The widespread growth of eLearning has changed the way we learn in many respects. While we may have a say in what we are teaching online, there are some aspects of an individual’s learning experience which we simply can’t control. Here are a few ways to help shape your eLearning to accommodate today’s busy learners.
People are learning in more and more places; on the bus; at home; out and about. But that also means they are probably dealing with more distractions and higher noise levels compared with sitting in a nice quiet classroom.
Tip: make sure your audio turns up loud! If people are learning in a busy office, or a train carriage full of small children, they might need to crank the volume to hear what’s going on. Help them out by ensuring they can hear what you’re saying over the humdrum.
Tip: ditch the audio altogether – try creating a text-only version of your course so that people still have the option to learn in environments where they don’t have access to headphones. Customising learning in this way helps make your learning more accessible for people on the go.
A big differentiator in the shift from classroom to online learning is the fact that learners can ‘learn when it suits them’ – but that won’t stop an urgent meeting or last minute conference call from getting in the way. Interruptions can have a big impact on learning. Here are a few ways to work around your learners;
Tip: interruption-proof your courses. Make sure they are easy to pick up and put down by incorporating a ‘pause’ button, and ensuring that the module allows learners to resume where they left off the last time.
Tip: by designing modules in bite sized chunks, you can make it easier for people to squeeze learning time into short periods – enabling them to complete a small piece of learning whenever they have a spare minute.
Another potential barrier for eLearning versus classroom learning is the lack of face to face contact; how can we tell what our learners are going through as they learn? Did they ‘get’ that last bit? How involved are they?
Aside from webcam-based sessions (not overly favoured by the pyjama-clad homeworker), here are a few things to try;
Tip: incorporate rapid-fire ‘checkpoints’ to test knowledge little and often (this increases engagement, and breaks up information into small chunks which is good for keeping attention)
Tip: ask your learners to evaluate their understanding at various points throughout a module. Using sliding scales is a user friendly way to elicit this information, and it can provide a snapshot of how your audience is doing (as well as asking them to focus on their own performance).
The suggestions here are just a selection of our recommendations for optimising learning experiences; if you’d like to learn more about how Ignite’s eLearning methodology helps your learners to stay on track, get in touch.