How To Get People Fall in Love With eLearning: Theories – Juliette Denny

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2 Learning Theories That Will Help You Get People To Fall In Love With eLearning

Want to get people to fall in love with eLearning? Let’s start by studying the theory of Bloom’s Taxonomy about the different levels of learning, as well as the user experience hierarchy of needs!

1. Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy explains that there are different levels of learning, from in-depth ‘creating’ learning tasks, down to more basic ‘knowledge’-based approaches.

Good Instructional Designers (clever clogs who write eLearning units) know that Bloom’s Taxonomy is the best way to create learning objectives that really get learners engaged with the material, working hard, and learning new concepts.

As you can see from the diagram, the lower levels represent basic Knowledge – retrieving or remembering previously learned material. Learning objectives at this level include defining key terms, listing steps in a process or repeating something heard or seen.

Learning objectives at the Comprehension level are based around processing new information. This requires learners to use the information they just learned to answer basic questions.

At the Application level, learners are asked to solve new problems by applying what they have learnt without having to be prompted to novel situations in the workplace.

Analysing involves distinguishing between facts and inferences; learning objectives involve separating concepts into component parts, e.g. “Gather information about the finance department’s problem and select the appropriate tool to solve it.”

Learning objectives at the Evaluation level involve making judgements about the value of ideas or materials, e.g. “From the three interview scenarios, select the best candidate to hire.”

Creating involves building a structure or pattern from diverse elements. It involves pulling parts together to solve a whole problem, with an emphasis on creating something new. E.g. “Taking into account what you have learnt about Sparky Electrics on the previous screens, devise an appropriate training programme.”

As you can see, the steps in Bloom’s Taxonomy really target different kinds of knowledge – from straightforward information retention all the way to creation of new processes through a deep understanding of what has been learnt.

A lot of eLearning focuses on the lower steps of learning – knowledge and comprehension. This means that the learner isn’t encouraged to get a very deep level of understanding, meaning they’re not as involved in their learning or as interested. Sure, being able to remember a fact is great, and getting the quiz questions right can boost your confidence. But how much more engaged and invested in your learning will you be if you can see how far you’ve come, from being taught the basics through to designing your own processes or solving problems by thinking up new solutions?

2. User Experience Hierarchy Of Needs

That’s one theory of learning that will help to get people loving their learning. The user experience hierarchy of needs is another. This pyramid explains that it’s not just what the learner is being taught that will affect their enjoyment of the learning; it’s also how they are taught.

Picture a 30-screen eLearning unit, each screen containing a few paragraphs of text, with 10 questions at the end to check what you’ve learnt.

Now imagine an eLearning unit containing the same information, but presented in a mixture of video, audio and bullet points, with practice scenarios, interactive learning, and different question formats, from multiple choice and drag-and-drop exercises to written answers and longer assignments.

Which do you think would be more enjoyable? Which would you be more likely to go back to and carry on with the next eLearning chapter or unit?

The user experience hierarchy of needs explains why we get more enjoyment from interactive eLearning units than we do from traditional, run-of-the-mill eLearning.

Bog-standard eLearning courses satisfy the first few levels of the pyramid. They modules are functional, straightforward, usually easy to use and hopefully reliable.

They are also convenient – you can login on your computer and start learning. But is it pleasurable? Does the experience of learning stick in your mind, over and above what you actually learn? Do you say to your colleagues, “I took the eLearning unit on fire safety yesterday. Each screen had a load of text on it and then I answered 10 questions. It was so much fun!”?

How about: “I took the eLearning unit on fire safety yesterday. The videos were great, and the drag and drop questions were cool. I even got extra points for getting 5 questions in a row correct, and a ‘Smokin’ hot!’ badge for completing the unit. You should try it!”

If learning is good, appropriate, applicable, and pleasurable, learners will fall in love with their learning once again. But what about the top of the hierarchy – how can learning be meaningful and have a personal significance?

Simply put, most learning isn’t especially meaningful, at least in the sense that we mean it here. Sure, learners can answer questions in relation to their personal experiences and apply their knowledge to their circumstances. But this isn’t the same as the learning having personal significance; it’s just their answers that are applicable to their work life.

