For the Love of Learning: Love your Content

love your learning partners infographic

Click to enlarge

We’re not usually prone to being overly promotional on the blog, but… (you knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you)? This month we’re celebrating things we love and let me tell you, we at SAP Litmos really love our content. So, I want to dive into why our content is enjoyable, engaging (if not downright charming), and a best practice you could fall in love with very, very quickly!

I think we can agree that we all have digital “learned habits” like scrolling through social media feeds, clicking on a link for massive sale on sportswear, putting a jacket and some sneakers in your shopping cart… oh wait, that’s just me. But you get the gist. People use technology in a pattern already, so why shouldn’t we design eLearning with that in mind? We pin and share, like and follow, scroll and swipe, and save interesting information that we’d like to revisit when we have more time. This “dipping in and out” digital attitude gels perfectly with our approach to designing non-linear, microlearning courses for the workplace.

We’ve also discovered that it’s most beneficial for people to learn in idle periods, for example, when waiting for public transport. Waiting situations like these are the perfect time to occupy someone’s mind with new information. There’s certainly some truth to the expression “time flies, when you’re having fun!” Occupying your mind in situations that can otherwise feel like time is dragging, gives you the impression that time is going faster than it really is. These idle periods are primetime for employees to complete some online training via a mobile device.

Be flexible and give your workers options

What kind of training are learners most interested in completing? Here we come to the age-old dilemma of educators everywhere: some content must be assigned for various obligations, but people don’t want to be told to learn. They don’t want to be forced to learn new things. Research indicates that having access to flexible learning empowers employees to seek out self-development and to take control of their career progression. That’s why content that’s designed mobile-first is a sneaky win-win.

Employees are more likely to recognise the gaps in their learning, if they’re encouraged to take a more active role in learning that’s assigned to them. When is this most likely? We’ve seen instances of self-enrolments in courses, when the training is offered as an SSO option across multiple devices. That’s why we make our content easily accessible from mobile, tablet or desktop. SAP Litmos Training Content can be published on the LMS of your choice, so you’re not locked into ours.

Encourage goal-oriented learning in your workplace

If your workers love your training content, you’ll likely see increased productivity in your organisation. We’ve also found that workers perform better in their roles if they have training experiences that help them reach the professional goals that they’ve set for themselves. These can differ from person to person, but could improve performance in a current role, or help advance someone’s career. Essentially, an online training experience should hold real meaning for your employees; it should help them move toward these professional development goals.

So, how can you encourage this attitude toward workplace learning in your organisation? Give them options! At SAP Litmos, we try to home in on the key topics that will make a difference to someone’s productivity, confidence, and work performance. We keep the content short, sharp, and to the point – so they can upskill quickly. Our 60-second series delivers training in short bursts. You can learn more about the benefits of microlearning in a whitepaper we put together on this topic.

In fact, we deliver a range of blended resources, including workbooks, infographics, and videos to supplement our eLearning and to enable your learners to access more content. This also allows our clients to use our content in flexible ways.

Be adaptive with your eLearning

Our research has also confirmed what we already knew: people love playing games. When learning is presented as a game, learners develop skills embedded in each task and activity. As a learner gains a level or achievement, they become more engaged and motivated, sometimes – or, ideally – to the point where they don’t realise that they’re learning (because the best way to learn is when you don’t even realise that you’re learning!)

Our learning designers and digital designers firmly believe that learners need to be at the centre of the learning process. They should be invited to play an active role in this process right from the start. You can achieve this by introducing elements of gamification, and by creating an individualised, tailored learning experience. Our adaptive learning courses are designed with these principles in mind.

With adaptive learning, the learner feels like they’re taking the wheel. They’re more likely to motivate themselves and come up with strategies to aid their own learning and development, if they’re working toward collecting badges and completing levels, rather than endlessly clicking next, submit, etc.

Be authentic and relatable

Then comes the next greatest challenge with creating an off-the-shelf content offering. Does one size fit all? We really hope so. We know that we’re creating this content for a canvas target audience. What we don’t know is exactly who will take the courses or what their immediate work environment is like. But we can take an educated guess.

Here are a few other things we keep in mind:

  1. Keep the language simple! Of course, each course is different, so word limits will differ, and you must factor in font and text sizes. However, keep in mind that a wide variety of different literacy levels may be using these courses and conversational, plain language is best. We tend to keep to the rule that 150 words will equate to about one minute of learning – considering that our courses are 15 minutes on average, that’s not a whole lot of text!
  2. Use relatable scenarios. Keep it authentic. People are more likely to engage with content that resonates with them. Creating scenarios that immerse them in a workplace situation where they must envision how they would act and which steps they would take, is a great way to change workplace behaviour for good.
  3. Ensure accessible functionality. That is, never assume someone’s digital proficiency, as a blanket rule. This includes giving clear instructions on how to navigate. For example, if you’re rolling out scrollable courses, some employees may not be used to this. So, make sure that instructions are clear and precise, and again, in simple language.

We’re also continually updating our content offerings, so your learners will keep coming back to find more content to upskill. We’ve found that our clients love to see eLearning done differently – our use of humour, storytelling, and animations are engaging and a little different to other content offerings out there. We hope you find it nothing short of lovable, too.

Check out our other posts in this series: Love Your LMS, Love Your Customers, Love Your Partners.