In days of yore, the Ancient Greeks worshiped a pantheon of powerful gods and goddesses, each ruling over a certain dominion such as the sea, the sky, and the ground. Some even governed abstract concepts such as love, beauty, war, and others.
Over the years, however, the Greeks began to abandon these deities for others, these mythical beings began to panic. With fewer and fewer clients patronizing their temples, the entire pantheon polished up their resumes and started searching for a new gig. Perhaps another civilization could take advantage of their services.
After centuries of unemployment, the former Greek gods and goddesses happened upon a strange new tribe of people. Many of them wore glasses and spent many hours every day staring intently at mysterious glowing boxes atop rectangular altars.
“Who are you guys?” Asked Zeus, ringleader of the gods.
“We work in eLearning,” said one of these mystery nerds, “Are you here for the interview?”
At last, they had found the job of an immortal lifetime. At last, they had a home in the world of eLearning.
Athena: Intelligence and Wisdom
Perhaps better than anyone else, Athena adjusted to her new situation with great aplomb. Though now working for a new company, her job description had not changed much from her Greek days. When it came time for research, she made for the best possible Subject Matter Expert, granting knowledge to whoever needed it.
We all need an Athena on our team. If you don’t have access to someone who knows the subject you’re trying to teach, what authority do you have to pretend you know, and possibly give your learners false information?
Zeus: Order, Justice, SCORM Compliance
Initially, Zeus struggled with the transition. He had peaked in college, becoming president of his fraternity (Alpha Omega). Since then, he had projected a macho personality in order to hide his insecurities. In actuality, he had a very low opinion of himself, and overcompensated by showing everyone an artificial cockiness. In the first few months working in the eLearning industry, he frequently found himself in the HR office for inappropriate comments he had made.
But eventually he found his calling, enforcing SCORM compliance on all projects. This position was ideal for him, because he wielded some power, allowed to veto non-compliant courses, but not so much power that it would go to his head, something his therapist frequently warned him of, along with repeated encouragements to repair his strained relationship with his father.
For now though, Zeus has found happiness. He adds a tremendous value to his team, making the eLearning more accessible to all people, regardless of their skills and abilities.
It’s hard these days to create courses that wouldn’t be SCORM compliant. Most authoring tools help to keep you up to date with the different types of protocols and standards, allowing you to easily implement them into just about any LMS out there. Make sure you check with whoever is in charge of the system where you might publish. They’ll help you to make sure that lightning won’t strike your course by choosing the wrong publishing method.
Aphrodite: Love and Beauty
Aphrodite had always been an artist. Being the beautiful young woman she was, her mother urged her to join Olympus High’s cheerleading squad, but the idea just didn’t appeal to her. She would rather spend her time in the art studio, sketching, painting, and sculpting. She had finely honed skills, and an ability to expose the beauty she believed lied dormant in all things.
Upon finding the eLearning community, she eagerly leapt at the chance to beautify courses. After centuries of looking, she could finally utilize her skill set as a graphic designer. Not since the heyday of her time in Greece had she been involved in such fulfilling work, deftly illustrating the material Athena presented her with in a colorful and engaging way.
Many people underestimate the importance of good-looking eLearning. As long as the info is there, it doesn’t matter how it looks, right? Wrong. The principles and aesthetics and design exist for a reason: they streamline the information, making it more palatable to a greater amount of people. If you feel uncomfortable just looking at a course, how can you expect anyone to internalize the actual message?
Dionysus: Parties, Drunkenness, Gamification
It was always a party at Dionysus’ house. Nearly every night, things would get way out of hand and the police would be called, usually because of the excessive noise-level. He was a party animal, often literally, transforming into a panther and trashing the place.
Eventually, his partying ways caught up to him. After his last arrest for panther-ing under the influence, Dionysus took a good hard look at himself. Either he could continue to make a fool of himself, or he could shape up and use his pent-up energy in more constructive ways.
After a brief stint in politics, Dionysus eventually settled into the realm of eLearning gamification with a particular interest in eLearning games. He had always been an entertainer at heart, and now he could use his talents to bring a little spice to the learning world, instead of causing chaos.
Gamification is important because it not only provides an incentive to learn, but it also drives it further into the learner’s memory. The mere fact that the learner has a tangible goal and is possibly even enjoying what they are doing means that more areas in the brain are being stimulated more intensely, making for eLearning that stays with you. And that is something worth celebrating.
Hermes: Language, Communication, Writing
The others gods had their own talents, but many of them had trouble putting their brilliant ideas into words. Hermes had always considered himself a jack of all trades and a master wordsmith. He could communicate concepts with brevity and ease, getting the message across with as few words as possible.
Together with the help of his coworkers, Hermes creates coherent eLearning that efficiently and pleasantly teaches and trains learners of all shapes and sizes.
Someone needs to go over the written portions of your course with a fine-toothed comb, making sure that every inch of it shines. One typo or poorly constructed sentence can undermine the entire thing, weakening your ethos with the learners. Be willing to take a step back and check the quality of your work, or even have someone else do it for you!
Though Olympus lay far behind them, the gods now have a new home in the eLearning industry (eLearnpus?).
May they bless eLearning professionals everywhere.
Did we miss any? Which Greek gods do you think exemplify important eLearning principles and positions? Tell us in the comments.