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I read a great blog recently by Ethan Edward of Allen Interactions,  Improving Your e-Learning Designs: What I Learned from a Flower . In the article Ethan focuses on a story from his youth about a night-blooming cactus. He compares the lessons learned from that cactus to how we can create effective learning events with the elearning courses we design and build.

He focuses on three main principles:

Distinctiveness – Our elearning courses must have meaning and be a memorable experience for our learners.

Concrete, Real-World Context – Our content needs to focus on our learner’s performance.

Just-In-Time – Our elearning needs to be timely…not weeks in advance. The learners who complete our training need to be able to apply it as soon as possible.

Ultimately, it is our responsibility as elearning designers, to create courses that are applicable and timely for our learners. Our courses should not be an information dump of facts, figures, processes, etc. If the content is meaningful and concrete, our learners will find the learning experience beneficial.


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