7 Tips To Use Learners' Creativity In eLearning

7 Tips To Use Learners' Creativity In eLearning
Summary: By encouraging learners to use their creativity in eLearning courses you can transform even the most tedious subject matter into a unique and memorable eLearning experience. In this article I'll share 7 key tips on how to take full advantage of learners creativity when designing and developing your eLearning course.

How To Use Learners' Creativity In eLearning

We humans are naturally creative creatures. We seize every opportunity to put our ideas into action, and to use that infamous creative spark in our everyday lives. So, it's only natural that using learner creativity when creating eLearning experiences can offer a variety of benefits. But how can an eLearning professional design and develop eLearning courses that capitalize on learner creativity, especially when dealing with subject matters that may be dry or even dull? Here is the key!

  1. Encourage learners to share ideas through online discussions.
    When learners are able to actively share their ideas, thoughts, and opinions with their peers, even if they are a world away from one another, amazing things can happen. This free exchange of ideas during an online discussion encourages them to tap into their creativity and learn from the experience of others. They are also able to see things from a new perspective, which means that they can approach problems and challenges with new and inventive solutions. Furthermore, this has the added advantage of providing an extra level of support for your learners, given that they can address any concerns or questions they may have regarding the subject matter, particularly if the eLearning professional may not be always accessible or if the eLearning course involves a great deal of self study.
  2. Integrate storytelling in your design approach.
    Stories have the power to spark learner creativity and stir learner imagination. As such, they are ideal additions to any eLearning course or online training event, especially if you are trying to take full advantage of a learner's creative spark. Create stories that not only include key ideas or concepts of the eLearning course, but emotionally connect with your audience and help to relate to the subject matter. Stories are, by nature, engaging, immersive, and entertaining (if they are well written, that is). They can make even the most dry, dull, or complicated topics exciting and emotionally-gripping. This is why they have the ability to trigger the creative process and make the learners think outside the proverbial box. They encourage them to put themselves in the role of the character or connect with the challenge or problem being explored, so that they can enhance their problem solving and critical thinking skills without even realizing they are doing so.
  3. Create group collaboration projects that reverse the roles.
    Turn the tables in your virtual classroom to encourage learners to take on the role of the eLearning professional. Ask them to design blogs and sites that inform their peers about a particular topic, or to develop a video that delves into a process or task. Not only this will exercise learner creativity, but it will also provide them the opportunity to apply previously learned information in order to boost knowledge retention. By putting the information into their own words to create the content for the assignment, they are committing it to long term memory, so that they can access it at a later time.
  4. Use an “artifact” or key idea to spark learner creativity in the virtual classroom.
    Use an object or an idea to engage your learners, trigger learner creativity, and spark discussion. For example, you can show them an item on the screen and then ask them to write a clear and concise description of its appearance of importance within the realm of the subject matter. You can also show them an object that may have some historic or cultural significance and encourage them to discuss its background with their peers or to create a timeline.
  5. Design scenarios and simulations that pique their curiosity.
    Scenarios and simulations encourage learners to test the limits of their understanding, to devise creative solutions to common challenges, and to see the real world benefits of what they are learning. By doing a scenario or simulation repetitively your learners have the chance to see how new and inventive problem solving approaches yield different results, which allows them to test out different assumptions or theories.
  6. Integrate music and sound into your eLearning courses.
    Music and sound are the fuel for learner creativity. They allow learners to become immersed in the eLearning experience and to transform themselves into active participants rather than observers. It blocks out all other distractions that may be standing in the way of their eLearning experience and demands their attention, which means that they are able to truly absorb the information and interact with the content. Just remember that music and sound effects should not steal the show. Place them in the background to help knowledge acquisition instead of hindering it.
  7. Create an emotional connection with your learners.
    Give your learners something they can relate to. Include real world examples that tug at their heart strings or images of the workplace to make them relate to the subject matter. Create an emotional connection with them, so that they know it's safe to exercise their creativity and imagination. Use details that allow them to see the real world applications for what they are learning, and to become emotionally invested in the eLearning characters and the challenges they are facing. If you can make them feel and get learner creativity flowing through these emotions, you have the power to create engaging and memorable eLearning experiences for every member of your audience.

Regardless of the topic or intended audience, you can use learner creativity to design and develop eLearning courses that amaze and excite your learners, so that they have the opportunity to get the most out of the eLearning experience.

Encouraging learners to delve into the depths of their imaginations is another way to make online learning more immersive, interactive, and engaging. Read the article Tips To Use Learners’ Imagination In eLearning for invaluable ways to follow in order to take advantage of your audience's imagination when designing and developing eLearning.