Wednesday, June 6, 2012

e-Learning: It's about Conversation

There have been many suggestions on how to increase engagement in e-learning or presentations.  A few include getting rid of the title page and limiting to how much text you use.

The reason for all of this....we want the information we see to be a conversation and not a black and white set of instructions.

We don't start conversations with title pages (how funny that would be) or we try not to be too verbose when we talk with each other.  Thinking of it another way, we want the information that is presented to us to be more like a casual and interesting conversation where we really listen.  We want to be connected and not see someone hand down objectives (hint:learning objectives).

Now I understand that many on-demand e-learning isn't a literal conversation but in our mind that is what we want it to be, because in the end a conversation and a sense of being heard is an engaging experience.

Critics will say that we should all trust our managers, instructors, and other leaders, that they know what is best for us as learners.  There is overall assumption that when people start e-learning they are completely on board and motivated to learn.  (bad assumption in most cases).  We still live with the fresh memories of companies going under and leaving people without jobs.   In the end your company will not be the one to steer your career in the right direction. You will.

So if you are an instructional or e-learning designer spend some effort to make sure people understand the problem first, invite them and show how the learners can help, and then give them the tools they can use to increase their level of performance to help the company.

Don't just give them learning objectives're preventing them making the connection to you, your business, and the future of your business.

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