‘Hey, just in case I decide to buy one, I might take an e-learning course about the pro-level functions of the latest (insert gadget name here).’
How often do you find yourself being subjected to such flashes of inspiration? If your answer is ‘quite often’, all power to you. You clearly have greater powers of comprehension and memory recall than us non-geniuses.
So where does that leave the rest of us? Would it be fair to say that, before we start rummaging around for ‘power user’ tips and tricks, we’re more likely to wait until we have that gadget in our hands? Well, unless we’re complete masochists, yes.
The content conundrum
In my role as an instructional designer I spend a fair amount of time poring over content supplied by clients for inclusion in their e-learning course. And, more often than not, I find myself rolling out that well-worn chestnut: ‘less is more’.
Don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand the challenge of managing that delicate balance between too much and not enough information. It all seems important, right? Yes, and it is. But is it important to know it all right now? Hmmm.
So you go through the mental checklist and start eliminating the ‘not right now’ stuff. But now what are you going to do with it all? This is where just-in-time training comes in.
The king is dead, long live the king
My colleague Michael Burville recently wrote that, when it comes to learning, content is no longer king. The availability of easily-searchable online content has meant that people can learn pretty much anything, as and when they need to. Need an impressive new recipe? There’s a blog for that – in fact for its 2015 blog awards, foodie website saveur.com received over 50,000 nominations. How about changing a car tyre? Right now you could choose from any one of over 43,000 videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to do it.
You can take a similar approach with your ‘not right now’ content. Here are a few tips:
A searchable, well-designed and well-maintained intranet site is a sound investment for any organisation. A good intranet site gives your employees the information they need at the time of need – think contact lists, procedure documentation, employee benefits and payroll information.
LMS = Learn More Stuff
Your learning management system (LMS) is a powerful tool; why not use it? Learning Seat’s LearnConnect LMS, for example, gives users the ability to confirm that employees have read a policy by adding it as a ‘trackable document’.
You can also quickly and easily build assessments that deliver rich reporting data on areas for potential skill development over and above the standard pass/fail complete/incomplete data generated by an in-course quiz.
That’s M for mobile. According to a 2014 survey* 90% of Australians aged 18 to 75 own a smartphone, and that percentage is rapidly increasing.
One way organisations can take advantage of this is by using QR codes to allow learners to ‘find out more’ about, well, pretty much anything that you can add a QR code to. How about the photocopier? Add a QR code to show users how to perform common tasks. Who’s who in the hood? Add a QR code to employees’ workstations to help others find out what they do and why.
Talk to the experts
At Learning Seat, we can help you sort through your content and identify how your e-learning course can deliver the greatest impact by keeping the spotlight focused on what’s essential. If you can do this successfully, you’ve got the ingredients for engaging e-learning that delivers on its objectives, both for your learners and your business.
*2014 AIMA mobile phone lifestyle index