Who doesn’t like to have a good laugh? I could certainly do with some laughter, particularly if I have to stare the screen for 30 mins or so to complete an eLearning course and effectively assimilate what is being said there. However, many are reluctant to use humor in their eLearning modules as the audiences are not physically present and you can’t gauge their reactions. In face to face training programs, the instructor has the benefit of being physically presence in the same space as his/ her audiences, understand them and their backgrounds and reactions and alter his/ her presentation patterns spontaneously. It is not possible in eLearning as typically it caters to diverse audiences and not all may appreciate or react to humor in the same way. Having said that, it is a real pity if we exclude humor altogether from our eLearning courses. Don’t you think so?
Despite the limitations, we can still include humor in our courses particularly in the following areas:
Ice-breakers: Ice-breakers have traditionally been used by trainers to build a rapport with the audience. Ice-breakers in eLearning courses can be made humorous by using a quick animation, cartoon, joke or conversation that can set the context to the subject matter. It will help learners get into the right mood for the learning process.
Do’s and Don’ts: Another excellent place where we could use humor is when we are telling about do’s and don’t for doing a particular action. For example, if it is code of conduct training course and you are trying to explain the accepted conduct, you could effectively use humor to say, “look you can’t do it this way and if you do this is what going to happen”. Using caricatures and cartoons, you could send the message across without sounding too preachy.
Feedback in Assessments: How often have we not taken assessments where we get a feedback saying, “That’s correct, click next to continue”. Don’t you think it is so robotic? In fact one of our clients wanted us to somehow include football game while providing feedback to assessments questions and our production team developed a series of clippings where on clicking the right answer the ball hits the goal and on clicking the wrong answer it misses the goal. Now, who wouldn’t want to hit a goal! Of course, I will pay more attention to the next question and attempt to get the right answer.
Gone are the days of boring page-turner kind of eLearning courses. Courses need to be interactive, animated and lively and what better way to do that than to add humor to the courses. Have you taken any eLearning courses that were humorous? If so do share your experiences. Better still if you have clippings, we’d love to take a look at them.
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Medical representatives face many problems while promoting their companies’ products to doctors. It’s a well-known fact that doctors are more knowledgeable about medicines than the pharmaceutical sales representatives. So, how can a representative gain as much knowledge as the doctor about the medicine? Well, e-learning is the best solution for this problem because it helps to impart highly effective training.
As instructional designers, we always aim to design courses that reach the target audience effectively. We would never want to hear our learners say that the course was boring. We put all our efforts to make the course interesting and engaging.
But, it is essential that these efforts are put in a right way. Engaging the learner doesn’t mean just including interactivities. It is much more than having a few clicks of interactivities.
In my last blog, 20 Must Know Acronyms of E-learning – Part 1, we have seen some acronyms that are used in the world of e-learning. In this blog, we will look at some more acronyms.
11. JIT (Just-in-Time): Just-in-time learning systems enable learners to access online learning resources at the point of need. Today, what will you do to find directions to a place or find out the movie that is playing in the theatre close to your home? You just go online for information. To employees, m-learning provides a similar facility to access information pertaining to their jobs at the click of a button.
Training enhances skills and abilities of employees to be aligned to changing business needs. It is well understood that assessments are vital components of e-learning courses. They are a medium to measure training outcomes. Assessments not only strengthen learning but also help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of a course.
It is well-known that assessments are a vital component of an e-learning course. Good assessments play an important role in enhancing the efficacy of the online course by helping evaluate the knowledge gained by the learner and reinforce the learning.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. In order to adhere to food safety regulations, one of our clients came up with a requirement for an e-learning course.
E-learning and m-learning are powerful learning methods; both are dynamic and effective ways to teach people. So then, what are the differences between and e-learning and m-learning methods?
E-learning involves a series of modules with in-depth subject-matter while m-learning involves smaller chunks of information which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Modules are designed differently, depending on the kind of format used to learn. M-learning breaks the barriers of time and place and provides easy access to courses. E-learning also enables learners to access information anytime, anywhere through a laptop, and a stable environment is needed for the learner to take training.
As a college student, I had an opportunity to read Wings of Fire, the autobiography of the former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of the “missile man” who rose to great heights from humble beginnings is truly inspiring.
The sudden demise of this eminent scientist is a great loss to the country and has saddened millions. The life of Dr. Kalam is a testimony to the fact that determination and hard work can overcome the shackles of financial and other constraints.
There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.