How many of you remember the movie “TITANIC”? Probably, most of you would say “YES”. Right! So, as an audience, have you ever thought what it makes this movie a memorable one? We remember the scenes, dialogues, songs, and so on.
The same thing can happen to an e-Learning course. I think it is more important to make an e-learning course that is memorable to the “target audience.” In this blog, I have mentioned target audience because a course that seems to have an everlasting effect to a product manager might not have the same impact on a financial professional. You might have good learning objectives, content, visuals, and so on, but if you fail to create e-learning experiences, learners won’t value the time and effort they have invested on the course.
5 Quick Tips to Follow to Make a Lasting E-Learning Experience
- Don’t Make Your E-Learning Stuff for Speedy Eaters: I think it is true. Believe me; most of the learners don’t have sufficient time to take an e-learning course at one go. They have various professional commitments to honor and are hard pressed for time. So, we should not rush them to complete their learning within stipulated timelines. Rather, to attract the learners to a course, it is recommended that we break the modules into smaller digestible chunks. Let the learners absorb and retain the content to their memory before switching to the next module. Speedy eaters only devour the food hastily rather than masticating it. The same analogy is applied to a learner in this context.
- Apply Your Learning: You have developed a very good e-learning course, but left no room to apply the knowledge. Then the course is of no use. Within a short time frame, chances are there that the learner might forget a part of them. Therefore, scenarios, simulations, and games are learning activities that should be integrated in an e-learning course to allow the learners to apply their acquired knowledge.
- Cognitive Load: A Big NO! Huge text blocks, heavy audio, or innumerable visuals are what make an e-learning course fail in most of the cases. It increases the cognitive load of the learner. It is always recommended to present content in small paragraphs or as bulleted lists. Extraneous information or visuals cause distraction to the learners. So, keep the content simple, clear, and easy to comprehend. Always try to abide by the rule “one concept per page.”
- Do you have stories? Add the one that connects the most: It is easy to grip the attention of a learner with a compelling story. This method has its own characters and concepts. At the same time, it is always recommended to use a story that has a close tie with the original content. If both story and content contradict each other, then the impact might get lost. Suppose your content is about prototyping, then you can cite the example of a small wooden horse (prototype) built by the Greeks to demonstrate as to how they should enter and attack Troy.
- Show what he already knows: When we present new content, the biggest mistake that we often do is we don’t correlate or link the learner’s previously acquired knowledge to the new one. When we link a new concept to a previously acquired concept, then there is lasting experience. We can cite real examples or draw analogies to connect the idea. For example, in an induction program, before teaching an instructional designer the instructional design strategy, it is relevant to link where we use strategy in our daily lives, analogy can be of armed forces and so on.
I would summarize that there are many e-learning strategies we have developed over a period of time; but do they have a lasting experience for the learner? Use these tips to create that aaha feeling for the learner and get content glued to his/her memory.
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