In the last 2 posts we discussed about how to get over with the two common psychological challenges, that an instructional designer faces –
Today we are going to discuss one more common misconception about e-learning.
Myth 3: Just put the content with some relevant pictures, and my job is done.
In reality, you cannot be farther away from the truth.
Although illustrations are better than plain text, E-learning is NOT just “Content + Pictures”. E-learning is a learning environment wrapped around an objective. Although that environment is virtual, its objective is very REAL. That objective is to train the learner so that s/he can apply the learning in real-life scenarios, and perform better at the given job.
Why use real life scenarios?
We use real life scenarios as experience has more retention, than merely memorized facts. When a learner is presented with a content that is put up with a picture (even if it is most relevant), the brain perceives the information as a passive knowledge that it hasn’t tried out yet. It is yet to become an experience, and hence has lower retention. Suddenly the content shifts from ‘Application Level’ [user can apply the knowledge in real life] to ‘Understanding Level’ [user needs to understand the content].
How to make the e-learning application oriented?
1. Keep the facts as minimum as possible. Try to communicate the steps as ‘What if’
This gives the learner a freedom to explore, one of our basic elements of learning. The example showcased on Articulate Community is an excellent example, on how effectively it can be done.
2. Make the content engaging. If you engage the user in a way that the learner feels her/ himself part of the content, your job is done. Saurabh has shared some valuable thoughts on learner engagement here. You can find an apt example on articulate community –
3. Once a topic is over, present the user with a similar situation but with a little twist.
Create an interactive scenario, and let the user deduct the solution by own – by combining 2 or more knowledge threads from the content. This will jog the learners mind as he will be unable to solve it by merely memorized concepts.
So, you still think that pictorial learning is the best e-learning?