Whether you are a newbie or well-established online teacher, it always pays to listen to experts. They have been there, done that. Made many mistakes, learnt from them, and thankfully left some invaluable tips for all of us. Tweaking Oscar Wilde’s quote famous quote on advice, I believe: Not listening to good advice can be fatal too.
So, when I stumbled upon a digital book “701 eLearning Tips” produced by The Masie Centre, I couldn’t stop myself from sharing this wonderful resource with all teachers out there.
Knowing that many would not have the time to read all 701 tips, I picked out 13 tips that summed it up really well. So, take a minute, assess yourself on these qualities and reinvent your learning style to make it K.I.S.S.worthy and lots more!
Here’s to successful eLearning:
1: Put “e” in e-Learning
The “e” in e-Learning stands for education — we too often forget that — it is not about bandwidth, servers, and cables. It is about education – first and foremost.
Ken Gaines, East-West University
2: Become an e-Learner Yourself
Experience e-Learning first hand to understand the student’s point of view in an e-Learning situation. What are the frustrations? What becomes easy? What do I, as the student, need to do differently? Do I have enough access to my instructor? Do I have access to the other learners? Do I feel connected to the class? Shut out and lonely? By putting oneself in this situation, trainers can begin to understand what they need to build into their design to assist the learners, who are also making the transition to e-Learning.
Lela Rotondo, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
3: Know Thy Audience
Know your audience. What are they interested in? Design your online course around their interests so that the course will be more appealing to them. For example, if your audience are travel agents and they are interested in taking cruises, incorporate a cruise theme to the e-Learning.
Nancy Thompson, Bank One
4: Heart Wants What It Wants
It’s not enough to engage learners’ minds. You must engage their hearts as well.
Carter Andrews, Little Planet Learning
Keep it simple! And, no, you’re not stupid.
6: Smaller, the Better
If it is longer than 15 minutes, cut it up into 15 minute chunks.
Jack Odom, Cadence
7: Rule of One
One screen, one thought.
Emiliano De Laurentiis, Knowledge Enviroments, Inc.
8: Don’t Copy-Paste!
Success: Developing rich media content.
Failure: Simply copying and pasting contents from the traditional media to the digital media.
Gian Zelada, Mamute Media
9: Engagement is the Key
The most profound words will remain unread unless you can keep the learner engaged. You can’t see their eyes to know if they got it so … say it, show it, write it, demo it and link it to an activity.
James P. Bates, Boeing
10: Avoid Corporate-ese
Avoid corporate-ese … speak the language of your audience and use the least amount of words possible to make the point. Write in an active voice and explain any jargon as it comes up. Consider using a glossary if possible so if the learner already knows the definition, they don’t have to waste time reading it again. Like authors, it’s our job to “suspend the reader/learner’s disbelief” and make them feel like they’re in a classroom. Distractions such as poor grammar, choppy page transitions, misspelled words, etc. break a learner’s concentration.
Nancy Heiser, Kimberly-Clark
11: Interactivity, Interactivity, Interactivity
The three most important things about effective e-Learning are interactivity, interactivity, and interactivity.
Ed Timmons, AT&T
12: Keep Them Active
Always think of the learner having thousands of things to do that are more enjoyable and definitely more urgent than your training program. As soon as your learning offering puts them in a passive reading/listening/watching mode, you’ll lose them. So most of your storyboarding efforts will have to deal with designing learning environments that make people do something (reasonable). It is less a question of a fashionable multi-media show, than it is to think of real interactivity and authentic tasks.
Philipp Starkloff, b-educated! GmbH
13: This Sums It Up!
On the road to e-Learning, make sure that Learning is in the driving seat, and Technology is in the passenger seat with the map. Learning decides the destination, Technology helps you get there.
Ian Fyfe, Learndirect Scotland
If you liked these tips, do share it with your colleagues and peers in the eLearning industry.