Are you getting pushback from learners because of boring e-learning? Did it take you hundreds of hours to plan, design, and develop the course, only to learn it isn’t engaging? A recent State of the Industry Report from ATD states that approximately 45% of training is delivered via online methods. With almost half of training taking place using a technology-based method, we need to get it right!
Here are three tips to combat boring e-learning:
1. Identify the purpose of the course to ensure each trainee will master the objectives.
A defined goal helps your content flow for your learner. If the intent is to change performance, ensure the course isn’t focused strictly on delivering content with no opportunity for practice and feedback. The successful performance-based training guideline ratio is 1/3 presentation and 2/3 application and feedback. One of the best ways to avoid focusing exclusively on the delivery of content is to design with the end in mind. Start by developing the practice piece. How will learners show what they can do? If possible, choose a performance-based test such as a case study, practice exercise, or simulation where the trainee has an opportunity to apply their new learning. Then, incorporate direct and reflective feedback so your learner’s future performance is enhanced. The timing and effectiveness of each element will reflect this intended purpose.
2. Engage learners while minimizing reading.
If most of your course is text-based, find a way for learners to read “need-to-know” content offline through a PDF file, then apply the information in the online environment. Alternatively, create videos or use audio and other interactive features to relay the content. Many products allow you to create videos that will deliver your content more efficiently than having learners read long passages and clicking the “next” button. Another way to avoid long scripts is by carefully selecting images along with simple text to convey the details in the same way infographics communicate information. Use avatars and other interactive elements to bring the content to life and focus on the essential content.
3. Cater to the learner’s preferences to make the course meaningful and relevant.
Focus on “need-to-know” content and make the learning self-directed so that learners can get what they need without being distracted or frustrated by an overloaded or locked-down screen. Use links for “nice-to-know” information or access to other resources for trainees that may need or want the additional support. Break the content into meaningful, digestible pieces that allow learners to access the new information without feeling as if it was a data dump. In e-learning, this means creating learning opportunities that focus on a specific chunk of content, allowing learners to learn and practice before moving onto the next chunk of content.
Join us in an upcoming Certified e-Learning Specialist or Web-Based Training program where you’ll learn the step-by-step instructional design procedure, have opportunities to practice designing web-based training, and receive all the tools and resources you need to roll out interactive and engaging performance-based e-learning!