SHIFT's eLearning Blog
Our blog provides the latest best practices, tips, insights and thought leadership on modern corporate training, eLearning and mLearning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why do you think brands spend fortunes on marketing surveys? Couldn’t they just go ahead and build something on a whim? No. That’s because brands are here for their customers. They have to not only create what their customers want but also design and package their products to appeal to the senses of their audience. As an eLearning designer, you are no different. You have to not only create learning that delivers a punch but also package your course to make it aesthetically pleasing for the learners. You want your learners to stick around with you. Right?
A good eLearning course is like a lip-smacking, mouth-watering, finger-licking meat pie. Every cook has a different recipe, but the essential ingredients are the same—a juicy, meaty filling; spicy seasonings; and two flaky crusts. There are no cookie-cutter ways to create memorable and effective eLearning courses; the needs vary across industries. But the essentials are the same. Time to go over these eLearning must haves:
According to a report by HubSpot, posts and tweets containing colored images increase viewers’ willingness to read by a whopping 80 percent! Other research revealed readers remembered 65 percent of the information several days after viewing it when text was paired with one or more relevant images than a paltry 10 percent when the content was just a hunk of text. Look at yourself. Would you like to watch a demo video and learn how to fix a broken washer or read through the pages of the instruction manual? We love watching movies. We post photos of our trips on Facebook and not essays about our vacations. The power of visuals is undeniable. As an eLearning developer whose goal is to create memorable learning, you MUST NOT pass up this medium when you design your courses.