Bring on the eLearning Fireworks!

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

I adore eLearning fireworks. I’m the first adopter of any cool techno whiz bang offered in a development application like Captivate, or Storyline. I have a wide streak of kid in me who’s delighted by bright colors and moving pictures. Cognitive overload, schmognitive overload!

The trouble is that I tend to think about using this cool new thing to teach content rather than allowing the content to tell me how it should be taught.

This tendency was thrown into glaring relief when this week I created an assessment that would have looked cool and been fun to do but in no way involved the higher reason of the learner. In other words, a 4th grader could have done my assessment, with some assistance from a video or article.

Back to the drawing board I went. Because of the insights of our breakout group, I realized that I had also neglected the learner in favor of a cool drag-and-drop. The learner had no reason to do the exercise—it didn’t do anything except maybe test her memory.

“The best type of role-playing in eLearning are the games that create a sense of drama and conflict. Learners may feel stuck, but they’re still motivated to solve the dilemma.”

I redesigned my project course. I put the learner front and center as the protagonist of the “story”. I gave them a real reason to succeed (I hope).

I can still have my cool graphics and animations (assuming I can execute what I see in my head—always a question) but give control of what is learned to the most important person—the learner.

I wonder though if there are times when form dictates content? What do you think?

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