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Unique design properties come with eLearning territory

Training today has evolved to suit connected employees.

The design elements that go into eLearning solutions are hugely important. When companies switch their training processes from classic models to the more forward-thinking, tech-driven version, they have a rare opportunity to change everything about their programs and teach employees in new and more effective ways. With important programs such as systems training, compliance sessions and onboarding serving as good candidates for conversion to an eLearning template, the stakes are high. Firms can revamp their key competencies, and shouldn't pass up the chance to do so - huge technological changes don't come around every day, and when they do, it's good to make them count.

"Designers today have access to interactivity tools."

Designing present-day courses
A recent Chief Learning Officer piece by contributor Sameer Bhatia set out the premise that eLearning is fundamentally different from standard training and can evolve past the early model in which online courses were based closely on the physical options they replaced. The author explained that workers today simply have to learn more information than in the past, and that several of the innovations taking place in modern offices have enabled them to absorb this material. Creating digital courses that play into this combination of need and opportunity is simply logical thinking to fit the current era.

Bhatia explained that when designers today craft learning solutions, they have access to interactivity tools that can immerse learners in the experience. He stated that these options allow courses to foster a connection with students, even when they are handled on-demand at learners' discretion. This is important, as the lack of such connection was previous labeled an asynchronous eLearning shortcoming. Bhatia recommended such means as online discussion threads and assessment forms as ways to communicate with pupils and also mentioned that scenarios within lessons can now be more in-depth and driven by users' choices. Complex eLearning offerings can simply be more compelling than their predecessors.

Designing an eLearning tool requires serious consideration of its purpose.
Designing an eLearning tool requires serious consideration of the solution's purpose.

The author also made sure to mention that one element of designing successful eLearning tools today is knowing exactly what students are supposed to be learning. If what the course is meant to impart is clear, it will be possible to determine if the tool did its job. If there is no clear objective, leaders will have a hard time telling if their investment has paid off and designers won't know what to change - or, indeed, if any alterations are needed at all. Once an ideal outcome has been attached to an eLearning lesson, it can become apparent if employees who take the course are getting the message.

Two priorities
Not all eLearning courses are the same, and drawing a line of demarcation between two major types could help companies get the results they crave. Training Zone contributor Andrew Jackson explained that while some processes are there to inform users of information, others are meant to create a real change in how employees and the business at large perform on a day-to-day basis. He explained that the latter kind of course is especially trying to create, but that rather than giving up, designers should implement a framework for the lessons and focus on the students and their needs.

Corporate Learning & Performance
Information Technology
Educational Publishing

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