Zoo_Blog

Things get pretty rough in the untamed land of e-learning. Each and every creature in this land has its own unique set of abilities and limitations, and only the fittest survive!


Despite the dangers that abound, we here at The e-Learning Company have managed to ensnare and tame some of the most prominent beasts of these fields, and we’ve put them on display right here in our zoo to give you an insight into how you might tame them yourself. You’re sure to recognise at least one of ‘em. You might even have a few roaming wild out back!

Come on then, follow us as we find out…

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The Cow

Traits

The cow spends most of its day chewing grass, which it passes between its many stomachs to produce a small amount of milk and a large amount of dung.

Major Weakness

Passing the grass of your e-learning through multiple approval processes, or stomachs, is time-consuming and costly, and often the reflux – sorry, feedback – from each stomach contradicts the others.

How to Tame

Bring the gatekeepers of each approval point together for a session where everyone’s priorities can be discussed and shared. Together, the stomachs (the gatekeepers) can understand their role in the digestion process (the creation of the program) and agree on the approach that will yield the most milk for your learners – and the least dung.

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The Peacock

Traits

The Peacock’s beautiful plumage might help it to secure its future by dazzling the project sponsor, but it serves no functional purpose; it’s all feather and no flight.

Major Weakness

Peacocks can easily enchant project sponsors with their beautiful art style and design, but the learner requires something that can take flight to find any value in it – they need something that serves a functional purpose, one that affects behaviour change.

How to Tame

Your project budget is finite, so begin by building something that will help your learners to fly. Then use what’s left to make it look spectacular. Draw your sponsor’s eye away from the peacock’s beauty with business metrics. When they see that their beautiful course is not accomplishing what they need, they are sure to have their trance broken. Then, turn their attention to what really matters: changing learner behaviour.

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The Giraffe

Traits

The giraffe’s head is in the clouds and from up there, it’s hard to see what’s happening on the ground, where all the learners are.

Major Weakness

Learners don’t engage readily with materials when they’re a poor reflection of their everyday challenges. This happens when materials are developed by someone who is far removed from the everyday realities of the problem space, and who assumes they know what will improve a learner’s performance.

How to Tame

Come down to Earth! Ensure your solution reflects the experience of your learners by engaging them throughout the development process, and designing from the needs they identify with you rather than from what you have assumed they need.

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The Rhino

Traits

The Rhino is large and cumbersome however does have one or two important points that everyone should be aware of.

Major Weakness

Its size is unnecessarily costly both in terms of the time it takes to build something that large as well as the time it takes to cover all that content as a learner.

How to Tame

Tame your Rhino by ‘topsoiling’ those important points. Topsoiling involves bringing your most important messages to the front, and leaving the rest for further reference if required.

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The Chameleon

Traits

The chameleon is very effective however no one is quite sure how to find it.

Major Weakness

If your learners don’t know that it exists or how to find it you may as well have not made it in the first place.

How to Tame

It’s important to market your e-learning as you would any other product so that learners and managers know where it is and why they should use it.

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The Panda

Traits

The Panda’s coat is black and white. The lack of any grey area makes it easy to determine the colour of any given patch.

Major Weakness

By oversimplifying concepts and decision points your e-learning won’t account for the greyness inherent in everyday real-world decision-making. This provides little or no value to learners.

How to Tame

It’s better to provide fewer more robust activities that more closely account for the nuances of everyday decision-making than to create many simple scenarios which lack depth. These are of little value as learners can easily identify the ‘correct’ option.

 

Instructional Design