SHIFT's eLearning Blog
Our blog provides the latest best practices, tips, insights and thought leadership on modern corporate training, eLearning and mLearning.
As eLearning developers, we are creative folks. We want to create courses that sparkle with our personalities, dazzle, at first sight, stir the learner’s emotions, and make a lasting impression. Unfortunately, the topics we have to teach mostly are anything but wildly exciting. Finance. Safety training. Ethics training. Pharmaceutical compliance courses. The heart hardly leaps with joy at the thought of sifting through tons of legalese or pharma-talk (the raw matter) and then creating a course out of the jargons and lingo.
New year, new designs. 2017 has some interesting design trends that can bring your eLearning game to the next level if you know how to use them. In this post, we’ll take a walk through some of the things you’re going to be seeing this year and the best ways to use these styles in eLearning. It’s worth noting before we get started, that not all of these trends are great for every situation and trying to combine too many of them will make your courses look cluttered instead of fresh and exciting. Also, eLearning designers will serve themselves and their clients well by being able to describe the problem their design choices are intended to solve and why elements are in your course. Hint: “Because it looks cool” is not a good enough reason.
Understanding the target audience is one of the cardinal rules of effective communication. Knowing your learners helps you to shape your message in a way that's most likely to resonate with them. Also, having a thorough knowledge of your audience before you prepare your course, will help you to choose the appropriate informational material, figure out the most effective instructional strategy, design an audience-sensitive message, select the right media to transmit the message, and create a learning environment where learners feel supported.
Today it seems that designers think having an authoring tool and good content is enough for a great interactive course. And it's true, to a certain extent; the plethora of eLearning development software programs helps you create snazzy, glitzy courses. However, you cannot get anywhere without your creativity, designing skills, and knowledge of instructional design theories. Instructional designers have indeed a multifaceted role. They are part engineer, part analyst, part architect, part artist, part content curator, part project manager, and part researcher. It definitely entails a lot of flexibility and the ability to balance roles.
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.
When we think of the word, motivation, instantly two things come to mind. First, when we are young, there are many outside things that motivate us, a desire to do something, the reality of punishment from our parents, positive and negative reinforcement of what we are doing, etc. All of these things help to motivate children and in some case it has a positive effect and in other cases it does not. The more proactive the motivation, the more positive the response to that motivation, the more reactionary the motivation, the more negative the response. The second picture that comes to mind is a learned reaction to something. Like Pavlov and his dogs, which would salivate when he rang the bell, motivation can be at times subconscious. However, there are much more things that drive the motivation on human beings, and in the arena of learning, there are some critical pieces to the puzzle that have to be developed so that learners feel the value of what they are learning and how it will benefit them. The rewards of their success must be considered from a variety of sources and satisfy them on a variety of levels, and as instructional designers of e-learning programs we must not only understand these factors but be skilled in utilizing them in the courses that we design.
As an instructional designer, you want to create courses that make a difference to your audience’s lives. You want to create courses that inspire them, that change mindsets and drive performance. In short, you want to create courses that are effective and hit the mark, every time.
We all loved a trip to grandpa’s house because he had so many stories to tell. Now we flock to Facebook and browse the blogosphere in search of stories. Our fascination with stories started from the time when our hunter-gatherer ancestors sat around roaring fires and shared the day’s happenings. Just because your learners are grown-ups and spend their days immersed in numbers, charts, facts, and graphs, you shouldn’t assume that they have outgrown their liking for stories. By the contrary...They starve for stories! Your learners cry out for “experiences” that will touch their hearts and resonate with their souls. They want their training to feel more alive than a table crammed with numbers.
10 Seconds. About the time it takes to check your phone “real quick” is all the time you have to make a first impression. This goes for your eLearning course too. People who view your course may be looking to learn, but before they ever read any info you’ve written, they will judge it… and judge it quickly. Not only are first impressions fast in general but also with the ever-growing amount of information thrown at us online, you need make your impression fast and make it count.