Welcome to today’s blog post. Every day, learning professionals try to find new ways to engage learners and make trainings more interesting to them. In this process, the current generation of learners stands as the most challenging target audiences. I’ve tried to understand the needs and tastes of these learners and had come out with an idea that can take our training programs a step closer to them. I had enquired quite a number of people about their likes and dislikes on current learning trends. Many of them expressed a common point that these courses lack personalization. I didn’t immediately understand what they meant. But, after going through some more details, here I am writing this post about how to add a personalization element to your course and make them believe that the course has been tailored specifically to suit their taste.
What does personalization mean?
About twenty colleagues of mine use the same mobile phone that I use. But at any point of time, if you place all our mobiles on a table and ask us to identify our phones, at least 90% of us will pick the right ones. This is because even though the devices looked the same when they came out of the box, we personalized them according to our taste with components such as cases, wallpapers, themes, etc. We like to personalize everything we own,be it our wallets, shoes, cars or even our houses. This generates a great bonding and keeps us always connected our belongings.
Yes! E-learning can be personalized and it can be a Wow Factor:
People gave me a weird look when I first talked about bringing personalization to eLearning. The myth is that eLearning courses cannot be designed specific to each learner. All learners see the same screens, go through the same media elements and attempt the same assessments to test their understanding. This is not true. The world’s best products came into existence only from what once were looked at as crazy ideas. Here’s one such idea that can change the way we are looking at eLearning courses today.
In a software context, personalization usually refers to the user customizing the look and feel, sometimes the behavior of the software according to his requirements. An eLearning course is also a software application, isn’t it? So, what kind of personalization can we add to our courses? One good example would be to allow the learner to select the view mode of his choice. Some people like to view the content along with the menu and other components visible whereas some like to view it full screen. Another example would be to ask your young learners to select a theme during the launch of the course which reflects on the look and feel of the GUI throughout. This is an interesting way of capturing their attention.
Incoming Personalized Assessments!!
You can also use personalization during assessments. Everyone likes Avatars these days. People like to create their own digital avatars and play with them. We too can take benefit of this concept. When the course starts, we can display a few avatars to the learner and ask him to select one. This avatar will be used during the assessments to display whether he is right or wrong. For example, if the learner is wrong, the avatar comes in with a sad face saying “Let me try once again”. This makes him feel involved in the course.
Personalization is one strategy that’s helping many top companies reach their users easily and eLearning is no exception. What are your views on this? Please leave your comments in the comments section below.