- Avoiding death by LMS
- Ensuring your e-learning is learner- and performance-centric
- Creating meaningful and memorable interactions for your learners
- Introducing the IMPACT model: better design for better results
- 5 tips for design success
Why training and elearning failsWhat's the elephant in the training room? We're delivering training:
- to the wrong people
- by the wrong people
- at the wrong time
- in the wrong way
- too dull
- too inaccessible
- lacks relevance
Why DESIGN is an essential ingredient to engagementElearning demands more of the learner. It's hard to hold attention - distractions are all around us! This is an interface sitting between us and the content. So design matters to make elearning effective!
The IMPACT way of designing
InteractionThere are various levels of interaction ranging from game based learning to the good old 'Click Next to Continue'. A few examples that Lars showed, that were quire useful:
- the use of a visual metaphor to explain a complex topic;
- the use of analog sliders to show dynamic change in outcomes
Again if you look at the example above, you'll notice that learners have an activity to learn about missing stock from a showroom. So there's a problem as you'd have in the real store and you'll learn from discovery by interacting with real customers in real situations. The example included real applications that people see at their job so they can transfer the skills back to work. Good example of teaching people to do something than remember facts.
Key Learning: Make your interaction mimic the real world and real scenarios.
MultimediaElearning is essentially a multimedia experience, so there's a good reason to focus on this element, isn't there? Again, integrating custom flash, video, audio isn't tough even with rapid-elearning.
Key Learning: Try very carefully to draw key points by intelligent use of media. Green screen video isn't very costly these days, so transparent background videos on your slides is really easy!
PersonalThis is a big opportunity for instructional designers where we can personalise the experience for every individual learner. So Lars' point is that too broadly generic content may just not stick and may not be contextualised to people's workplace. Of course, it isn't that easy to do this without spending too much money, but I take his point.
So is there case for personalised action plans, personalised feedback, personalised learning logs and the like? The example above provides different interfaces for people with different tastes. How about mobile and computer versions of the same course?
Actionable A lot of learning and training doesn't translate into actions very easily. Why don't we align learning around helping people perform actual tasks? Cathy Moore's action mapping approach speaks to this end. No fluff, only stuff!
ChallengingDon't over-simplify and patronise your training/ elearning. If you break it out too much then it doesn't reflect the real world appropriately. So it's important that you reflect all real-world elements in a challenging and fair manner. Provide your audience an opportunity to go wrong, gain from intrinsic and extrinsic feedback and activate new skills in 'safe-to-fail' environment.
TimingLars touched upon the topic of 'learning interventions'. We try to cram too much stuff in too little time. People forget as the learning event ends. How about spaced out courses, where you give people an opportunity to have more events to reinforce their learning. This minimises forgetting and is in line with the research from Will Thalheimer.
There could be various other factors affecting IMPACT -- it could vary by your situation.
Provide easy ways to access learningLearning management systems that are data and report centric aren't learner centric. The context of the learning can get lost. How about structuring your learning management platform to be more user-friendly and learner focussed? How about a portal approach? How about centering it on a campaign or desired performance or capability or a target audience?
Lars' point was that design of how we get to elearning is crucial in increasing engagement and creating the pull to do more in the elearning and learning technology space in your organisation. I completely buy that!
The point Lars made about 'anytime, anywhere' learning and reaching mobile audiences makes complete sense to me. The fun part is that with tools like iWebKit anyone can do it.
A few other design considerations.Think about making the following elements of design:
- Applied - scenario driven, contextualised
- Authentic - practical, pragmatic
- Open - put the user in charge of navigation
- Intuitive - design and structure encourages reuse
- Accessible - learner centric portals
- Dogma-free - don't be dogmatic about instructional theory.