“Online”, “Remote”, “Virtual”, these are words you have probably heard innumerable times over the last few weeks. With COVID-19 imposing specific health and safety measures, almost all organizations have had their employees working out of home and connecting virtually.

Both individuals and organizations are looking at this unique moment in time as an opportunity to learn and upskill “remotely”. It seems like the Learning & Development industry was preparing itself and the world for this very day! Digital/online learning has now become an extremely common way to carry out a majority of learning interventions. The only difference is that today it is a necessity, more than an option.

This type of learning can take many forms: instructor-led classes, webinars, videos, non instructor-led, self-paced learning, etc. Each type propagates a different learning style and serves different purposes. This article aims to highlight some effective elements of a non-instructor-led online/digital learning module that delivers high impact learning and truly sets it apart from the rest. What really works when it comes to an online learning program? Do all online learning solutions offer an effective and efficient learning experience for the person on the other side of the screen?

Outlined below are some important elements of a successful online module:

Micro-learning 

No one wants to sit in front of their screens for hours at an end. With attention spans reducing, complex and lengthy learning needs to be broken down into easily digestible, bite-sized snippets that are easy to manage.

 

Knowledge checks

Non-graded knowledge checks ensure that the learner has been paying attention to the content that they have consumed. Placed after each bite-sized module or learning snippet, it allows for easier retention and gives the learner a sense of comfort that they have understood the concept. This also acts as great preparation for a final graded assessment later.

 

Interactive and engaging content

Have some fun with the content you create. Stay away from traditional radio buttons and old templates to fit your content into. Throw in some colour, add an animated learning mentor, have a voice over that uses the right tone and inflection (just like you would in a classroom), make the knowledge checks intuitive. There are innumerable ways in which you can make your content interactive and engaging, it may take more time and effort to create, but it’s well worth it.

 

Gamification

Don’t worry, no need for a coding Master degree to create a bonafide game. By incorporating game elements like badges, leader boards and achievement scores in your program, not only do you make it more interesting for the learners but you also get their competitive juices flowing. No one likes to be beaten and if they see someone else’s name up there on the leaderboard, human instinct of putting in more effort and showing more interest automatically kicks in.

 

Socialize the learning process

We humans love being social and collaborating (which is why we are finding social distancing so difficult). A key elements that often gets missed out in an online learning module is social and collaborative learning. Have enough features on your LMS that allow for the learner to feel connected, not only with the course manager but also with other learners. Discussion/chat forums and Q&A boards are critical, but it's important to ensure quick response rates here.

 

Conclusion

Creating and powering online modules is the easy part, however, due thought needs to go into making this attractive, engaging and effective for the learner. When you upload learning content onto digital platforms, you are no longer competing with other organizations powering remote learning solutions - your competition is ALL the content available out there in the digital/online universe, from a YouTube tube video to an Instagram live session. Keep this in mind the next time you are thinking of creating a online module that is original in both form and content.

EHL Advisory Services using its deep-rooted expertise, history, credibility and knowledge is well placed to design and deliver high impact online learning solutions for your People Development needs. Our end-to-end solutions are tailor-made, keeping your pinch points at the center of it all and providing solutions with a measurable impact.

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