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9 spooktacular elearning evils (and how to avoid them)

Blog posts | 28.10.2020


Shaping the future of learning

Here at Kineo, part of our design process involves focusing on a few key principles to keep learning relevant, engaging and enriching. For us, it’s not just about creating content for the sake of creating content but matching it to the learner to give the learning experience as much real value as possible. 

As the time of spooks and spirits descends upon us, we thought we’d gather ‘round the pumpkin patch and share some common elearning horrors and how to avoid them. Read on, if you dare…

Who-ooooo, me? 

There are few things that put learners off more than bland, one-size-fits-all content. You know that’s true, because you’ve experienced this yourself! Create a personalized learning experience that is specific to the learner profile. That way, you’re reducing the risk that the learner misses content that’s relevant to them. Don’t make the learner cherry-pick at random – help them along by giving them the opportunity to prove prior knowledge or select topics that are need-to-know, if the subject lends itself to that. 

Don’t be a scaredy cat, make it ghoul-based! 

In our experience, and in yours too, learners are goal-based. They want to see context. They want clear steps. They want to be able to access support if they need it. You need to make sure the learning is focused on addressing scenarios that a learner might actually come up against. If your content doesn’t achieve a specific set of learner goals, spend some more time creating a more accurate profile of your learners. 

Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and stories bubble

Use the power of narrative to bring content to life. Use real examples and anecdotes. Storytelling is a great way to get facts and concepts across – and they’re usually more interesting than bland statements of facts. Stories help to underline the main points of a piece of learning; for example, at the end of a course on health and safety in a manufacturing setting, you could include a real-life success story that drives home the importance of following correct health and safety procedures. 

Eye of newt, toe of frog, a pinch of marketing will do the job!

Taking a leaf out of marketers’ books, your content should draw on what makes successful marketing projects great, like those run by blue chip companies. Draw people to and through the learning with high-engagement and creative approaches.

Let’s do the time warp again

Given the fact that large numbers of employees are not working in their usual office space, they’re probably dealing with a wave of added responsibilities; on-the-job learning probably isn’t a high priority for them. To us, delivering learning for time-poor people means creating short, focused, bite-sized pieces of content that the learner can dip in and out of as the need arises. 

Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde

Learning needs to carry a brand – a complete package of identity. By creating a unique identity for your learning that draws on the principles of branding, you’ll ensure that the content feels exciting to be a part of and is compelling enough to create continued engagement. If your learning looks like every other piece of content your learner has gone through before, you’re sending a message to the learner before they even start – here’s what to expect, don’t get too excited! 

Where there is no imagination, there is no horror

Digital learning resources are fighting to compete with a host of other compelling media – like YouTube, LinkedIn, Ted Talks, Twitter, and Instagram. But if you can’t beat them, join them. The more your content looks and feels as easy to use as these resources, the more engagement you’ll have. How are learners navigating through the material? How long is each segment of learning? How long is a video that’s just too long? 

Hall of mirrors

Another way to keep your content compelling is by offering a wide range of ways to engage with your learning content. Including a rich mix of digital resources, tips and tools lets the learner experience the content in a variety of different ways and reduces the chance of click-through blindness – each element of learning should look different than the one before and after it. 

Get your creative cortex creeping

Get creative. Draw your learners along with design. Make high-engagement and creative approaches the order of the day to keep your learners interested and compelled to keep clicking. What is it that keeps people glued to their screens or phones for hours on end? Compelling design. If it looks bland, it will seem bland. 

If this list terrifies you out of your wits, don’t worry. We’re here to help you battle all your learning ghosts and ghoulies, no matter how ridiculous or weird you fear they might sound. Get in touch – ‘we’re ready to believe you!’


Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.