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3 Things I’ve Learned About Today’s E-Learner


Wed Aug 03 2016

3 Things I’ve Learned About Today’s E-Learner

Let me start off by saying I am no spring chicken. In fact, I didn’t know what a Millennial was until last month and still mix up asynchronous with synchronous learning (seriously, can we use smaller words for that?). I think I’m a Gen Y-er, but the truth is technology has created an even bigger knowledge gap between me and these later generations. Sometimes I think I’m way behind the curve. 

I especially realized the latter when our company decided to move from 100 percent classroom-based instruction into a blended learning program that incorporated e-learning. E-learning? As a “live trainer,” this was something I needed to learn. Before you know it, we had e-learning authoring software and I was reading anything I could to figure it all out. 


I signed up for the ATD E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate program because, despite my research, I needed to know more. Here are the top three things I took away from the course.

Motivation Is Number 1

It’s hard enough to deliver a two-hour presentation filled with PowerPoint slides and text; imagine being in the learner’s seat! If you were given the two-hour slide deck to learn on your own, what are the chances of you reading through every single slide? In an e-learning course, interactivity and challenging, real-life scenarios encourage people to stay focused and think about how they would use the knowledge at work. And good news: It doesn’t have to be two hours long!

Let the Learner Steer the Ship

This is where I identified with the e-learner and just didn’t realize it. I want my information now and I don’t want to be forced to read through material I already know. Allow learners to access the information that they need the most. Plus, this will inevitably help you with tip number 1.

It Needs to Feel Good

We remember the experiences that made us feel something. E-learning shouldn’t feel like a pain in the butt to navigate, and it shouldn't feel too easy or too difficult to complete. Design the course so it is easy to follow. Establish a dilemma or risk associated with the audience’s actual job. And then reward learners when they do the right thing. If it’s a serious topic, tug at their heart strings. If it’s a boring topic, make them laugh. Essentially, the better the course feels, the more likely learners will recall it when they are faced with a similar situation at work.

The two-day E-Learning Instructional Design course was delivered very well and I left feeling way more confident than I did when I first walked into the classroom. Consider registering if you’re a newbie like I was or need to update your current programs. 


Find an upcoming date and learn more about ATD’s E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate program.

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