Some freebie ideas you could use to improve engagement in your learning (wahoo!).
One of the things I've been thinking about lately is, where is the elearning I would actually want to take?
We've just finished working on some courses about financial legislation. These courses, like many compliance courses, are content-driven. Their shape is determined by what information needs to be in them, rather than by the people who are going to be using them. And I think that this is a common problem in our industry. Learning should be about the learner and their experience; should be learner-driven. Why are we all letting the content drive us?
So we decided to gather the Transition team and think big. We split into 2 groups and reconvened after an hour. There were some crazy ideas, and tangents involving purple dinosaurs, but we did get somewhere.
I won't share all our thoughts with you (got to keep some of our secrets), but I do want to tell you about some simple ideas we had to make our learning more learner-driven. These are things you could integrate into your course right now with minimal effort.
Twitter. Ask your students to follow a Twitter account that tweets handy nuggets of information maybe a few times a day. That could be FAQs, key learning points, 'did you know' type facts. Students end up with a pool of useful information that is constantly drip fed to them, both during and after taking the course. They can interact with it, too; tweet their questions or experiences to the account.
Of course, with this idea comes the issue of security; if something's on Twitter, it's out there for the world to see. So you'll need to think through whether this is something that would work for you.
But this kind of thing would be so easy to implement, and so helpful to have. If we're constantly being reminded about something, we'll remember it much better (presumably I don't need to quote any research to back up this claim!).
Resources. When you need a piece of information fast, you can't go trawling back through a 40-page elearning course to find it. It would be so much easier to glance at the flowchart tacked to your wall and see exactly what you need. Include things like this; infographics, PDFs, etc.; that can be printed out and referenced on the job. Give the course a life beyond the 'classroom'.
Rewards. 'Gamification' is more than just an industry buzzword; it's actually a really good idea. Award so many points for reading a page, for getting an answer right, for watching a video; whatever makes sense for your current content. You could build in a leaderboard, or a categorisation of final score; e.g. if you achieve 1-10 points you get the title of Sucky Learner, 10-20 is Merely Average, but 20-30 points means you are a Super Awesome Ninja Learner. (Perhaps don't actually use those categories.) Though a little more work than the other two, this could still be built around / within your current system.
A course that's easily applicable to my job, that keeps feeding me helpful tips even once it's done, that's gamified to give me a sense of progress and achievement? That's the kind of course I would actually want to take!