I recently met a friend who works in a bank. She shared with me that she was stuck midway with a procedure while using her bank’s internal software. She couldn’t recollect the steps involved in completing the process – this, just after completing an e-learning course that should have made her an expert user of the software! She was unable to apply the knowledge gained when she needed most. When she faced a problem at work, her learning just didn’t help her.
This led me to wonder about the probable reasons:
To make the learning effective, I think, there are three elements that need to be included in any training program. They are:
- Learner attention
- What’s in it for me
- You can do it
Learners will get distracted by extraneous stimuli. Therefore we have to ensure that relevant stimuli are included to heighten their attention and interest.
|WIIFM – What’s In It For Me|
Learners often have lot of doubts about the value of taking a particular course. So, let them know “What’s in it for them”.
Relate the new knowledge to the existing knowledge of the learners and explain how it helps them to make their job easy, quick and interesting.
|YCDI – You can Do It|
Application of knowledge happens only when learners are confident enough with their newly acquired skills.
Learners should be given a sense of “you can do it” to instill their confidence
On checking with my friend, if the course she took had these elements, she responded in the negative. What could have been done to make the course more effective?
- Pretest should have been used to test their prior knowledge. This would have enabled my friend to know the areas where she needs to be more focused and be better prepared to take the course.
- Before taking the course, she should have been told the specific purpose of the course. An idea about how she will benefit from the course would serve as a good “icebreaker”, making her more receptive to the learning.
- As it was a procedure based course, simulations could have been used to make the transfer of the learning more effective. This would have enabled my friend to successfully apply the knowledge gained at work.
Inclusion of these three important elements in any eLearning course will ensure that learners learn and effectively apply the knowledge acquired. What do you think?