I surveyed a couple of people what was the first thing that came up in their mind when they hear “corporate elearning content”. Results were mostly variations of the following:
- Too long and a useless waste of time
- Just a formality
- No purpose
- No feedback
- Dry and monotone
These results were not surprising considering I have been hearing the same comments about organisational elearning for couple of years now. However, what does surprise me is that in spite of this negative feedback, organisations continue to push that kind of content to their LMS and doing nothing good for their employees in the process.
“Live” trainings and elearning are not easy to compare on the first sight. In the past years I have done FLTs for a considerable amount of organisations for subjects as sales, leadership, personal development, organisational culture etc. If, by any chance, I would get feedback similar to one mentioned above, I am absolutely certain that I would be out of work in no time. Conclusion is that in “live” trainings there is a great importance in the trainer himself and his relationship with trainees.
In accordance with that fact, elearning doesn’t have even a concept of the trainer. Does that mean that elearning can’t be good, attractive, dynamic, fun, engaging, interactive, so employees enjoy consuming it? eLearning can definitely be all of that even without a trainer.
In elearning “trainer” is the production!
Instead of trainer, for quality elearning you need to be a conductor for an orchestra of wide range of experts so you can produce high quality elearning content that everybody will love. In that orchestra we have a producer, a learning architect, a screenplay writer, director, instructional designer, graphic designer, animator, gamification expert and other professionals whose goal is happiness and satisfaction of content users.
Elements you have to pay special consideration to are:
If an eLearning session lasts longer than the attendee’s attention span, the learning architect haven’t done their job well. Nobody has time to go through a messy text or seemingly endless PowerPoint presentations and learn something along the way. We live in a dynamic world where every minute matters and that shortens the attendee’s attention span more and more. Be it a good thing or not, that is a change that cannot be stopped and that the way of learning has to adapt to. eLearning enables us to master the curriculum in small pieces that are built one upon another, forming a full picture. The user can adapt the tempo of progress and learning to their own abilities and time. Microlearning methodology divides the curriculum into sessions, each no longer than 3-4 minutes. That allows the user to fit it into the busiest schedule, even during the bus ride to work.
Mobile and easily accessible
Speaking of the ride to work, opening a laptop on a crowded bus to learn or work isn’t the best idea. Being made to sit in front of a computer at work isn’t the most stimulating way to learn as well. Accessing eLearning content via smartphone or a tablet on the move, during a break or at home gives the users flexibility to decide on the best time for learning. Most will decide to learn when they feel they’ll be the most effective and they think they need it the most. Mobile learning is one of the most wanted features in making eLearning content today.
To make eLearning more interactive and interesting to use, the best solution is to gameify the content. How we do it in eWyse agency is best explained by Jurica Picak, our gameification expert (feel free to contact him directly), and here we’ll adduce several benefits. Scrolling through PDF files or slides isn’t the most interactive thing. More interaction and engagement of the user make the content more easily understandable. If you additionally include a social aspect such as leaderboard, comments or editing a profile, eLearning gets a classroom atmosphere where the interaction of other users gives an additional motive for development. In the end, fun is also an important aspect. Curriculum cannot be too hard to learn if you’re learning through interactive content with a social component.
Playable content isn’t the only thing important to have fun while learning. The content itself has to be adapted and improved. Quality production, design, animation and other elements have to be on the highest level, which usually isn’t the case. Aside from production quality, presentation also has to be taken care of. A perfect example is the interactive video content we develop alongside Amulet Studio. Interactive video gives condensed information in an interactive environment that solves the problem of the lack of a lecturer. In “live” education, two-way communication between the lecturer and the attendee plays the key part in taking in the information. In eLearning there is no lecturer, but the interaction produces enough feedback to make corrections and achieve complete involvement of the attendee.
Quality information at the right time is crucial for proper learning. If problems with a part of curriculum is spotted in time, chances to properly master it are bigger. For example, inserting a pop quiz on a topic covered by chapter after each one. The user reviews the learned content, gets the information on how well they mastered the chapter, and, most importantly, doesn’t feel like they wasted their time but did something concrete. Quantified quality information assures progress of the user.
eLearning for the sake of itself brings no value whatsoever, moreover, it creates repulsiveness toward learning. Quality eLearning production solutions demand a greater investition in the beginning, but in the meantime bring a far greater ROI.
If you are considering moving to eLearning education of your employees, mind the quality of content production because badly made eLearning content is the most expensive option.
As a longtime soft skills trainer, I had a chance to work with thousands of employees from renowned Croatian and world companies. Through that work, I gained insight to “that something” that people want to get through education. Combining “that something” with the newest technologies to get the wanted effect with the help of digital is a real challenge. In eWyse agency we like this challenge and we’ll gladly share our experience and the examples of the newest trends in eLearning industry.