"These eLearning Courses Are So Dang Boring”

eLearning Courses Should Be More Immersive and Interactive Than Ever Before

Instructional design teams need to leverage advances in learning technology to transport learners on a sensory voyage and make elearning courses more immersive and interactive than ever before.

Comics Vs Textbooks

In the battle of Comics Vs Textbooks, the comics always won. As a child, I always found my collection of comics far more interesting than my school text books.

Thanks to DC and Marvel in no small measure, I could spend hours lost in fascinating stories of legendary superheroes in epic battles. These stories were always far more interesting than math text books filled with quadratic equations which refused to be solved!

Ignoring the basics tenets of learning

It was only much later, when I was exposed to the science of learning, that I began to understand how the human brain is better tuned to understand concepts that are explained pictorially and made interesting by weaving stories around them.

Yet, through much of my career spanning 18 years with large corporates, I have been exposed to eLearning courses that ignore these very basic tenets of learning. As we grow older and busier we also suffer from an information overload which causes the attention spans of adult learners to diminish - drastically reducing their ability to process any information that is not of immediate interest or essence. Studies have shown that the average adult attention span is 8 secs, lower than that of a goldfish!

Not very flattering for humans and definitely not a statistic that corporate training departments would like to hear. The bulk of eLearning courses being churned out by organizations today contain content that is staid, serious and plain boring. Amen.

Training departments have the unenviable task of regimenting learning and churning out volumes of prescriptive eLearning courses for a generation of millennial learners who are already being bombarded by external stimuli like social media. But as Uncle Ben (Spiderman’s late uncle) aptly said “With great power comes great responsibility” Corporate training and development teams will need to respond to this challenge by using creativity in transforming eLearning courses and content.

Rediscovering the basics

No wonder then that we are rediscovering the basic fundamental principles of active learning. Scenario based learning, 3D simulations, game-based learning and video-based learning are attempting to put the joy back in learning by creating an immersive learning experience that is truly enjoyable. Advances in learning technology have empowered instructional designers to think out of the box and move beyond creating courses to creating new learning experiences.

Further advances in learning technology promise to transport learners on a sensory voyage and make learning more interesting than ever before. It’s only when training managers script this transformation of content that we will begin to see legions of learners take to imbibing learning experiences that start to define them.

After all as Batman said, “Its not who I am underneath. But what I do that defines me.”

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