Response from an eLearning Creator
Dear Engaged Learner,
Thank-you for your letter and my apologies for the delay in replying. I receive so many from engaged learners like you that it takes me a little while to respond but it always warms the cockles of my heart to read them.
I’m so pleased to read that you were engaged during the course but I honestly can’t take all the credit. You see, my colleagues and I usually receive a request for some training when there’s a real or imagined issue or when the legal or safety teams say it needs to be done. We don’t dig to deeply to find out more because it’s always a knowledge gap and creating courses full of information is always the most effective solution. Plus, it’s what we’re known for! Our motto here in the creation team is “if we build it, they will learn”.
When I develop a course, I work with people who have expertise in the field called subject matter experts (or SME for short and is pronounced smee). But they are so much more than that as they are usually experienced writers, graphic designers, assessors and learning theorists. Even though I have many years of experience, multiple degrees and diplomas in Adult Education and Multimedia and Educational Psychology, write for numerous online publications and actively participate in the eLearning community I still don’t know as much as they do about online learning. They’re so amazing! The SME’s also like to change their minds a lot and they always want to add just a little more content to the course which is quite ok with me because they know best and it always makes the courses better.
The Communications and Marketing area also deserve a pat on the back for supplying us with the 153-page branding guideline document that spells out the exact colours and fonts to be used as well as the layout and crucial logo information (size, position and inclusion throughout). These things make such a significant contribution to learning but more importantly, it makes the courses look like everything else that’s produced by every other department in the organisation. This will ensure we don’t cause panic among people who won’t know where they are or who produced the course and also keeps them engaged.
Even though most people use computers and the internet for work and at home and have done for many years without instruction they may not know how to navigate through our courses. Which is why we include the navigation help in every course (even if they are the same). Also, having people think for themselves in online learning is dangerous so it’s much easier if they are always controlled which is why I don’t let people skip anything. As you mentioned, you didn’t want to miss anything which is great because you need to read all of it to learn.
I’m happy that you liked how I jazzed up the course as the content was dull so it seems like I was able to engage you and at the same time show you how clever I am. There is some well-known and much-loved “science” behind it though. The use of audio to read screen text, images on every screen and lots of clicking, dragging and hovering is because I’m catering for different learning styles, such as seers and listeners and touchies. There’s over 70 learning style models that we use and we manage to have something in there for all of them! This helps people to learn much more effectively and guides many creators here and around the world to produce engaging learning experiences.
I’m so glad that you enjoyed the game show knowledge check! For the next module (and please keep this a secret) you’ll be a knight that goes on a quest. Along the way you’ll come across a series of dragons who’ll ask you questions and if you choose the right answer you’ll slay the dragon! It’s going to be so much fun and so engaging. You’ll be able to print a certificate for this one to add to your collection. I often look fondly on the ones I’ve accumulated over the years.
Well, while I may never meet you, I’m easy to find. Just look for the tower made from the finest ivory and that’s where I’ll be along with the rest of the learning and development team working on our next engaging course so that people will know more stuff.
The Senior Head Specialist Consulting Advisor in Instructional Learning Architecture Design and Creator of Engaging Knowledge Development Solutions for Organisational Capability.
Image source: morgueFile.com