There is nothing worse or nothing more scary then seeing a web based training course that identifies itself as such, with lots of text and a few pictures. The end user (the learner) goes through the screens as though they are nothing more than a robot and every so often click on a word or so and a pop-up appears (if they are lucky) with something else in the box. OR
The end user sees lots of text on the screen and photographs or images or clip art. The images sit there. There is no interaction, unless you call clicking the back and forward button, interaction. Oh, I forgot, there may be some additional navigation buttons they can click as well, for more “interaction capability”.
I ask you now a simple question…if you were taking this course, how engaged would you be? How involved would you be? Would you want to go and take the course again and again? Let me rephrase that, if you were not required to take the course, would you want to go back again and again?
Of course not! Yet, that is what many people see as WBT in today’s business world. Asynchronous content that is pure “Static” – i.e. non-engaging, non-interactive, a simple winging of text, graphics/images. Maybe some script to do pop-ups as if that will stimulate someone’s brain into learning.
The lowest form of static learning – just text and images/photos. The text runs down the entire web page OR just runs as though the developer is trying to shove it on the page.
They add the graphic or image/photo to show you it is an “online course”. Actually, it is called something – in my mind – basically an e-book or manual thrown online with images. There is no engagement in Static Learning and there will never be any engagement – unless the goal is for the learner to go as fast as they can through the course to get out of there. Then it achieves it success.
Let me put it to you this way. If you had to learn about MS Word, how would you prefer to learn it?
a) Seeing screenshots of the areas you are learning with text next to it. Then you see more text..steps of course on how to do it. Oh, no audio, you just read it.
b) You actually are looking at a course that mimics the application. You can type into the course. You pick the section you are interested in. Let’s say today, you want to learn about “labels”. You go right to “labels”.
The course talks to you. You may have “mentor” or the voice can show you – yes the cursor moves within the course – and shows you what to do – step by step- you also have an option – to watch it first, then do it yourself with help from the course or do it yourself. You are now actually learning – you are doing it within the course. Every learning style is now being used in the course. Engaging, interactive.
So, which one are you likely to want to use or go back to again? A or B? I hope you said B. Because “B” – achieves and meets all learning styles and follows true adult learning principles. What learning style does the “A” course meet? Only “reading”.
I know you are thinking what about HR, Sales, Business, Medical, whatever. I am telling you it can be done and has been done. You name it, it can be done. Anything can be made to be interactive and guess what, it does not have to cost a lot. Start out small, do a few things and be amazed. Your learners will thank you for it, they will return and will use it.