SHIFT's eLearning Blog
Our blog provides the latest best practices, tips, insights and thought leadership on modern corporate training, eLearning and mLearning.
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.
We all remember a piece of news that moved us to tears. We remember news pieces that roused us to action. Great stories not only inform and educate; they also compel us to tweak attitudes, modify behavior, and correct responses. Great stories inspire us to become our best selves. Wouldn’t you want your eLearning courses to create lasting impact? Don’t you want your courses to touch learners and make a difference in their lives? I bet you do!
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.
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.
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.
If making your workforce more competitive in the market is part of your New Year’s resolutions (and it should be) then that means it’s time to identify your employees’ critical skills gaps. But what’s a “skill gap,” you ask? As the name implies, it is: “a significant gap between an organization’s skill needs and the current capabilities of its workforce.” It’s the moment at which a company realizes it can no longer advance, keep up with previously set goals or be competitive against other companies unless those skills are learned or improved. Identifying these gaps is critical to building effective and focused training programs. Often, companies launch programs without enough understanding of where the skill gaps exist in their workforce. This just produces poor results. It doesn’t make sense upping your customer service training when what your employees really need is leadership initiatives, right? There is a multitude of benefits to skill gap analysis and identification, including: Analyzes the organization as a whole. Analyzes existing skills and lets you know if employees can learn these new skills through training or if you may need to hire different workers. Gives you an idea of what training is required first and where you need to spend the most money and time.
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.
The start of a new year is a time for envisioning a better YOU and setting intentions for the road ahead. It is a time for making resolutions so that you can be your best version, both personally and professionally. As an instructional designer, this is your chance to look closely at how you work and set resolutions that will help you become a more effective professional.