Last year taught us all quite a few lessons (including how to make sourdough starter). It challenged us in so many ways and pushed us in directions we may never have anticipated heading. We learned so much about innovation, pivoting our strategies, and forward-thinking goal setting. January 2021 is about channeling those lessons in eLearning development and reaching your learners in refreshing new ways to encourage everyone in your organization to adapt and grow. So, dust the flour off your hands and hang up your apron – it’s time to amp up your eLearning content! Get your learners craving new training content more than 2020’s best banana bread recipe (we know you tried them all).
If you haven’t thought to incorporate gamification into your eLearning courses yet, 2021 is the year for you! In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, gamification is the use of common elements seen in game playing, like point scoring, earning badges, and moving up various levels on leaderboards. Sounds pretty fun, right? It’s like a massive eLearning stadium of sorts.
While you might not be playing around when it comes to the actual content in your training, there’s certainly room to amp up your training with gamification to engage learners in a whole new way. The difference between unengaging, traditional training methods and new gamified eLearning experiences is massive! Games and gamification in eLearning make learning exciting and fun for participants, which can increase knowledge retention, learner engagement and motivation, and problem-solving. Give gamification a try this year!
You may already pay attention to the colour scheme in your courses, but choosing colours goes beyond fitting into the container of your brand guidelines, especially if your company has some wiggle room to play with new colours for effective training purposes.
Being specific with the colours you use in your courses will strike your learners in distinct ways. There’s a reason why advertisers and marketers spend significant time on colour — it has the power to elicit emotions and feelings on a subconscious level that, for example, might increase someone’s appetite or even make someone feel excited and happy. So, choosing the right colours may work to make learners’ stomachs grumble and, more importantly, build up an appetite to really engage with the content and further help with recall after the course has been completed.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you try to cram every single shade of the rainbow into the design, but there is absolutely a way to strike a balance, and we’re here to help your vision come to life.
If there isn’t much wiggle room with colour, there are still plenty of visual ways to spice up the design of your course and keep things interesting for learners. One of those means is through using graphic illustrations.
Graphics are great for all learners, as they help elicit an emotional association between what’s being said through text and what that text may look like. They’re particularly helpful for visual learners, or people who learn and remember best through, well, visuals. As attention spans thin over time, these types of visual aids in eLearning courses help learners associate a level of fun that keeps them motivated and interested while moving through a course. After all, learning should be fun, right?
You don’t need to go overboard with the graphics— replacing a simple bullet point with a clean, crisp, and minimal illustration that pairs with the theme of the points works just fine.
Animation really helps bring the course’s content to life. It can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes too, such as videos, fun characters or cartoons, infographics, interactive PDFs, and even GIFs. Incorporating a short video or some sort of moving image works to further illustrate the narrative for more complex concepts and helps break up written content. Not to mention, animations provide movement and life to your content. Animations add an interesting layer of stimuli that keeps learners engaged and interested on the task at hand. There’s a reason why social media platforms like Instagram now favour videos on the site — people are more likely to notice something moving and stop, watch, and engage with that content.
Again, like using colour, you don’t want to go overboard with the animations and distract your learner from important content. The key is to keep animations interesting enough to keep learners’ eyeballs on the content, but minimal enough as to not take their attention away from key ideas in training.
We don’t mean that your training needs to necessarily sound like a wild gripping adventure found in The Hobbit, although that wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing, would it? Really, when we suggest teaching through tales, we essentially mean to take your learners on their own adventure within the course’s content. The goal is to have them engage with the text in a way that transports them from an environment that simply lays out facts and features into a world that gives them more active agency as opposed to passively digesting words. Storytelling helps increase learner engagement and knowledge retention. After all, no one forgets a good story!
Here at HALIGHT, our Learning & Development teams, Strategic Solutions teams, and the Creative team bring your vision to life and all have your back to assist you in leveraging these simple, yet effective features that are sure to turn your eLearning courses up a few notches in 2021 and beyond!
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