What Content Do You REALLY Need in Your e-Learning?
e-Learning projects most often begin with the assumption that people need to ‘know something’ and that currently existing materials just need to be ‘instructionally designed’ and stuck into slides in one authoring tool or another. This type of approach to content is very common in organisational e-learning. Most e-learning projects we have worked on started with a PowerPoint or a hefty slab of documentation. Generally many hours of work and experience has gone into the construction of such materials and the Subject Matter Expert (SME) may have quite a strong attachment to it as a result. It is also one of the first things we need to put to one side when we start talking to our SME.
“The logical structuring of PowerPoints and documents, written meticulously by an expert, often obscures the messy realities of actually getting the job done.” – Cathy Moore.
Practice, Perseverance and Problem Solving
Helping people to do their job better requires something more when it comes to e-learning. Our industry is slowly but surely moving away from a quaint addiction to ‘content’ and is seeking ways to provide training online. Training requires a new sort of content to support the PowerPoints, policies and presentations. Training requires practice, perseverance and problem solving.
“It is relatively easy to achieve success in e-learning by following simplistic judgmental feedback. Very few performance situations involve these characteristics.” – Ethan Edwards.
We agree. If you build e-learning with these traits, you’re encouraging people to rely on cues that do not exist in real life. But how do you build something better?
Find Your Workplace Cues and Clues
Inspiration is right in front of you. It’s in the workplace cues and clues that surround us every day, some of which, we might not even recognise. It’s in understanding your learner’s world to make sure we maximise the buy-in they will have for your message. Cues and clues are the verbal and nonverbal signs that are present in the context of the task. These are the delayed or immediate events that give you feedback that you are doing the right or wrong thing. When I try to make my morning cup of tea, my kettle doesn’t say ‘correct, you remembered to unplug the toaster and plug me in.’ Rather there is a little red light that comes on if it’s plugged in. I am looking for that little red light!
There is no magical genie in real life that pops up and says ‘Sorry, incorrect’.
When a salesperson is trying to close a deal, their client isn’t going to say ‘Correct, you made a sale!’, instead there are certain body signs and vocal cues that an expert sales rep will be looking for to tell them if they are close to making their commission.
e-Learning gives learners the opportunity to learn what success or failure actually looks like in the real world of doing their job. This way, they learn to identify their own progress once they leave the training environment. As a result they will have a better chance at self-correcting and improving their behaviour.
At The e-Learning Company, we believe that if you truly put your learner at the centre of your design, you will be inspired to see the world through their eyes. And you will help them become more.
That’s Why We Use CCAF
We ask a lot of questions and we use this information to inspire and construct instructional interactivity. This is the cornerstone of engaging and effective instructional design for people trying to make a real difference in their organisation.
Want To Be a Rockstar Instructional Designer?
We recommend you learn more about CCAF. This model was developed by industry leading expert Ethan Edwards, and he’ll go into a lot more detail for you about why CCAF is important. We use CCAF as fuel for our instructional designer’s ideas. It also helps us to ensure that our learning objectives are taxonomically aligned to the outcomes our clients are hoping to achieve. Our tailored, face-to-face workshops are focused on understanding your workplace, your learners and their challenges.