“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
eLearning is an education system that primarily utilizes technology to transfer skills and knowledge. You might also notice eLearning being referred to as online learning, web-based learning, or distance learning. It enables learners to advance their knowledge anytime, anywhere, allowing for more flexibility and consistency. Elearning can include virtual education, social media, digital collaboration, computer-based curriculum, mobile performance support, and the list goes on.
At its best, eLearning is a great way for learners to learn at their own pace, processing material without being held back or hurried by peers. At its worst, however, eLearning can be torturous, with seemingly endless PowerPoints slides, that can make eLearning seem downright ugly. Let’s look at some commonly used techniques in eLearning that demonstrate the good, the bad, and…well…
TELLS A STORY
Often, we remember a story after only hearing it one time. It’s not surprising. Our brains have been wired over the last 2,500 years to learn through stories. It’s a great way to experience a situation without having to actually live it firsthand, and learners tend to retain this information. How many of us still associate the story of Hansel and Gretel with “stranger danger?” Or the story of Steve Jobs with the success in obsessing over user experience? If you want your content to be memorable, stories, simulations, and authentic experiences can enliven your content.
BE CREATIVE AND TAKE RISKS
eLearning offers a world of opportunity to designers to make something new, engaging, interactive, and exciting! Instead, what we tend to see is a digital fact book of bullet points. Learners are expected to memorize what’s on screen, and turn the page with the “Next Button”. But why not embrace the possibilities? Play with the way screens and pieces of your course appear, or maybe find a new, out-of-the-box way to map out your course. Get creative with design, engage the user with visual metaphors, clever design choices, and take risks that will spark a learner’s interest when the workload feels tedious.