Design Learning Experiences – Not Instructional Presentations

Our previous blog post looked at the importance of integrating elements of game thinking in eLearning design and how gamified learning makes workplace learning engaging and effective. Continuing the line of thought, our blog post today looks at how we can ensure that the eLearning that we create transcends animated presentations to offer a powerful and engaging learning experience.

Learning Experiences in eLearning

It’s been a solid 13 years since I started my career as Instructional Designer Trainee fresh out of college. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most popular names in the eLearning industry and the transformation that has undergone in the industry has been phenomenal. I remember when the Word document was the all-powerful tool, the template for the storyboard with its neatly structured boxes/placeholders to add on-screen text, voiceover text, and instructions for the graphic designer all fine-tuned. My, my, how have things changed! Word to PowerPoint to Epic Editor, Lectora, and the all-powerful Storyline; the entire ecosystem has evolved to make eLearning innovative and interesting. It is almost like ‘plug and play’ now! If you are clear about the content you want to feature, the images and animation you wish to use, then eLearning authoring tools give you the flexibility to view SCORM-compliant output with ease. Now if that isn’t phenomenal growth, what is??

How’s this Impacting the End-User?

The presence of a multitude of eLearning authoring tools and HTML5 based editors that let you generate animated eLearning with ease have now brought in a problem of plenty. Let me give you a quick example, a decade ago if you were to search for eLearning companies in India online; you would have about 15 to 20 popular and trustworthy names. Today, if you run a Google-search for eLearning companies in India, you will get about 50,90,000 results. A staggering number by any means!! No, there aren’t those many companies but the number of eLearning companies has surely grown ten-fold in the past decade is what I am trying to convey.

In such a scenario, with companies competing to get the next million-dollar project from North America or Europe, the difference between the quality of the output and delivery schedules play equally important roles in addition to the budgeting. There is no lack of talented professionals who also freelance and work on smaller projects for reputed companies. So what factor distinguishes your eLearning company’s work output and ethics to ensure that you win the big-ticket contract instead of a competing company???

Design Learning Experiences Not Animated Instructional Presentations

Yes, you read it right! If you really want to stay ahead of the competition; design and deploy engaging learning experiences that drive value and have measurable learning outcomes. Get into the minds of the end-user of the eLearning content that you aim to create and visualize yourself as the learner. This is the swiftest and surest way to ensure that you and your client/customer are on the same track in terms of understanding business requirements.  Often there’s a vast chasm between what sales promises to the client and the actual scope of the work to be done, and the final output that’s delivered in the name of project completion deadlines. With internal frameworks in place that determine the quality of work and set standards for work in awards ceremonies, it is important that every organization big or small treats each project as its last project.

A different analogy indeed! But just consider the following. In a closely monitored industry where the differences between the cream of the cream, layer two, and layer three companies isn’t too much; organizations cannot afford to fail. If you deliver shabby work, rest assured, somehow or the other news of poor quality of work will filter out and you are going to slowly end up hitting a wall when you scout for new projects. One cannot rest on past laurels. This is the essence of success in any industry or individual progress.

The App-Focused World

One of the primary reasons why the learning experience debate keeps popping up is because modern learning has now shifted to the smartphone rather than the traditional lecture-room and laptop scenario. Learners want to be engaged constantly, they wish to learn at their own pace, they want synchronized and seamless learning across devices. AI and Machine Learning are powering the integration of recommendation engines within eLearning portals that recommend courses to learners based on interests and search-history. One poor learning experience at the beginning of a course can lead the learner to drop out of the course. So to reiterate, treat each module/learning unit within the course as a full-fledged learning experience. Design it in such a way that it helps the learner achieve specific goals. No point in just offering random facts! A treasure-lode of information available on the Internet and numerous online course aggregators offer free and paid courses with certification. Unless organizations reinvent themselves and deliver high-quality and engaging eLearning content; they are going to face a rough road ahead.

At Origin, we believe in creating lasting learning partnerships with our clients. Over the years, we have steadily built an enviable portfolio of clients for whom we have created result-driven, engaging, and effective eLearning content. Write to us at info@originlearning.com and let us design fruitful learning experiences for you.

Leave a Reply