Time to go on an elearning diet?

Posted on Sep 07, 2015


Selection of fruit

There’s an abundance of elearning out there but getting the good stuff to people when they need it most remains a huge challenge.

If employees complain that they can’t find the right elearning, courses are too long and bland and they can’t access the training on their chosen device, it may be time to go on an elearning diet.

The elearning diet plan 

In the same way you might make changes to improve what you eat, it’s possible to provide a ‘healthier’ diet of elearning for employees by following a few simple steps.

Helping people find what they need quickly, delivering fresh, exciting content in smaller chunks with more flexibility to consume on the go will all help to make workplace elearning better for learners and better for the business.

Here are some common problems and food-inspired solutions to help your organisation get started on an elearning diet:

  • Problem: Overwhelming choice

How many elearning courses are on your LMS?

Choice is normally a good thing but too much can lead to problems. The average Moodle-based LMS contains an average of 125 elearning courses, and these are only the registered modules so it’s a conservative estimate. Abundance can backfire. The 2015 Learner Voice report by Towards Maturity reveals that 40% of people can’t find what they need and this creates a barrier to their online learning.

  • Solution: Highlight the good stuff

If you want to help learners find the best course for them you need to consider whether there is simply too much on your LMS. If there is, you will need to cut the fat and get rid of old, irrelevant or underperforming content. Whether or not you thin out the courses on your LMS, you will need to highlight the good stuff in some way, so learners can find what they need quickly and easily. One way to do this is take a long, hard look at your LMS from the learners’ point of view – if it’s not intuitive for them to use, you will need to make changes.

Learner-first approach

The new Adobe Captivate Prime is offering a learner-first approach with features to help learners’ find the best courses.

Adobe Captivate Prime

Problem: Large portions

It’s not unusual to have modules of 45 minutes, 1 hour or even longer, but large portion sizes may not be the best for learners. There are a number of theories about the attention span of adult learners, putting it at anything between 20 and seven minutes. Obviously, everyone is different, but the move towards lower attention spans seems to be a societal trend. New research by Microsoft suggests our digital attention span could have dropped to just 8 seconds!

  • Solutions: Bite-size chunks

One way to tackle concerns about attention span is to reduce the length of the elearning courses so people are consuming training in shorter bursts. This microlearning approach also helps busy employees fit elearning into their schedules or refresh their knowledge at just the right time. Bite-size elearning could be 15 or 10 minutes long, although some organisations are successfully using elearning of just 5 minutes to provide focused bursts of training on a single topic.

  • Problem: Bland diet

Have learners ever called your elearning boring?

It’s hard to get motivated into good habits if you are faced with the same bland fayre; it becomes dull and boring. Uninspiring learning content is one of the top turn-offs for learners and can undermine the best efforts to help develop employees’ skills and improve productivity.

  • Solution: Exciting diet

If elearning is interesting, unexpected and engaging it is much more likely to connect with people and inspire them to apply what they learn. There’s a whole arsenal of tools and techniques that can spice up your elearning; games, interactive video, 3D simulations, animations, scenarios, story-telling, cinemagraphs, campaigns. There really is no excuse for a boring course.

  • Problem: Sit down meal

How much of your elearning can only be done on a desktop or laptop?

For the first time, smartphones have overtaken laptops as the most popular device for getting online in the UK, according to Ofcom. As digital habits change, the ‘traditional’ idea that workers will sit down at a desk to complete an elearning course needs to be challenged, especially for organisations looking to future-proof their learning content.

Learning on the go

Adapt is an open-source e-learning authoring tool that creates fully responsive, multi-device, HTML5 elearning content using the award-winning Adapt developer framework.

Animation of multiple Adapt devices

It means a single elearning course built using Adapt will automatically adjust without loss of functionality to whatever size screen a learner is using. Sponge is a founder member and creator of Adapt.

  • Solution: Takeaway

Providing staff with the option to learn on multiple devices is the obvious way around this conundrum. If elearning is available on desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, then all bases are covered. Research suggests 50% of learners believe mobile is an essential or highly useful method for learning, and the Ofcom data supports this finding. So learning on the go may well become a growing trend in the elearning landscape.

By maintaining a healthy elearning diet it’s possible to increase sales, accelerate productivity, enhance staff skills and keep workplaces compliant.

If you’re looking to change your elearning recipe, get in touch for some advice or inspiration.

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