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eLearning Tips

According the US Census Bureau, there are over 40 million trick-or-treating aged kids (ages 5-14) scattered across America. And in two days, all of them will be descending on your home! Hope you bought the good stuff this year, otherwise you’re getting egged into oblivion! Mwahahahahahaha!

These kids don’t know it yet, but a portion of them will grow up to be the eLearning experts of tomorrow. And oddly enough, the skills and lessons they are learning on the streets this Halloween are preparing them for their future careers. Here are two of them.

If you want something good, you have to go to the right place

We all know that when it comes to candy, not every house is created equal.

“Ol’ Mr. Gray only gives out toothpicks and flyers for his dental practice, don’t waste your time there.”
“The Gomez family always hands out party size bags of M&Ms! Let’s change our costumes and go back twice!”

But then we grow up and it seems that knowledge becomes obsolete. It just doesn’t pay as an adult to know which house can afford the best chocolates. But what does come in handy is a discerning eye toward sources of information.
As any SME can tell you, there are good sources and bad sources. Just like a Rolls-Royce on the driveway might give you an idea of the candies waiting inside, a .biz domain covered in ugly GIFs might give you an idea of the trustworthiness of the information within. Did you get your facts and stats from a press release or a peer-reviewed study? These things matter.

How you present yourself matters

You noticed it as a kid, and you probably take part in it now: the kid with the best costume gets the best candy. Regretfully, I’ve done it myself. I’m not saying I go full Charlie Brown and give kids with bad costumes rocks or anything, but I’m by no means an impartial judge. Just last year, I answered the door to a group of trick-or-treaters, all of which had fairly standard costumes, except one. This kid was amazing. He was dressed as one of my favorite cartoon characters, but I could tell his costume was homemade. Notwithstanding, he had done a very good job and had put his personal touch on it. I overtly gave him the largest handful of fun-size candy bars that I could grab, while giving his buddies a two apiece. That was the day I realized I am not a good person.

In much the same way, learners will be stingy with their attention if you try to teach them with an eye-gouging excuse for a course. Please the learner’s eyes, and they will repay the favor with good results. If you don’t dress your course up properly, you may find that your learners eyes will glaze over and they’ll pass up good information just like I passed up those kids with boring costumes.

Having trouble sprucing things up? Use a premade template or get your team’s graphic designer involved!

Don’t overstuff yourself

As any smart trick or treater will tell you, once you’ve pulled in the haul of goodies, you will want to pace yourself properly. Halloween is best celebrated not on just one night, but for weeks to come. While you may enjoy that sugar-induced coma that follows later that night, you’ll only wake up to find that your stash is gone and you must jealously watch as your thriftier friends enjoy their candy for the weeks that follow.

Knowledge works similarly to that sugar stash. If you try to cram everything in at once, you may find that it’s too much for you to remember. Knowledge is best retained and consumed in smaller chunks, giving opportunities for repetition and deep thought. Give your learners a break every once in a while. Break up your content into easier-to-understand lessons. Make sure you allow the opportunity for knowledge to sink in, and then encourage them to come back later for another snack.

Now that we’ve given our tips, what valuable lessons did you learn from All Hallows’ Eve? Treat us to your comments below!

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