Have you taken a step back recently and compared what you are doing in your e-learning courses with best practice? I bet you’re thinking, “What’s the point? I’ve been doing this for years! What can I possibly learn from best practice? I’m doing everything I should be doing and have learned the basics a long time ago.” Am I right? I think most of us who are experienced in e-learning share these same sentiments. However, if you look at most of the e-learning courses developed today, they do not necessarily model best practice. I attended a workshop recently on Instructional Design Models that got me thinking about best practice in e-learning. There are many instructional design models to follow, but one of the models covered in the workshop that resonated with me was the Nine Events of Learning according to Gagne. The 9 events are: For this blog, let’s look at the first event, gaining attention. According to Gagne, this involves getting the learner to realize the importance of the course. It makes the learner think about, “what will happen if I don’t pay attention to what’s going on in this course?” It’s very similar to the “hook” at the beginning of a story that draws the reader into what’s about to happen. Unfortunately, most e-learning courses begin with the course objectives and go right into the content. Do your courses begin in this way? If so, there is room for improvement. So, let’s take a look at how you can do this.
QUICK ACTION: Think about a major consequence if the learner doesn’t do something correctly. This is the big picture outcome if the learner doesn’t perform up to the expectations or the overall goals throughout the course. You could also create a scenario of a situation that sets the tone for the main goals of the course. Let’s look at some examples.
1. A supervisory course on how to hire the right employee. Possible consequence: A supervisor having to do the jobs of all of the employees, because she can’t hire the right people for the job.
2. A compliance course for someone new to compliance that needs to have some guidance on where to begin in his new role. Possible question: What do you need to do in your new compliance role?
QUICK ACTION: After you determine a major consequence if the learner does not meet the goals for the course or create a scenario that sets the tone for the goals in the course, then figure out how to illustrate and personalize the message. It could be a simple image with a sentence or two describing the event or scenario. Let’s take a look at the examples from above to illustrate how this may be done.
2. These are very simple ways you can gain your learners’ attention. Think about how you have done this and share with TLS Learning your examples. Look for the next blog on what the second event in Gagne’s model, informing the learner of the learning objectives, is all about and how you can implement it in your courses.