There are only two sports that I’m half decent at and one of them is racquetball. I’ve never been formally trained, I’ve just played a lot and picked up tricks along the way. Here at eLearning Brothers headquarters, there’s a group of us that whack the ball around a few days a week and competition can get pretty stiff. One day, Brother Dan brought his extreme sports camera on to the court, and got some great footage of us playing.
When I watched the clips, I was amazed! My game looked nothing like I thought it did. It was like one of those “What you think you look like, what you actually look like” pictures floating around the web. I had no windup on my serve, no follow through on my forehand, and my court positioning was way off. Just by watching myself for 6 minutes, my game improved dramatically.
So here’s the take-away for eLearning. Have you ever watched your students take your course? Before you deploy your next course, have 3 to 5 people go through it with you watching. Don’t say anything, just watch. Where are they laughing in the course? Where are they having to re-read sentences? Which buttons are they having a hard time clicking? Where are they engaging? What are they teaching you about your course design, layout, or material that you never even thought of?
You might be a good eLearning developer right now, probably better than average, after all, you care enough to be reading industry material. Point is, in order to improve your course, you need to see how your learners are engaging with the content. This will help you to evaluate the effectiveness of your eLearning development. We all have areas we could improve and seeing our design from the learner’s perspective makes us better eLearning developers. Seeing how learners interact with your content is what makes a good eLearning developer an awesome eLearning developer.