The online learning industry is advancing at an incredible rate. And as learning technology improves, so do the opportunities to create more customized, more effective eLearning content.
Because, let’s be honest, even a great Learning Management System (LMS) is only as good as the learning and development experience it delivers to users…an experience that your executives count on you to nurture in order to build top performing employees.
Custom content is more effective because of two very important factors. First, it’s more relevant, making it more relatable to your audience. Second, the interactive nature of a custom course makes the content more memorable and more effective.
So, how can you create custom eLearning that’s more effective (and makes your department more valuable) to your employers? Buckle in, and we’ll show you.
Nothing engages learners better than custom training scenarios. That’s because role-specific scenarios put learners in a situation they could face in real life. The goal of simulated scenarios is to get your learners to solve a problem by applying what they’ve learned. The best thing about scenarios is that your learners get to practice a new skills, processes or tactics in a risk-free environment, giving them the confidence they’ll need to perform successfully on the job. The more you can customize the scenario to your audience, the better the end result.
Remember that moment when Dorothy stepped out of the house into the Land of Oz? Of course you do. It was one of the most unexpected moments in film history! What does this have to do with custom eLearning? Hear us out. Most learners don’t expect to be entertained, surprised or even delighted by the learning process. But, the online learning industry isn’t Dust-Bowl-era Kansas. It exists in the Technicolor age of cat videos, Candy Crush and Lady Gaga. As a training and development specialist today, you simply have to do better than words on a page for your training to make a difference.
Pictures, video, animation, even colors… studies have shown that when information is paired with relevant visuals, people retain 65% of the information three days later, compared to 10% when only hearing the information. eLearning technology can help you incorporate any and all of these visual effects into your custom eLearning courses. Now, don’t stress. This doesn’t mean you need to become a master instructional designer; but it DOES mean you should start thinking like one. E-Learning Heroes offers an extensive portfolio of eLearning examples (like the one above) for inspiration! Always look for opportunities to add visuals to bring your eLearning to life, or find a training consultant who will (wink-wink).
Last week I was tasked to create a presentation on a quick deadline. Having been years since I’d used Powerpoint, creating a video with animations, audio and the works was was not a quick recall. So I scrounged to find a semi-local course, signed up, waited 3 weeks to refresh my Powerpoint skills…ok, no I didn’t... Right then, I got on Youtube, watched a 6 minute tutorial, and completed my presentation in record time for our event.
This is the basic concept behind microlearning. “We all have a Google-search mentality…We expect to get the information we need now,” says Stephen Meyer, president and CEO of a leading learning company. As the adult attention span decreases, and our cognitive overload increases, microlearning is a digestible way of teaching information that can be absorbed in small, very focused bursts as-needed.
Gamification. You’ve heard the term, but do you know what it means or how to use it in custom online courses? First, let’s start with a basic definition.
Gam·i·fi·ca·tion: The concept of applying game-based learning using game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.
Think about that time you set the high score on Pac Man and entered your initials into the leader board. (Or, watched enviously as your friend did). This is the concept of status and achievement, and it can be a very powerful motivator. In fact, it’s the basis of success for companies like Lumosity who combine neuroscience and visual art to create engaging brain training games (register to try it, free)!
Gamification in eLearning works the same way. By tapping into our basic human desire for achievement, learning and development specialists can use gamification to make their courses more impactful.
Here are a few examples to get you thinking:
Use your LMS to award virtual “badges” or “points” for accomplishing pre-defined tasks.
Display the top-performing learners on a leaderboard to encourage friendly competition.
Award a prize – VIP parking or a casual-dress day – to learners who earn the most points.
So there you have it. Four impactful examples of how online learning technology gives training and development specialists the ability to deliver custom, interactive content that is more effective for employers and more fun for employees. Need help implementing these techniques into your own courses? As always, we are here to help!