Wouldn’t it be great if we could be kids again and get excited about learning—especially e-learning? Instead, it’s more like, “Argh! I have to take that online training at work and I’ve been putting it off for weeks. I know it’s going to be so boring! I’ll probably have to sit for an hour reading a bunch of slides and then take a meaningless test at the end. I’m sure I’ll get nothing out of it. What a waste of my time!”
Sound familiar? Are your learners motivated to take e-learning courses? Of course, we all know the benefits of e-learning. There’s the cost savings, better consistency, convenience, and the fact that we can reach a bigger audience. But keep in mind, you don’t get these benefits for free! At the end of the day, we still want the same level of performance improvement back on the job.
So, how do we liven up our e-learning? How do we make it relevant, enjoyable, and worthy of our learners’ time?
In our Web-Based Training workshop, we cover hundreds of tips to make e-learning work. Here are five of them to get you started:
1. Incorporate a variety of instructional methods. You can use Demonstrations, Behavior Modeling, Lecturettes, Simulations, Role Plays, Case Studies, Games, and Quizzes. Within each method there are also many variations. That means there are plenty of options at your disposal.
2. Never sacrifice sound instructional design. Regardless of the technology, remember that web-based training is still training. It should have engaging content with lots of practice and meaningful feedback. Otherwise, you’ll end up with nothing but an expensive multimedia slide show that’s delivered online.
3. Limit the amount of reading as much as possible. Omit “nice to know” information and focus on what the learners “need to know.” Space on any webpage is at a premium, so don’t waste it on fluff or background information.
4. Take advantage of media content. Use audio, video, and animation to enhance your e-learning modules. It’s been projected that by 2019, video will be responsible for 80% of internet traffic around the world. In fact, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, projects that video will be the most shared content on Facebook within the next five years. So, let’s use it in our training sessions whenever possible to engage our learners!
5. Offer rewards. Use incentives such as a token gift, certificates, a contest, admission to an exclusive online community, or any reward that is acceptable in your organization. Recently, I took an online ergonomics course and there was a draw to win a free massage at the end!
When e-learning is done properly, it can be awesome—performance based, interesting, relevant, and motivating. Let’s not convert bad courses and put them online. Remember, your learners are just one click away from disconnecting. So, take the time to build e-learning that works—I promise your learners will thank you!
Do you have effective strategies you’re incorporating into your e-learning modules? I’d love to know what’s working for you, so please share your ideas in the comments below.
Hi everyone. I'm Marsha Weisleder, a born-and-bred Torontonian (yes, some of us do exist) and I've lived in Toronto, Canada most of my life. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia in January 2015. No, not because of the weather or a desire to be a southern belle…you see, I fell in love and married an American. Very exciting!