A great challenge faced by a multitude of organizations in our digital age is building eLearning courses for the modern learner.
3 Essential Tips for Building eLearning for Modern Learners
You may wonder why it is so hard to build eLearning for modern learners. It comes down to the priorities, training needs and learning methods of modern learners being drastically different from what instructional designers have been using in the past. Further, these priorities, training needs and learning methods are rapidly changing. Organizations are racing to keep up with the pace of this change, leveraging the mix of equally dynamic digital technologies to provide their employees with the learning they need to stay up-to-date and relevant.
The modern learner is a part of the new generation of workers that will inherit the future workplace. We pose the question; how do you train and develop individuals in a world where there is a never-stopping demand for new skills?
We discuss 3 top tips for building eLearning for modern learners that will help you create content that aligns with the needs and preferences of the modern learner.
1. Keep the Learner at the Center
The problem is that instructional designers are still using age-old methods and strategies that are becoming inapplicable to the learner of today. A proper training needs analysis is required, and time should be invested into understanding the learning needs of each employee before the content is created and the course designed. The learners also need to be explained within the course itself, as well as in person how exactly is the course going to help them perform better and faster on the job. Focus the content on changing behaviors to what is desired, improving work performance, while also augmenting any inherent strengths or talents an employee might already have. Unless learning is centralized, personalized, self-paced, entertaining, and social, it’s not going to work for modern learners.
2. Make It Simple
The modern learner lives in an era of information overload. They’re constantly bombarded with information from all sides all the time, which can make retention of important information difficult. To add to that, modern learners have a relatively short attention span, which keeps them from focusing on something for more than 4 minutes, on average. The solution lies in keeping things crisp and short. Use microlearning or bite-sized learning to declutter your course, making it easier to digest and keep its duration limited. Ideally, microlearning courses should be somewhere from 5 to 10 minutes, no more and no less. When your course is focused and concise, both content and duration-wise, it can be retained easily over other information.
3. Optimize Usability and Accessibility
Modern learners use their smartphones for almost everything. From music, finding their way, checking the news, taking pictures, talking to friends, watching movies and shows, banking, exercising, and making calculations. The modern learner basically lives in their smartphone and, most probably, couldn’t live without it. This makes designing courses that can be run on smartphones an obvious solution. Learners can access mLearning courses wherever and whenever they need! This eliminates the constraints of time and place, as well as device, as mLearning courses are responsive meaning they are able to be run on any device. Granting accessibility and usability to learners will provide a significant boost in employee success.
Today’s modern learners are tomorrow’s leaders, and they are central to the success of our organizations. They may require a little more investment of resources, however, the benefits outweigh the negatives, as eLearning becomes more and more crucial for personal and professional growth. We must evolve with technology, lest we be left in the dust while others zoom past us.
If you would like to learn more about how to build the most effective employee training strategy!
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