Just because something works for a majority, there is no guarantee it’ll work for you. Yes, you are unique, each so is every learner. Addressing common learning needs with standardized curriculum e-learning courses is an old approach. It no longer works in the present time. People now seek personalization, whether it’s in an e-mail, browser, desktop, or TV, and developers are providing features such as themes, wallpapers and various options to support personalization.
When an e-learning course providers learners’ a feel of ‘This is For Me’, surely it is a personalized learning experience. Learning personalization is developing an e-learning course that is relevant, engaging, and interesting to learners. It is about understanding and addressing their needs, challenges and interests.
Scope for personalization in e-learning
Personalization in e-learning is customizing the learning settings such as e-learning content appearance in terms of fonts, themes, colors, and other elements; delivering learning content in various formats such as videos, podcasts, , infographics, etc. It can also be customizing interactivities by allowing learners swipe or tap, use the keyboard or mouse, etc.
E-learning personalization is not just limited to customizing settings and preferences. It is personalizing the very learning content, delivery platform, order of delivery, assessments, feedback, etc., This makes learning learner-centric and addresses the diverse, individual learner needs .
Here are five ways you can personalize online training courses for your learners.
1. Adopt a Learner-centric Approach
To meet the expectations of learners, understand who your learners are. Constant communication with your stakeholders and knowing their expectations will make this possible. Then you can design and develop the e-learning program according to your learners’ needs.
For example, if you develop a product knowledge online training program, no doubt, it will be useful for both sales and service teams. They can search the learning content relevant to their own functions from that training. But designing separate modules for your product sales teams and product service engineers will optimize results. Moreover, your learners will know this training program is specific to them.
2. Translation for Personalization
You need to personalize your e-learning program based on the demographics, language, and culture of your learners. When you talk to your learners in their native language, concepts are understood better and fast.
For example, you develop safety training for a multinational organization in English, thinking a majority of employees understand English. But later you came to know that learners are bilingual – a mixed group of English and Spanish speaking workforce. Without translating your course into Spanish, effective knowledge transfer is not possible. So, personalizing your online training programs is important.
3. Choose Delivery Formats
You can personalize learning based on learners’ learning preferences. Some people like to probe and research; for that, they read a lot. Providing further readings for them in the e-learning course helps them meet their quest. Some are auditory learners. They learn most by listening. Supporting an online course with voice-over and providing podcasts of the training program can personalize learning for them. Visual learners are many. They learn by watching videos. Learning through YouTube is the best example. As you know, kinesthetic learners understand things by doing activities. For them, you need to incorporate brain sharpening puzzles, activities, etc. in your online training program.
4. Allow Devices of Learners’ Choice
Devices matter a lot in learning personalization. For example, product sales teams prefer mobile learning devices such as iPads and Smartphones because they constantly move around for business. You need to develop your e-learning courses in responsive design so that they are compatible with multiple devices. This allows learners the flexibility of accessing online training programs on the devices of their choice.
5. Some More Elements of Personalization
If you capture the names of your learners while they register or sign in for the online course, you can address them by their names as and when necessary. For example, saying ‘Hello, John!’, ‘Congrats Mark, you have cleared the test!’ goes a long way in making learners feel valued. Using a conversational tone also helps. These will give your learners the feel of personalization. You can also allow learners pick their favorite avatars to represent themselves or the instructors.
Using real images of learners and instructors in e-learning course also clicks. Provide learners’ the choice to access the learning content in their preferred order. Not every learner goes from the start to finish. Some learners first read the questions and then come to the learning content. For them, you need to give the option of visiting the various sections of the online course in any order.
When you start thinking from the learners’ perspective, learning personalization becomes easy and you will have many options. While personalizing learning, considering the learners’ language and culture definitely appeals to them. Once you start personalizing your e-learning courses, you will get more creative ideas. There is no end for personalization in learning and you will always have the scope. So, with these insights, go ahead for learning personalization.
Do you have some more thoughts on this? Please do share your views with us.