Personalization is one strategy that’s helping many top companies reach their learners easily, and e-learning is no exception. As instructional designers, it’s our task to make online learning courses that our learners can relate to. Every day, we try to find innovative ways to engage learners and make our courses more interesting to them. In this process, we need to understand the needs and tastes of the learners. It’s important to come out with an idea that can take our training programs a step closer to them.
But, how can you get started? Well, I’ve created a simple list for you. You have an opportunity to make creative courses and add a personalization element to them and make the learners believe that they have been tailored specifically to suit their tastes. As we all know, learners enjoy the training when they are able to identify themselves with it.
Here are 4 innovative ways to personalize your online learning courses.
1. Provide learner-centric experience
The ultimate goal of a training program is to meet learners’ expectations, and it is important for every e-learning course developer to develop a learner-centric approach. This is possible only if you talk to the stakeholders and gather the learners’ expectations for the training program before designing the course. We should understand who our learners are, what type of content they are looking for, and how they intend to use it. For example, if we have to design an e-learning course for people working in different departments such as HR, sales and so on, we need to personalize to create individualized content experiences for different roles. The content should be presented in such a way that the learners have an opportunity to select their role and meet their needs.
2. Deliver the course on the device they use
Device personalization allows instructional designers to provide more relevant, optimized experiences based on the type of device used by the learner. For example, a salesperson needs to meet his customer and he wants to have a look at the features of the products. He would find it very helpful, if the features of the products are available in the form of an eBook which could be accessed, easily, anytime, anywhere, on his tablet. As we all know, Gen-Y people are gadget-friendly and use multiple devices such as smartphones, iPads, iPhones, tablets, and laptops. So, it becomes important to make your courses compatible with all these devices and modify the content based on the delivery device.
3. Use real images
As instructional designers, we have learned over the years that learners want to feel connected to the training they take. For this, we need to personalize the content, and one way to do this is to use real images. Using real images can improve the perception of the learners as they see their colleagues/ product involved, and as a result it will be worth the time to participate in the development.
Let us look at an example from a course we have designed on product training where we used real images to explain the installation of a battery of an explosive detector by a technician. This helps the technician understand and learn clearly, and he can perform well in the real time. Personalizing the training with real images will definitely be very effective.
4. Use a conversational tone
Another way to personalize the content is to make the audio conversational. Use words such as “Wow”, “Really”, “That’s Great”, and so on. This helps the learner get connected with the course at an emotional level, and thereby, makes it interesting.
For example, let’s look at two different tones.
Option 1: This course Anxiety Disorder gives an overview of the symptoms and treatment for anxiety disorder and demonstrates how to cope with this disorder.
Option2: Hi! I am Mike, and I will guide you through this course Anxiety Disorder that highlights the symptoms and treatment for anxiety disorder. I will also tell you how you can cope with this disorder. Let’s get started with what is anxiety disorder.
Which one is more conversational? I’m sure option 2 has a more friendly and conversational tone.
I hope you find this post useful. These are surely not all the innovative ways for making your online learning courses more personalized. What other ways do you use? We would love to hear.