Good eLearning, on the other hand, uses learners’ experiences directly and actually incorporates these thoughts and scenarios into the eLearning unit. The Discovery Method of learning – what we call our ground-breaking technique – gets learners inputting all sorts of information about their job directly into the learning, which is then referenced throughout the course.

For example, the eLearning could ask a user to input their name, job role, and company name. The unit is then made personally significant to the learner by referring back to these details.

The instruction in a standard eLearning unit may be: “Take time to reflect on this information and how it may relate to your current role.”

Whereas the instruction in a good eLearning unit might be: “[Timothy], take a moment and think about how this information on laws and ethics applies to you in your role as [Sales Manager] at [BlinkBox]. Write your thoughts in the text box on screen.”

The information Timothy provides is then compiled into a worksheet to be downloaded at the end of the eLearning unit, providing him with a ready-made plan of attack that he can begin to apply to his job immediately.

See the difference?

If you want to learn more about how you can get people to love their eLearning, download the free eBook Fall In Love With eLearning: How To Make Your Learners Love Their Online Learning!

 

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6 Essential Content Creation Tips For eLearning Success – Shift

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You’ve been tasked with developing your first eLearning course. Now what?

Let us help you get with it and nail each aspect of the content development process.

Probably you are wondering if there is one perfect roadmap for relevant and engaging eLearning content. However, given that the variables of each project make each session unique, it is difficult to box elements into one plan.

Varying factors include:

  • The size of your team
  • Amount of content
  • The subject at hand and ideal delivery content
  • The audience’s knowledge or understanding of the course
  • Your business goals

These differences will affect the direction of the course. That said, rest assured there is a silver lining. Although the intricacies of the roadmap are not standard, several guidelines can provide the foundation for compelling content and a well-structured course.

Tip #1- Setting the Bulls’ Eye: Forming Your Learning Objectives

By definition, objectives are basic tools that underlie all planning and strategic activities.To accurately guide you through the stages of content development, your learning objective needs to be defined early on and must be crystal clear. Mainly, it’s going to come down to identifying the performance or skill that the learner needs to achieve to be competent in their role.

This statement will serve as the foundation for instructional material. This frame will provide your team with the direction to select and organize content without hesitation. When the outcome is clear, it’s easier to determine the ingredients you’ll need.

Some tips for writing your learning objectives:

  • Use simple language and measurable verbs.

  • Remember to be clear about the knowledge or skill gap that you are hoping to fill. List specific and measurable elements that the learner will have to master upon completion.

  • Make sure you are clear about what will they gain by taking this course.

  • Important! Keep the learning outcomes in mind at all stages of designing a course. Whether you are chunking content, designing activities, planning assessments, or choosing images, you have to remember that every element in your course should align with the learning outcomes.

Tip #2- Consulting the Crowd: Pinpointing Gaps

Questions, assessment, and focus groups often reveal insightful information. You can also survey your audience to learn more about their backgrounds and experience levels. Having your learners take a pre-assessment can inform you that most of your online learners share a skill gap.

Knowing this can allow you to supply additional information or resources to specific areas for improvement. Why?

  • Not all learners start from the same place. This will help you determine where those gaps are.
  • Not all learners will acquire information the same way. You may acquire insights to how to deliver the knowledge that they lack.

 

Pre-assessments help you identify what learners already know, need to know, and how you should deliver the information. After reviewing your objectives, your team should focus on researching the audience’s needs as a priority. These insights coupled with your learning objectives will formulate the strategy for success.

Tip #3- Planning is key

If you are just back from a session with the SME, you are possibly armed with a lot of information that he or she thinks is crucial to learn about the subject. Think twice before dumping it all on the learner. Your SME is undoubtedly an authority on the subject, but you are the training expert. You know the learning outcomes of your course. Best, you know the expectations of your learners.

To begin, create a list of significant topics and sub-points. Still amiss about what to include, here are some points you must enlist too:

  • A list of “Must Know” content (critical to achieve the learning outcomes).
  • “Should Know” content which is concepts that the learner needs to understand as a core part of the training course  (important background information that you can give away as handouts)
  • A list of “Nice To Know” content which adds value to the understanding of the subject, but the learner can do without these points.

