When I think about my school days, I distinctly remember the names of my teachers who were excited about the topic they were teaching, told us stories, asked a lot of questions, and encouraged us to share our thoughts and ideas. I also remember the teachers who didn’t make any effort to do this and made the learning experience plain boring and sometimes awful. And I obviously remember how difficult it was to sit through those classes.
Fast-forward to today, and I get a similar feeling when I pick up an eLearning course and try to learn from it. Though the course designer is not in front of me, I do get a feeling of awe or disgust from taking the course. There’s no middle path: Either I love the course and learn a great deal from it, or I absolutely hate it and can’t tolerate it for more than a few minutes. Thankfully, unlike my school days, I don’t have to stand that ugly training, which will do no good for me. And I’m sure you react to boring eLearning the same way I do.
We have a ton of exciting stuff going on around us, like augmented reality, virtual reality, simulators, 3-D environments, games, etc. But, by and large, we are still stuck to ancient page-turner courses with tons of text, sometimes narration instead of text, bad graphics, and hardly any interaction opportunities for the learners.
It’s high time we change this drastically and rescue the learners. Let’s take a step back and review the courses that we have created. If you don’t like it, the possibility of your learners’ liking it is bleak. Rework it and try to make it exciting and engaging for your learners. Think about your favorite teacher and imagine how he or she would have taught that topic to you, and then apply those techniques to your courses.
We need to stop our co-workers, customers, and friends from tagging eLearning as boring. And that can happen only if we pledge to improve our courses by adding one meaningful interaction at a time!
Thankfully, we have a lot of options available to use eLearning and creative tools to build the courses easily. We can pick and choose the tools based on our comfort level with the available technology. We also have easy access to relevant graphics, pre-built interactions, and even templates. We just need to select the right interaction and add the content to it, or create a custom interaction to suit the content type.
Try putting in some extra effort building your courses, and you’ll see a world of difference in your eLearning courses. I see a lot of us have already started doing this, and we can see some great examples during the DemoFest events. Let’s take inspiration from these courses and make eLearning a wonderful experience for the learners!
Take a deeper dive with Pooja on this topic at her pre-conference workshop, BYOL: From Plain Page-turners to Interactive eLearning with Captivate, on Monday, November 14, at DevLearn 2016 Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Click here to learn more!