How To Adopt an eLearning Mindset
The most common question, when I meet with eLearning professionals is: what is the secret to becoming a successful eLearning professional? Is it mastering content creation, or is it learning every single aspect of instructional design? Well, it all has to do with having an eLearning mindset! Adopting an eLearning mindset will not only allow you to gain experience and broaden your knowledge base, but provide your audience with an unparalleled learning experience. The trick, however, is learning how to accomplish this change in perspective.
- Gain a better understanding of how and why learners learn.
While it's important to know what your audience needs to learn, having an eLearning mindset goes far beyond that. At its roots, an eLearning perspective is all about understanding how and why learners need and want to acquire new information. It's having an awareness of how the brain absorbs information and the learning behaviors that can be used to your advantage while creating eLearning courses and online training events. In essence, if you want to have an eLearning mindset, you'll need to develop a desire to know the psychology behind learning. This may involve a great deal of studying, surveying, and analyzing, but it will allow you to design eLearning deliverables that are truly amazing eLearning experiences.
- Never be afraid of innovation.
There is a constant influx of emerging eLearning technologies that have the power to transform eLearning as we know it. However, we can't take advantage of these eLearning technologies or tools and use them to create more meaningful eLearning experiences for our learners if we aren't willing to remain on the cutting edge. A major part of developing an eLearning mindset is never being afraid of innovation. The most successful eLearning professionals are those who stay on top of eLearning trends, try out new eLearning tools and eLearning software, and are perpetually trying to think of new and creative ways to utilize existing eLearning technologies.
- Theory and principles are at the heart of all learning experiences.
While emerging eLearning technologies may be an essential part of eLearning, instructional design theories and principles are the roots of eLearning. If you're trying to achieve an eLearning mindset, you'll need to have a deep understanding of the instructional design models, theories, principles, and ideas that shape each and every learning experience. Researching, studying and having a constant thirst for knowledge will help you to acquire new knowledge and to develop new skill sets. This way, you can always find out how to create a powerful and effective eLearning course or online training event.
- Learning happens when the learners forget that they are actually learning.
Experience is key and often learning happens not through direct instruction, but through personal observation and experience. Online learners tend to learn most effectively when they forget that they are actually learning. Developing an eLearning mindset involves creating immersive eLearning experiences that allow learners to go at their own pace and discover key concepts on their own. Use every tool at your disposal to make your eLearning course interactive, fun, engaging, and exciting, so that you can motivate them to learn.
- Learners are ALWAYS looking for the real world value.
No matter what subject matter, audience, or learning goals are involved in your eLearning course design, you have to keep in mind that each and every learner is looking for the real world value of your content. They want to know which real world benefits they can expect to receive, and how they can put the information to good use when they step outside of the online classroom. Professionals who have adopted an eLearning perspective understand this all too well, and always strive to tie learning materials and activities into real world experiences or challenges.
- Aesthetic appeal is just as important as high quality content.
While the quality of your content is of the utmost importance, aesthetic appeal is also a top priority when developing eLearning deliverables. When you're building an eLearning mindset, it's essential to remember that achieving a careful balance between design and function will not only produce an amazing eLearning course, but it will also offer more benefit to your learners, which is always the ultimate goal.
- Be their guide, not their instructor.
The role of an eLearning professional isn't to instruct, but to encourage the learners to take the lead in their own eLearning process. We cannot force them to learn, nor can we teach them absolutely everything they'll need to know in the future. We can, however, give them the gift of self paced exploration. In other words, we can offer them the tools and skills they need to discover new knowledge on their own and to play an active role in the eLearning experience.
- It's all about emotional connectivity!
When your online learners are emotionally connected to the content they will absorb information more effectively and will be able to commit it to long term memory. As such, the last eLearning mindset tip that I'd like to leave you with is to always be aware of the fact that emotional connectivity is crucial. Make them feel. Get them motivated and inspired to learn, and create eLearning courses that are relevant and relatable.
Before you begin the design and development process, take the time to absorb these eLearning mindset tips. While changing your perspective won't happen overnight, you can take the first step toward achieving a successful eLearning frame of mind today, and start reaping the rewards.
Once you've adopted an eLearning mindset, learn about the skills that every eLearning professional should possess. The article Top 10 eLearning Skills That eLearning Professionals Should Have, highlights the top 10 skills that eLearning professionals may want to fine tune.
Still, need some inspiration? In the article Inspirational eLearning Quotes For eLearning Professionals 23 eLearning professionals offer you inspirational eLearning Quotes to keep you motivated towards an eLearning mindset!