Secrets of Successful E Learning Course Design

For every learner who reports a good experience using e learning, there are many more who can vouch for a truly terrible experience. The typical criticism from these dissatisfied learners is the e learning course they took was boring. Usually, they report, it involved nothing more than clicking though endless screens of uninspiring content. Many dissatisfied learners vow they will do their very best to avoid taking an e learning course ever again.

If this describes your reaction or the reaction of learners in your organisation, then read on. This article introduces a different, boredom-busting approach to e learning course design, guaranteed to keep your learners engaged, motivated and (most important) learning.

The first step to success involves moving away from a highly content-centric approach to your course design. Is content important? Absolutely. Should it be the sole driving force behind your development? Probably not.

If this seems like a puzzling response, consider this. The more you focus on content at the very beginning of your development process, the more likely you are to end up with a highly structured content outline that reads like a book. And two key things to remember about e learning. It’s not about creating an online book and it’s definitely not about creating an online presentation. Save the latter for the lecture hall and the former for your Kindle.

So if it ‘s not about conveying structured information, what is it about?

Let’s think for a moment about your learners and what they might be doing in a typical day of their working lives. Whatever their job role, it’s more than likely that they need knowledge and skills to solve problems, make decisions and carry out a variety of tasks, some repetitive and frequent, others more complex and infrequent.

So why not create your e learning to better reflect your learners’ reality, rather than just pounding them over the head with abstract content? It’s not that they don’t need content – it’s just that they need to discover and learn it in a meaningful, memorable and motivating way.

To achieve that, you need to adopt a broad, four-pronged approach to your development. How do you start? Choose a context for your learning. What will be familiar to your learners? Look at the context (or contexts) that they work in everyday. Perhaps it’s an office, or a warehouse or a customer service desk. Whatever their work environment, there will be any number of familiar contexts just waiting to be used.

Within that context, there will almost certainly be challenges your learners have to meet, so choose a challenge that your learners will have to meet that is relevant to the learning and fits naturally within your chosen context.

To meet the challenge you are setting them, your learners will have to carry out some tasks or activities. It’s likely there may be more than one right way to meet the challenge, so give your learners options. Allow them to experiment and try different approaches (through a variety of tasks) to see which gets the best (and the worst) outcome.

Finally, provide plenty of feedback. Not just the ‘yes, that’s right/no that’s wrong’ type, but detailed feedback on the tasks they have carried out and the decisions they have made. This could be situational or instructional or a combination of the two. In short, the secret to successful e learning course design is escaping the highly content-centric approach to e learning typically used by very many designers.

The Best Way to Learn Spanish at Home – Assess Your Needs

Finding the best way to learn Spanish at home starts with you. You are going to have to assess your needs before jumping in and learning a whole new language. I’m going to give you a few pointers to help you get started.

First, and foremost, ask yourself why you want to learn Spanish. Do you want to learn because you see a need for it at your job? Maybe you just want to learn for the heck of it. Whatever your reason is for learning Spanish, always keep it in mind. If you need to learn a new language for your job, you probably don’t need to know how to say “the boy had a green apple”. On the other hand, if you just want to learn for the heck of it, you might want to know how to say “the boy has a green apple”.

Second, figure out what the most important words are for you to learn. This goes back to number one, asking why. If you can find the words that you use most often in English, learn the Spanish words. This will help keep you going along and learning new words everyday. Again, “green apple” might not be a word you ever use at your job, so why waste the time to learn it if you don’t need it?

Third, find someone who already speaks Spanish. There is no way in the world you are going to learn how to communicate effectively if you never use your new language. That’s just the way it is. Think about it, how are you going to know if you are saying something correctly if no one tells you, for sure, that you are?

Lastly, don’t be afraid to use your new language. Who knows now many times you are going to be out and see someone that needs help with something, you could be the knight in shining armor by helping them get what the need or want. I don’t say this to try and get you to go out and start speaking really bad Spanish and make yourself look like a fool. I say this to help you understand that using a language is just as important as learning it. What is the point of learning a language if you intend to never use it?

People ask me all the time “How did you learn to speak so much Spanish?” and I tell them exactly what I told you.