What hooks learners to eLearning?
Well, if we had a stone-clad answer for this question, then we would have no worries, and organizations would be producing eLearning content in a robotic, assembly-line fashion. One of the key topics of discussion in eLearning-themed events is on ‘Engaging Learners’ and experts continue to speak on the topic with their ideas and findings. In this blog post, we attempt to list down primary points that go into making an ideal eLearning solution that hooks learners and holds their interest. Remember, nothing remains frozen as a standard. As technologies evolve and a new generation of learners enters the workforce, L&D experts face fresh challenges in designing effective eLearning.
Setting Expectations Clearly
Let your learners know what they are going to learn before the program commences. It is important for the expectations to be set clearly. Nothing baffles the learner more than a surprise halfway through the eLearning program. Mapping learning outcomes to the goals that are listed at the beginning of the program, ensures a smooth and worry-free learning experience.
Designing Learning Experiences
In an earlier blog post, we spoke about how the term ‘Learning Experience Platform’ is becoming the new buzzword in eLearning and L&D. Companies specializing in designing learning content, now don’t just battle with each other to win projects; but have to contend with the vast amount of learning content available online for free, and course aggregators like Coursera and Udemy. Penny-pinching finance teams might rather force their L&D teams to white-label and sign-up for such courses rather than hiring a dedicated team to build and deploy eLearning from scratch.
Animated presentation-style eLearning is not going to work. Learners expect to hear and see new things and acquire knowledge in an easy manner. L&D experts recommend the use of storytelling techniques to hold the interest of the learner and engage them.
‘All work and no play make Jack and Jane dull!’ Traditionally games have been used by teachers to foster learning in schools. Workplace learning isn’t much different, when interactive games are successfully integrated within the eLearning content, learner engagement improves significantly. It also improves course-completion rates and retention of learning.
Videos are the most popular way to learn. The phenomenal growth of YouTube is ample proof that YouTube is not just a platform for entertainment but also for learning and self-improvement. Videos ─ be it animated ones, or those of actual people talking and explaining concepts in a friendly tone can be used effectively to foster learning.
Blending Mixed Reality in eLearning
Augmented and Virtual Reality are becoming more accessible and affordable. This is now allowing more organizations to experiment with these mediums and integrate them within eLearning solutions. Several organizations are now experimenting with Mixed Reality solutions to build their employee onboarding programs. An AR or VR learning experience will engage learners and offer greater retention of learning.
Remember early eLearning programs that have an animated character that takes you through the course like a navigator or guide? Now chatbots are taking over the role. Powered by AI, you can feed in your questions into the system and the chatbot is programmed to answer your questions and guide you through the eLearning program. Designers are allowing learners to pick characteristics to design the animated avatar of the chatbot. This is a trend that’s catching up and is a sure-shot way to engage the learner.
The Social Learning Gamble
We live in a time when Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter offer a powerful social platform to connect with like-minded individuals. Innate human nature, demands validation of our actions. We like the word of appreciation or a supportive acknowledgement. The entire business-model of Facebook and Instagram is built on feeding our craving for ‘Likes, Shares, and Comments’. Social learning takes this a step forward and creates learning systems wherein learners can challenge fellow learners to complete a module, display online badges, and share their course completion certificates online with ease. L&D experts have been divided over the use of social learning at the workplace; but organizations like Microsoft and Infosys have integrated social learning successfully. Integrating social learning within workplace learning is a good way to hook learners.
At Origin, we are constantly innovating to craft eLearning solutions that hook learners and drive value for organizations deploying our eLearning solutions. To collaborate with us on your eLearning requirements, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.