Page-turners and text death and glazed eyes! Oh my!
Why does so much eLearning look more like shovelware than courseware, when the technology exists to do so much more? A number of factors conspire to make eLearning less effective than it can be:
The Serious eLearning Manifesto
So the deck may be stacked against the conscientious designer, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck with shovelware. And thankfully, some thought leaders in the elearning industry have decided to do something to improve eLearning, launching the Serious eLearning Manifesto on March 13, 2014. With the Manifesto stating that “We believe that learning technology offers the possibility for creating uniquely valuable learning experiences; we also believe, with a sense of sadness and profound frustration, that most eLearning fails to live up to its promise,” these thought leaders identify 8 values and characteristics of “Serious eLearning” and 22 supporting principles.
The Serious eLearning values and characteristics and supporting principles aren’t necessarily new. But what the Serious eLearning Manifesto does is to capture them succinctly in a simple online list. As an industry, we now have a common set of standards that is endorsed by eLearning practitioners and professional organizations. The principles can serve as a simple checklist to keep eLearning on the path toward effectiveness. And we now have a tool to educate clients out of their comfort zones so that they will embrace innovative learning strategies.
As new technologies and the proliferation of mobile devices expand our ability to reach and support learners, staying focused on effective learning design principles becomes even more important. These principles will guide us to find the best ways to use technology to improve human performance. The focus always needs to stay on the learning goal, leveraging available technologies in the most effective way to meet that goal. From that perspective, the manifesto may be better named the Serious Learning Manifesto or the Effective Learning Manifesto.
How Does Your Courseware Measure Up?
Take a hard look at your own courseware in light of the eLearning Manifesto principles. What might you be able to do differently to make learning more effective?