What makes great E-Learning experiences?
It depends on who you ask, but at Verticc we think it boils down to the following…
Strong instructional design techniques are the foundation of all good e-learning experiences. Knowledgeable instructional designers will understand the learning objectives as well as the learners and the learning environment and will create a design that accounts for those variables. Getting all that information usually involves a lot of questions, but the payoff is worth it.
Objectives that are clearly defined are another hallmark of quality e-learning experiences, but the same can be said of classroom learning too. Learners don’t want to wander aimlessly through content, so be sure to preface the course as well as the individual elements with clearly worded instructions that explain how the material is relevant to their understanding.
Engaging materials keep the learner interested and stimulate’s their involvement in the course. Again, this can be said of the classroom experience as well, but with e-learning, there isn’t usually the opportunity for the instructor to watch for signs of success or failure, so getting it right the first time is important.
Typically, engaging materials will involve a motif or theme that makes the experience memorable. It might be a story arc, a narrative or a parable that leads the learner through a journey, or it might be a series of images or recordings that share common elements to illustrate a point. Ideally, engaging materials bring all the elements described here together in a variety of ways.
Interactivity is another important design factor that helps to engage the learner, but it needs to be done thoughtfully or it will be perceived as cumbersome rather than enjoyable. Good interactivity is designed from the outset with an understanding of the learning objectives, the kinds of learners involved and their physical limitations, as well as the kinds of devices being used to access the learning materials. For instance, building a super detailed, multi-light source high-polygon count interactive simulation is great if all your learners are on fast computers, but if even a few are on low-end machines or last generation mobile devices, there could be problems.
Gamification is a trend that has taken off in the last few years, and with good reason. Humans are wired to enjoy games, so blending game elements with teaching and learning often just makes sense. makes learning, in a word, fun! Gamification is the application of game-based concepts to the world of teaching and learning. Gamification can be as simple as switching from letter grades to “points”, or the awarding of a badge rather than a percentage for successfully achieving a learning outcome. Gamification can also include simple and complex games that revolve around teaching and learning.
There has been some great research recently on the components of a good gamified experience, and it points to flexible gameplay, fun and realism, short-term, useful rewards, continuous challenges, analytics, and an engaging storyline.
The experts at Verticc Media Design and Development Inc. have created literally thousands of gamified learning experiences, from simple word-search games, vocabulary building flashcard games, and menu/food preparation memorization games to interactive worlds that teach complex procedures, enhance deep technical insight and validate safety knowledge.
Contact us to discuss how Verticc Media Design and Development Inc.
can help you integrate these essential features into your e-learning.