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TD Magazine Article

What’s Missing?

Why spend time making an e-learning program look good if it doesn’t include key elements to keep trainees engaged and change behavior?


Sun Jun 08 2014


When you read the learning technologies features in this month's issue, there is one question that is asked in both articles: What's missing?

It is certainly not e-learning. In the cover story, Cammy Bean argues that "the first and foremost rule for better e-learning is better writing"; and Koreen Pagano, in her article, contends that "many training programs leave out immersive learning, which enables trainees to practice what they've learned."


When many training professionals talk about e-learning, mobile learning, and performance support, their conversations always come back to the technology portion of the program: Where can I find software to help me design great e-learning? How can I provide better content in a readable format? Should I design for a phone or a tablet?

Although these questions are important when creating e-learning programs, both articles provide strong arguments around two of the more important elements of e-learning: immersive learning and strong writing.

"Good writing is the single biggest factor that can make the difference between an e-learning program that bores people to death and one that gets them to pay attention," Bean writes. "It's all in the delivery and how you present the information."

In e-learning programs, you are providing content but that is not enough in today's workplace, according to Pagano.

"The content we provide should serve as a roadmap for best practices, but we are often providing employees with the information they need to improve without providing them the opportunity to apply that newly gained knowledge," she writes. "We're telling employees how to swim, then sending them out to sink, hoping they somehow can use the information we've provided to them to make it to shore."


Why spend all of that time making the e-learning program look good if it doesn't include key elements to keep trainees engaged and change behavior? When designing your next e-learning program, don't forget to make it human, write in the active voice, and add immersive learning. It just might be the magic bullet to successful e-learning.

Paula Ketter

Editor, T+D

[email protected]

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June 2014 - TD Magazine

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