Mr. X is a designer in a well-known custom content development firm, who has a very important task at hand: To create a rapid eLearning course for the employees of a multinational company. Mr. X is very enthusiastic about this project and wants to make sure his employees have access to the very best. In his endeavor to create the ‘best,’ he makes a detailed list of all the principles he must cover in the course. He also takes great pains to cover the other necessary areas such as where those principles must be applied, planned worksheets, concerns of employees, concerns of management, etc. Three weeks later, the course is ready to be rolled out to the employees. 6 months later – the employees have not gained any information from the course, and the course is deemed a failure.This is not an uncommon scenario in the eLearning space. In their eagerness and enthusiasm to create a course, designers and trainers forget to take the psychology of learning, into consideration. I See What You Don’t See Take a look at the pictures below. What do you see?
The first picture can be interpreted as a portrait of a man or of a woman standing under a tree. The second picture can be interpreted as either a young woman with her face turned away from the artist or an old woman with her head drooping onto her chest – One picture but two different perceptions. Take a look at the picture below. What do you think is happening in the picture? What is the Gorilla thinking?
Chances are that if 50 people were asked what the gorilla was thinking, there would be 50 different interpretations. Here is one such interpretation:
In the same way, in any learning experience, learners will bring in their own interpretation, and will give their own meaning to a course because they rely on their own mind. This one important principle governs all types of learning. The principle – A learner brings in his own individual context to the learning experience. Mr. X did not base his ‘best course ever’ on this principle; instead, he tried to force upon his learners what was important to him and what he understood from the material that was presented to the learners. I See What I Want To See While creating an eLearning course, no matter how short a course it is, it is important for the designer to keep the learner’s viewpoint and concerns in mind. Our perceptions of events/situations vary. These perceptions depend on past experiences, education, cultural values and role requirements. Learners also decide what they want to learn and what they want to see. Take a look at the image below:
Did you notice that the articles are repeated twice in the three triangles? For those who are familiar with the expressions ‘Paris in the spring,’ ‘once in a lifetime,’ and ‘bird in the hand,’ the fact that the articles (‘the’,’ a’, and ‘the’) are repeated, is missed. This is true with the busy learner as well: The busy learner decides what he wants to learn and sees only what he wants to see. And therefore, very often misses out on even the most obvious – if the obvious is not on his agenda of what he is looking to see. Mr. X ignored this principle. His ‘best course ever’ had rules that the learners had to follow. They had to read all of the several thousands of words presented to them in the course; the learners had to cover all the topics whether they were of relevance or not; and the course did not make sense if certain topics were skipped. The Short, Short Term Memory The third point that is worthy of note is that: The human mind has a very short, short term memory – 7 seconds to be precise. In other words, we can only hold something in our mind for 7 seconds. Since we learn by a few seconds at a time, any relevant information should be presented in short, bite-sized bits of information. Needless to say – Mr. X’s ‘best course ever’ was long, boring and monotonous; leaving learners lost, confused and disinterested.
- Learning is an individual experience
- Every learner interprets a course in a different manner
- Learner’s see only what they want to see
- Learners can only relate to short, crisp, bite-sized bits of information
Successful eLearning courses must be created while keeping the psychology of learning in mind. Most organizations have subject matter experts (SMEs) who can provide course material that must be incorporated into each course; but this expertise ends here. Organizations don’t possess the necessary expertise required to structure and design a course in a manner that will consider individual learning needs and the best way to present a course that will lead to successful learning and retention. This job is best left to a dependable company that specializes in creating courses that take care of an organization’s individual requirements. Reach out to a custom content solution provider that has the capability of addressing your employees’ individual requirements while meeting your business training objectives; this will ensure your organizational training is a success. 24×7 Learning’s Custom Content Development team follows a detailed approach when creating courses for an organization. The organization first evaluates the needs of the organization. After a detailed needs, audience and task analysis and assessment of the existing training system, the learning objective is determined and the course is designed using sound instructional design strategies. The course is layered as primary (need to know) information and secondary (nice to know) information; learning material is also divided and sequenced into logical chunks of information, bearing in mind the cognitive load of learners. The courses are designed keeping various learning styles in mind thereby catering to individual needs.
Mr. X is a designer in a well-known custom content development firm, who has a very important task at hand: To create a...