eLearning Doesn’t Have To Be A Drag!

eLearning Doesn’t Have To Be A Drag!
Summary: We at Growth Engineering think that even the process of learning—the act of taking in new information, practising it, applying it, and retaining it—can be enjoyable. People can truly love eLearning.

Do You Love eLearning? The Problem With Most Online Courses

Winston Churchill once said, “Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” What is it about traditional teaching that makes people dislike learning new skills and developing their knowledge?

It’s an interesting phenomenon: knowledge is power, but getting that knowledge can sometimes seem like such a hard slog that you’d prefer to stay in the dark.

eBook Release: Fall In Love With eLearning: How To Make Your Learners Love Their Online Learning
eBook Release
Fall In Love With eLearning: How To Make Your Learners Love Their Online Learning
Discover how to help your learners be more productive, share knowledge, learn more, and become more successful, saving the company money!

So what’s wrong with most eLearning?

Well, first and foremost, even the word learning can have negative, rather limited connotations. Go on; what are the first words you think of when you read the word, ‘learning’? I’m betting they’re along the lines of: school, classroom, boring, teachers, homework. Right?

Our own experiences of learning as youngsters have tainted our perception of the word. We remember being herded around school like cattle, stuffed into uncomfortable chairs, teased by our bored classmates, and either overlooked or picked on by boring grown-up drones. We remember being only ever as good as our latest exam result and coming home from a day of lectures to face an evening of homework. Of course we won’t love learning as adults if our only experiences of it come from school.

But there is another issue at play here. Most adults’ only experience of learning and education occurred in a school environment. What happens when these people come to design eLearning courses themselves? You’ve guessed it: they copy the structure and processes of school, thinking it is the only way people can be taught. Just like in school, adult learning courses are often equivalent to an information dump and then a quiz to check they’ve understood the information shoved at them.

You might be thinking, ‘So what? People aren’t enjoying their learning – no biggie. They just have to do it and get it over with.’


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: students can and should love their learning. eLearning doesn’t have to be boring! In fact, every effort should be made to ensure the learning process is not dull. Why? Well, research has shown that people who enjoy their learning:

  • Are more engaged with the subject matter.
  • Are more eager to carry on learning.
  • Retain more information.
  • Encourage others to get learning.
  • Get better at their jobs.
  • Save the company money.

Clearly, investing the extra resource to make sure learners enjoy their learning will pay off dividends. It’s even been found that businesses that offer their staff training opportunities have better employee retention. So not only are your employees better skilled; they’re more loyal, too. Nice!

Before you can implement a successful, butt-kicking eLearning programme, you first need to figure out what not to do.

Why Does Most eLearning Fail? – “I Want A Divorce!”

Nowadays, organisations are recognising the benefits of providing training courses and learning online. In Europe, around 75% of companies are training their staff using online courses. eLearning saves money (it can reduce training costs by 70%), provides a better ROI, has fantastic rates of success and, if done correctly, really engages learners and encourages behaviour change. And it can be done in an employee’s spare time, if they choose to do so, meaning the impact on work is far less than traditional classroom-based learning, which involves days off work and lost earnings.

But not all eLearning is created equal. Most eLearning today is:

  • Stuck in the ‘throw information at them and then test them’ belief system
  • Boring
  • Unexciting
  • Unstimulating
  • Uninvolving
  • Standardised
  • Samey
  • Lacking in ingenuity
  • Unengaging Repetitive

If someone says they hate school (or university, or work training courses, or eLearning), they don’t mean they hate learning. On the contrary; the human brain loves new things and loves all sorts of sensory stimulation. We are born to learn, but learning can only occur when guided by interest, novelty, emotion, and meaning.

What people really hate is the learning environment. The vast majority of classroom and online learning is suitable for zombies, not real people! Our brains are 68% more active when we’re doing something enjoyable, and we’re able to absorb 84% more information. Real learners need stimulation, excitement, intrigue and personalisation in order to really enjoy gaining new knowledge and to fall back in love with eLearning.

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