The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for August, 2021


effective e-learning

One mistake many e-learning experts make is that they talk about “e-learning” as if it’s a single thing and always focused on performance improvement. They talk about engagement and interactivity and measurable objectives. Those are all good things and super important for many courses. However, anything not linked to performance is then considered ineffective.

But are those things always the measure of effective e-learning?

A common challenge is your organization focuses more on getting content out and less about learning engagement, and probably not about measurable improvement. This may appear to be ineffective, but it just depends on what the organization is trying to accomplish.

Effectiveness should be tied to how you satisfy the needs of the organization. This is especially true because a lot of what gets called “e-learning” really isn’t about learning or learning experiences that are measurable.

How do we measure effectiveness?

The first step is to understand what type of “course” you are building. Is it really a learning experience? Or is it more like interactive, explainer content? Based on that understanding you can determine the appropriate level of effectiveness. That could range from customer satisfaction to changes in performance.

Here are some tips that I share with beginners when they ask how to build effective courses.

Effective E-Learning: Serves the Customer

Please your customer. That could be an internal or external customer. This has little to do with the effectiveness of the course and more about how you manage the relationship. What are some ways to please your customer?

  • Establish clear expectations and then meet or exceed them. Make sure to get agreements in writing so everyone agrees on the expectations and success.
  • Make your customer look good. Give them as much credit as possible. I would always send nice emails and CC their supervisors.
  • Control your costs. Many course developers get no budget, so that’s not a problem. Regardless, be cost sensitive.
  • Finish ahead of schedule. If possible, I pad the production time to account for potential issues. But I work to deliver ahead of schedule.
  • Be proactive and take care of details before they come to the attention of the customer. This is one of the best things you can do.

Effective E-Learning: Serves the Business

It’s important to align your work with the organization’s goals. Do your best to get your customer and courses focused on performance results (assuming the goal is to produce something measurable like improved sales). If the courses are explainer-type courses, you may not have measurable results, but you can focus on other things as noted below.

  • Establish clear objectives and measure the results. Find out how they’re measured in the first place and then use that to compare afterwards.
  • Report the performance results. Unbelievably, many trainers fail to report how their courses contributed to the performance results.
  • Make sure that your projects are cost effective and save time. This makes up for those times when you don’t have measurable objectives. You can report that you saved the organization’s resources.
  • Compare what it costs to outsource the training to what it cost for you to develop it. Then report the value you brought to the organization by not outsourcing.

You’re only great if your customer thinks you’re great. Make sure to manage the relationship and use your e-learning expertise so they focus on tangible results. If your customer is happy, then you’re an effective course designer.

 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 




360° Image e-learning

Storyline 360 includes a 360° image feature where one can insert interactive markers and labels. On top of that, one can also leverage all the other capabilities of Storyline and layer content on top of the image.

Last week, the e-learning challenge was to create some 360° image interactions. Some of the submissions intrigued me with how they used other layers and variables to track movement through the 360° image.

Here are four examples from the weekly challenge that demonstrate this:

360° Image Example: Once in a Lifetime

e-learning 360° images

This is a bit playful and outside the realm of e-learning, but what I like is that it’s a clever way to navigate through content. Each image represents one point of content versus a series of interactive markers and labels.

View 360° image example via Jonathan Hill

360° Image Example: Medical Industry

360° image example e-learning

This example shows some interesting ways to use variables throughout the interaction with the 360 image. It tracks movement, varies content displayed, and also includes some assessment.

View 360° image example via Montse Anderson

360° Image Example: Mi & Mo

360° Image example e-learning

This is another playful example that integrates animation and other layers rather than the default labels to collect information.

View 360° image example via Chris Hodgson

360° Image Example: Lotsen Station

360° Image

This demo is close to the type of interactions one might build in a real e-learning course. There’s layers of information and other clickable content, interactive dials, and an easy-to-spot quiz.

View 360° image example via Samuel Apata

This is just a sampling. There are a lot of other interesting ideas in the e-learning challenges, like this one with the fish animation. So be sure to check them out.

After looking at some of the demos, I am curious about how people actually use the 360° images in their e-learning courses. Are you using them to explore the office or facility? Are you using them to identify issues in the environment such as find the fire hazards? Or are you doing something novel?

If you use 360° in your courses, please share how you’re using them and any other recommendations.

 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.