Happy Mid-autumn Festival to all! It is the third quarter of 2011 and here we would like to share with you some ways to “yawn proof” your eLearning, features of “Snap! by Lectora” you can use to add a YouTube video and create quiz questions for your content development and lastly, on the graphical perspective, we will be sharing with you information on stereoscopic technology where it can be used to enhance storytelling for films or animations.
Earlier this month, eLC and POWERdrive headed down to Melaka for our annual retreat at Holiday Inn Hotel. It was a short 3 days trip but still, it was very fulfilling with the whole group enjoying the great food together, chill-out night sessions and city tour around Melaka. Photos speak greater than words. Check us out under Newflash to find out more.
A checklist to keep your learners awake!
Finding yourself a little bored with your style of eLearning design - Whether you are designing it, buying it, or going through it as a learner?
All of us start with the best intentions but pressure of time, budget limitations, and spiralling scope can push good ideas out the window in favour of getting things done. That’s speaking from my personal experience.
In this article, I am going to share three different ways to prevent boredom creeping into your courseware. They are not expensive to do, nor technically complicated. They are good practices that I learned from my own experience that can be applied to any eLearning.
1) Gain attention!!!
First impressions count! You have probably at most 10 seconds to create the first impression in your eLearning courseware that will motivate the learner to learn or do otherwise. So what impressions are you going to create?
Do not make it a “page 1 of 59” kind of thing. This will only send people to the top right exit button. Also, leading in with a “dry as dust list” of learning objectives that nobody cares about, is not going to instill any excitement in your eLearning either.
We should in fact learn from the advertising firms. There are a few simple things that win people over and get them sitting up and switched on.
Here are a few ideas…
Tell a story
It is part of our human nature to tell and learn from stories. From my experiences and seeing other people’s eLearning courseware, telling stories can be very effective in eLearning. One example will be to start with an anecdote, like how a police officer had to decide who to pull out of a burning car wreck. He knows that he does not have all the time to save all passengers, so he had to make a choice.
Here is how he made it… At this point, the story paused and the focus of the learning module about making decisions is set. At the end of the module, the learner returned to the story and he explained how he dealt with the situation, which has a nice book ending approach.
Apply peer pressure
From my time in university, where I did a BA in business, majoring in marketing, this is the oldest advertising tactic in the book, the “everyone is doing it” approach.
“Look at all of these successful and happy companies. They all have adopted Enterprise Risk Management. You mean your company is not using it? Oh dear, you might want to do something about that…”
We may think it does not work on us, but it does. Nobody wants to feel left out of a good thing, and our human herding instinct soon kicks in. Can your learning take a similar approach up front? Can you gather success stories from your organisation showing how people who have mastered the topic you are designing for have benefitted from it? Peer pressure is a great way to gain attention up front.
2) Object to learning objectives!!
I know this point might oppose what Instructional Design workshops or courses teach. So that is why I say the significance of stating learning objectives is in the eye of the beholder. Some people may find framing learning objectives a turn off. But nobody really ever reads them. You know they have to be there but that does not mean you have to pay attention to them. They need to be there but it may not be written as a standard learning objective.
My suggestion is instead of using them as a way to show what you will be covering, use them as a way to motivate and engage your learners.
This is what learning objectives are meant to do. It is considered a part of the ARCS model. Learning objectives should be relevant and instil confidence in learners.
Most of our learning objectives read something like this.
Frankly speaking, it looks nice. So how do you turn objectives into motivating statements?
For a start, we can:
a) Focus on the key issues that learners is concerned about
b) Speak directly
c) Remove all the action verbs
So if I were to rephrase, it will be something like this:
Other ways that I can recommend to improve on the learning objectives:
Frame objectives as questions
Explain the benefit of each objective
3) Incorporating stories into your eLearning
Stories trigger our natural learning instincts. They are stored in our minds better than facts, knowledge and processes. We remember stories better than policies and rules. Human minds are wired to remember stories and so we should take advantage of it. So how do you go about doing this?
a) Ask your subject matter expert – Your most experienced people should be able to share case studies or key mistakes to avoid.
b) Ask the less experienced people – SMEs are good source of knowledge. But sometimes, they are just too experienced to remember or differentiate what learners need to learn and what they currently do not know.
c) Ask everyone – This is a good way to draw on a wider group of potential storytellers for your eLearning. You can create a forum or survey to achieve this point.
These three ways to bring more excitement to your eLearning are not meant to be an end-to-end process but as a list of inexpensive suggestions. They come from my experience and it’s definitely worth referring to when you are creating your eLearning.
There you go! You have now learnt three ways to prevent boredom to your eLearning lesson, a step by step guide to add a YouTube video and quiz question with “Snap! by Lectora” questions and also understanding what and how stereoscopic technology can help enhance storytelling, with the concept of the depth score or depth script used to provide the audiences a more engaging experience watching a film or animation.
Continue to visit back our next issue of Newsletter in the next quarter of the year for more tips and tricks on better learning. You are always welcome to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments.