SHIFT's eLearning Blog
Our blog provides the latest best practices, tips, insights and thought leadership on modern corporate training, eLearning and mLearning.
Love is in the air! It is that time of the year when we express our love to and gratitude for everyone that makes our lives worth living. This year, let’s send the customary chocolates and roses to our jobs. (Yes, you read right.) We spend the greater part of our day writing storyboards, thinking up ID strategies, moving around visuals, and designing attractive screens. But instructional designing is not the easiest of jobs around. The deadlines are tight. Many clients don’t understand your POV. Your team members are not always supportive. You are expected to churn out ideas at the drop of a hat, every day. We signed up to be eLearning designers because we love designing. So isn’t it natural that we express love for our jobs?
There is no question that working with adult learners is different than working with “traditional” college students. Someone with several years’ worth of career experience and additional responsibilities outside of work is most likely going to have different expectations from their instructors and coursework than someone who is still in the exploratory stages of learning and focused on the overall college experience. Many adult learners are there specifically to build skills to advance their careers and are making sacrifices in other areas of their lives to do so, so it’s important for those developing adult training programs to focus on what matters to these students in order to keep them engaged.
We all forget sometimes. But there is a pattern in our forgetfulness. We forget names and faces that we learned just a week ago, yet we remember characters from a movie that we had watched decades earlier. We forget the dates we had learned in history class back in school, but we remember all the details of a chemistry experiment from the same period. We forget some stories, but some others remain etched in our minds even years after we have read them. As an instructional designer, you want to decode this pattern. You want to know why people remember certain events and information and not others because you want your learners to remember what you teach. You want them to retain knowledge for a long term. That's our ultimate goal, right? Also read: These Are The Reasons Why Learners Forget Your Training Ensuring that learners remember the knowledge till the time they get the opportunity to apply it is critical for the success of your training program. But it is easier said than done.
We like to be productive. So we create keyboard shortcuts. We make lists. We stick Post-it notes and set up reminders. We don’t want to overlook details or stray away from standards. So we stick to rules, create guidelines, and follow templates. Worksheets, templates, cheat sheets, checklists, and the like are nifty productivity tools. These help us keep our wits about us and our energies from being scattered in the midst of a flurry of activity and create flawless products without working long hours, plodding through multiple rounds of rework, and overshooting deadlines.
Powerful writing is required for powerful eLearning. This eBook will help eLearning developers master the art of writing and tap into the power of words to create memorable courses.
Human beings communicate with one another incessantly in different (and even unconscious) ways. If you are not speaking, then you are probably gesturing with your hands to get across your point. The tone of your voice and even the speed of which you speak conveys some message to the receiver. We also signal with our eyes—frowning to disapprove or raising our brows to express surprise. Many of us choose to make a statement with our attire, hair color, and the accessories we wear. Our stance, gait, and posture also transfer meaning. These are the myriad of symbols that we use to convey our message. We use some symbols intentionally. At other times, we use symbols unintentionally and end up projecting an image or sending a message that we didn’t wish to or had not planned for. What is equally interesting is how others interpret the meaning we convey. The meaning you want or try to send might not be what other people understand. In fact, different people might read differently into the same set of symbols and interpret our messages differently. People understand a message based on their gender, age, education, cultural upbringing, intelligence (both cognitive and emotional), and the unique experiences that one has been through. It is no wonder miscommunication, and misunderstandings are common. You have to get so many things right to communicate effectively.
Looking at all the things that are involved in creating an eLearning course could make you feel like your first step should be to “Give Up.” However, with these 12 steps, we break down the process into manageable chunks, which is a big part of what makes for good eLearning course design. Not so bad, right? Read through these steps, and soon you’ll have a good handle on what is needed and where to start to create your first eLearning courses.
Employee productivity can be a tricky goal. Managers and supervisors try on a regular basis with a variety of tools to gain increased performance and with varying success. However, all realize sooner or later that the same tool doesn’t work on a permanent basis, and many times conditions or the organization limit the ability to use other tools that would produce results. So what to do as an alternative? Distance learning and e-learning are becoming more and more of a practical option for productivity improvement, particularly with training people in new skills sets and knowledge.
As an eLearning professional, you want to create masterpieces. You are a creative soul, an artist at heart. But you CANNOT be an artist who locks himself up in the ivory tower of his mind, works away on his canvas or manuscript that bears no resemblance to reality, and hopes that “someone” will appreciate his figment of imagination and buy his work.