In the last decade, learning was just considered an event. People went to college to get a degree, landed a job for life, and then rode off into the sunset toward retirement. But times (and people) have changed. Learning is no longer seen as a one-stop shop for a job. In fact, lifelong learning is more important now than ever before, and truer for Millennials and Gen Z employees.
As someone who must cater to the needs of these newer generations, it is up to you (as a decision-maker!) to create eLearning courses that appeal to their unique behaviors and learning preferences. We must adapt our strategy and start designing learning experiences that will hook learners and keep them glued to the screen – wondering what else we have in store for them.
But just like learning is evolving, so are the authoring tools we use to create engaging learning experiences. Take, for instance, Articulate Rise 360 – an easy-to-use, fully responsive authoring tool that produces polished and professional eLearning courses in no time. Great eLearning is not so much about the tool you use, but more so about the quality of content within the course itself. Great learning is about creating a learning experience.
Let’s look at a few ways we can make our Rise courses more than just a scrolling webpage.
1. Create it as interactive and social.
Text blocks are an obvious choice and the go-to block for most people. However, what ends up happening is that the course looks like a page right out of a research article. Your learner ends up scrolling and scrolling until they become bored, discouraged, and frantically search for the button that allows them to hurry up and move on.
Today’s learners are very self-directed and comfortable with actively getting content – here are a few tips:
- Disperse interactive elements throughout your course that encourage learners to think, act, and steer the learning themselves.
- Utilize scenarios with relatable mentors, quizzes, games, and social aspects that facilitate exchange with peers.
Here is an example of how to include more interactive elements in your course versus using a standard text block.
2. Make it “relevant” to the learner.
Today’s learners are not only short of time but also get easily distracted. Between social media, our phones buzzing all day long, emails, reading this blog article, whatever is beaming on your television screen, or begging for your attention from the room next door – there is no shortage of attractions fighting for our attention.
You must make your point right away. Beat around the bush and add in so much irrelevant content and your learner will exit from the course (and not read any of it) immediately.
Here are three ways to make your content “relevant” to the learner:
- Offer tools, performance support, and resource.
- Think in bite-sized chunks of content (i.e. two, five, and ten minutes at most).
- Focus on one task at a time — infographics are a great way to make content easier to consume.
3. Promote career development.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know how to get there? This applies to your Rise 360 courses, too. Learners want to feel like they’re leveling up and not just remaining stuck, doing random things that are not adding up.
If learners feel like the learning opportunities are slim – they’ll move on to a new job in a new company – and we all know the cost of replacing an employee. Here are a few ways to build elements that give employees an increased sense of purpose in their present job:
- Ensure your course packs in enough relevant content that will allow employees to build their skills.
- Create courses that make learners exercise their creative thinking – help your learners grow!
- Build in more levels and grades for rewards and recognition.
- Communicate with the learners how these courses are a part of their career path.
For one of our clients at ttcinnovations, we designed and developed a gamified learning experience in less than 60 days. This course was created in Storyline, however, a modified version of something similar can easily be created in Rise 360 by including video clips, knowledge checks, and badging — see below!
4. Work hard, play harder.
Most of our learners today express their thoughts in one-liner status updates and tweets in the language of an upside-down smiley face or heart. So, when you’re adding content to your course, no matter what the topic is – always make the learning experience fun by adding in continuous informal learning activities (like videos, mobile capabilities, coaching, etc.)
Millennials (and most certainly Gen Z) workers were born into video games and so gamifying content can help you boost excitement. People like when their efforts are rewarded and here are some ways you can incorporate games into your courses.
Hover over the tiles below for a few tips on how to included gamification and rewards into your Rise 360 course:
5. Format it as flexible, convenient, and mobile.
Learners love it when things go their way. They want to control the pace of their learning and decide when and where they learn. So don’t create courses that restrict them to the desk, or worse, reschedule their already-overflowing calendar. Rather, create courses they can take on the go!
But just because you can create lessons that go on forever doesn’t mean you should – and it certainly not a best practice. Use a micro-learning approach.
Design in bite-sized pieces that someone can take while waiting at the doctor’s office or during lunch (therefore increasing productivity and helping them apply learning concepts). For example, if you find that your lessons are 20 blocks deep, consider trimming them down or re-organizing the content into two or three shorter lessons. Remember, we want learners to interact with the content and avoid scrolling on and on!
Rise 360 is an amazing tool that allows you to create polished, responsive courses. However, it is important to remember that while we can do many things to make it look good, the quality of the content is most important. Our workplaces are changing rapidly and as decision-makers, we need to continually work to evolve and adapt our strategies to ensure we are meeting the needs and wants of our learners.
Need Extra Hands You Don’t Have to Hold® (like Trish!) to create an engaging course in Rise 360? Tap in to our talent today!