is still evolving to make the new learning arena better, faster and more widely accessible. Companies now have options they never did before for providing training. Being aware of these changes means keeping your courses relevant for students and keeping your design skills in demand.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of ‘Outliers’ says that to truly master something takes 10,000 hours of practice. That’s a long time.
But while Gladwell is probably not too far off the mark, we’d add one small caveat: 10,000 hours of practicing the right way, with the right foundations.
So we’ve put together the 10 commandments eLearning professionals must follow to see their courses be a success. Take these rules, incorporate them into your eLearning, and get busy mastering your craft.
Keeping learners motivated throughout an eLearning course is a challenge for even the most seasoned designers. Not only is it difficult to hook and keep learners engaged offline, but asynchronous training invites an even larger set of challenges. There is no way to read visual cues if students are bored or for an instructor to redirect training if there are questions. Online courses also provide an anonymity that prevents some learners from even participating at all.
Anyone seeking to create meaningful and engaging eLearning courses can benefit by remembering what it is like to be on the other side. It is bad practice to subject learners to any training that you would not participate in yourself.
It’s time you stop blaming the “boring” content and commit to stop tormenting the learners who are required to take your course! Our job as eLearning designers is to FASCINATE the learner from beginning to end. In the excitement of launching a new course, it’s easy to overlook details. Therefore, it can be very useful to have a checklist for last minute touches.