I asked a few people the following question: “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “corporate elearning content?”. The results were mostly variations of the following:
These results were not surprising considering I have been hearing the same comments about organisational elearning for couple of years now. However, what does surprise me is that, in spite of this negative feedback, organisations continue to push that kind of content to their LMS and do nothing good for their employees in the process.
At first sight, “live” trainings and elearning are not easy to compare. In the past years, I have done FLTs for a considerable number of organisations on the topic of sales, leadership, personal development, organisational culture etc. If, by any chance, I received feedback similar to the one mentioned above, I would have been certain that I would be out of work within a short period of time. The conclusion is that “live” trainings place great importance on the trainer him/herself and his/her relationship with the trainees.
On the other hand, elearning doesn’t even entail the concept of a trainer. Does that mean that elearning can’t be good, attractive, dynamic, fun, engaging, interactive and enjoyable for the employees? eLearning can definitely be all of that even without a trainer.
In elearning “trainer” is the Production!
Instead of a trainer, for quality elearning you need to be a conductor of an orchestra of a wide range of experts so that you can produce high quality elearning content everybody will love. That orchestra consists of a producer, a learning architect, a screenplay writer, a director, an instructional designer, a graphic designer, an animator, a gamification expert and other professionals whose goal is happiness and satisfaction of content users.
The elements you have to pay special attention to are:
If an eLearning session lasts longer than the attendee’s attention span, that means that the learning architect hasn’t done his/her job well. Nobody has time to go through a messy text or seemingly endless PowerPoint presentations and learn something along the way. We live in a dynamic world where every minute matters and reduces attendee’s attention span. Be it a good thing or not, that is a change that cannot be stopped, and learning has to adapt to it. eLearning enables us to master the curriculum in small parts that are built one upon another, forming a complete picture. User can adapt the tempo of progress and learning to their own abilities and time. Microlearning methodology divides the curriculum into sessions, each no longer than 3-4 minutes. That allows the user to fit it into even the busiest schedule, even on the bus ride to work.
Speaking of the ride to work, opening a laptop on a crowded bus to learn or work isn’t the best idea. Having to sit in front of a computer at work isn’t the most stimulating way to learn either. Accessing eLearning content via a smartphone or a tablet on the move, during a break or at home gives the users flexibility to select the best time for learning. Most will decide to learn when they feel they are most effective and when they most need it. Today, mobile learning is one of the most desired features when it comes to producing eLearning content.
To make eLearning more interactive and interesting to use, the best solution is to gamify the content. How we do it at the eWyse agency is best explained by Jurica Picak, our gamification expert (feel free to contact him directly). Allow us to adduce several benefits. Scrolling through PDF files or slides isn’t the most interactive thing. More user interaction and engagement make the content easier to understand. If you additionally include a social aspect such as a leaderboard, comments or profile editing, eLearning gets a classroom atmosphere where the interaction of other users gives an additional motive for development. In the end, fun is also an important aspect. Curriculum cannot be too hard to learn if you’re learning through interactive content with a social component.
Playable content isn’t the only important fun thing to have while learning. The content itself has to be adapted and improved. Quality production, design, animation and other elements have to be on the highest level. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case. Aside from production quality, presentation also has to be taken care of. A perfect example is the interactive video content we develop alongside Amulet Studio. Interactive video gives condensed information in an interactive environment that solves the problem of the lack of a lecturer. In “live” education, two-way communication between the lecturer and the attendee plays the key part in taking in the information. In eLearning there is no lecturer, but the interaction produces enough feedback to make corrections and achieve complete involvement of the attendee.
Quality information at the right time is crucial for proper learning. If problems with a part of curriculum are spotted on time, chances to properly resolve them are greater. For example, inserting a pop quiz on a topic covered by the chapter at the end of each one. The user reviews the learned content, gets the information on how well he/she has mastered the chapter, and, most importantly, doesn’t feel like it was a wasted time and that something was achieved. Quantified quality information assures progress of the user.
eLearning for the sake of itself brings no value whatsoever. Moreover, it creates repulsiveness toward learning. Quality eLearning production solutions demand a greater investment in the beginning, but they produce a far greater ROI.
If you are considering moving to eLearning education of your employees, mind the quality of content production because poorly made eLearning content is the most expensive option.
As a long time soft skills trainer, I had a chance to work with thousands of employees from renowned Croatian and world companies. Through that work, I gained insight into “that something” that people want to get through education. Combining “that something” with the newest technologies to get the wanted effect with the help of digital is a real challenge. We at the eWyse agency like this challenge and we’ll gladly share our experience and examples of the newest trends in the eLearning industry.