Listing out topics is an essential way to help your team visualize and scope each lesson. Be as detailed as possible about your main ideas when creating this list of topics so that it highlights all of the key aspects of your course. Be sure to include an estimate of slides, screens, and interactive elements you’d like to incorporate into the course. Integrating each of these points will help your team avoid redundancies and irrelevancies.

HOT TIP! During this stage, experts advise that you gather your team and stakeholders to review and evaluate the relevant topics. This step will be instrumental in identifying which content is missing.

Here are some tips on how to draft your course outline:

  • Think about the topic and all it conveys. Once you’ve created a list that is thorough you can start grouping like steps into sections or modules.
  • Break your course topic down to steps.
  • Then, you’ll need to buff each individual step out further. Basically, turn the goals established in point one into subtopics/sections. Create at least 3, but no more than 8 titles that make up the “modules” or sections of the course.
  • Decide how you’ll present your content. As you fill out the steps, decide whether you’d rather create a screen with bullet–points or a talking head video that shows your audience what you’re trying to teach them.
  • Plan your intro carefully too. The first minutes of your course are key to grab attention!
    Plan practice activities and assessments.
  • With each proposed lesson, refer back to the learning objectives; say true to what your learner needs to know.

Also read: The Art of Creating Short but Effective eLearning Courses 

Tip #4- Always Conduct a Content Inventory

It makes perfect sense to know exactly what you have in the inventory, regarding existing content, before starting out on any new project. The opportunities for reusing and repurposing existing content, text, images, and video are endless, once you know exactly what you currently hold in your repository.

Go down your list and check off the items you have available in your company and highlight the ones that are missing. Why should you do this? The benefits are obvious, but we will list them out happily:

  • Reviewing the material you already have ( it can be PDFs, Powerpoint presentations or any other material available)  and identifying what needs to be created will provide your team with some direction.
  • When you realize how much information you already have at your disposal, you will have a better idea of how much development time you saved.

Once you have certain content available, here are some questions that you can run this material by:

  • Is this material outdated, incomplete, inaccurate or un-engaging?
  • Is there any feedback available on how it performed?
  • What isn’t working with the current program?
  • What was missing from this content?

Separately, some questions that you can run this material by can include:

  • What don’t employees know that they should?
  • Without letting the existing content dictate the new material, how can this new content be coupled with the previous information?

Read more: The Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Content Inventory for eLearning

Tip #5 – Working Smoothly with SME’s to Translate their Knowledge into Engaging Content

Working with an SME (Subject Matter Expert) is vital to get the right information down. Working together, you can collect the most crucial information needed to align with all the objectives and points listed above.

The thing to keep in mind when working with SMEs is being particular about what you want. This detailed communication is essential to have before meeting with the SMEs.

You can do this by providing a questionnaire, that way everyone can provide insights and feedback.

This post highlights an actionable roadmap for engaging SMEs and collecting their require information so that you can develop quality content on time and within budget.

Here are some amazing tips for working effectively with SME’s.

The Essential Guide to Better SME Kickoff Meetings

Tip #6 – Design Last, Storyboard First

To avoid overloading your audience with irrelevant content, it’s imperative to organize your content. Use storyboarding to determine the direction of content, without trying to load too many concepts into one course. With a storyboard, you can maintain an outline while you create your course. This level of organization ensures you include all main points without venturing into less important topics.

Storyboarding brings all the elements that will make up the elearning course together. Much like a story, each element contribute to the understanding of the next, creating an narration for a lesson or feeling of resolve in the end.

With the use of Powerpoint or your own storyboarding tool, your process can go a little like this:

  • Write your course title; make this brief, but descriptive.
  • Write your course overview, here you’ll want to list key points from your learning objectives
  • Use the text and images in your screens. Make sure any visuals you include add impact.
  • How-To’s need to be done right. Make sure that each sequence is clear and provide additional resources in case the learner is interested in reading more.
  • Use real life scenarios and brief examples to illustrate application of the skills being learned.

 

 

 

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