We, instructional designers use different learning strategies to teach different subjects in online learning. Strategies such as guided learning, explore and learn, storytelling, scenario based are decided based on the content that has to be taught. While the main goal of these strategies is to transfer knowledge, we must also take every effort to make online courses engaging and motivating. Sometimes, in the process, we try to introduce too many concepts at a time and ultimately end up either confusing or overwhelming the learner.
But, there are some instances where such attempts have turned out to be very effective. One of them is the online dance academy, Dance with Madhuri.
You must be wondering what is Dance with Madhuri? What has it got to do with e-learning design and development? Well, Dance with Madhuri is an online socialized dance academy that creates a community not only for the best dance experience but also for the best fitness experience. This academy was started by Madhuri Dixit, an Indian actress who is well known across the world for her acting and dancing skills. For those who are not familiar with her, let me tell you that the effective strategy used by her academy is the topic to be discussed in this blog. So, no worries.
Let us see what this online dance academy does to facilitate effective learning experiences.
One for All
This academy is not specified for only a particular group of audience. Anyone can enroll for these courses—from beginners to masters if they feel the course is interesting, useful or if they realize that there is a need for them to enroll for the course.
Similarly, we can develop courses that can facilitate learning to everyone in an organization. However, employees can be given a similar freedom to choose the courses they are interested in or select courses that they feel are useful to them.
The best way of teaching dance on an online platform would be through the use of videos. Usually such video tutorials are quite lengthy and this makes it difficult for the learner to retain much information. This could also lead to developing an aversion toward the tutor/content/instruction method.
But this is not the case here. You can see that the tutorial has been divided into lessons and then they are again broken down into parts to make them bite-sized. The duration of each module is not more than two and half minutes. This ensures that the learner can easily digest each learning point before he moves on to the next point.
Similarly, we can also develop bite-sized modules to make sure that the learners digest every learning point necessary to enhance their skillset.
Learners here are not restricted in any way when they do these lessons. They have all the freedom to skip any part if they feel they are familiar with it. They can even directly go to the final assessment part where they can upload their choreography and will be given points irrespective of the completion status of the lesson.
But, the curriculum suggests taking the lesson and submitting the Final Course Choreography so that a Bonus Choreography is unlocked for the learner.
Similarly, learners should be provided with free navigation throughout the course so that they can move on quickly to which ever section they require the most.
The choreography in this academy is taught on the famous sound tracks. But, the most amazing thing about learning in this academy is that most of the time the tutor would be none other than the original choreographer or the original dancer featured in the official video. This motivates the learner to enroll for the course.
The screenshot below shows that the choreography for a popular Bollywood sound track is taught by Remo D’Souza, the original choreographer of this Bollywood chartbuster.
Similarly, while using guided learning strategy for e-learning courses, we create a guide who looks similar to the person who is well versed and well known for that particular topic and whom everybody in the company looks up to when we refer to that particular topic. If you have the freedom, we can even use the name of the person.
When trying to gamify our learning experience, we usually reward the learners with gold coins, dollars, or points. As the learners score, they are guided to the next level of the training. The same strategy has been used here as well, but has been beautifully linked with content.
The learner starts his journey at the Beej (Seed) stage and the level of experience is said to be Beginner. As he moves up the ladder of points with his performances, he will be promoted to the next stage with increase in the level of experience. Every stage in this ladder is named after such a title that gives him pleasure of being the stage and also motivates him to move to the next stage. When the learner reaches 1,20,000 points, his level of experience reaches the maximum level, a Master, and he is promoted to the last stage, which is called the Natraj (The Lord/King of Dance) stage. I think every dancer would love to reach this stage, which recognizes the learner as the king of dance. What else could be as motivating as this to a dancer?
Similarly, while developing gamified e-learning courses, rewarding learners with something that is worthwhile is necessary to keep them motivated and engaged throughout the course duration.
This is how Dance with Madhuri, the online dance academy provides engaging and motivating learning experiences to its learners. If you have similar examples or experiences where the learning has been at its best, please do share them with us through your comments.