No, that’s not a typo. If you intend to deliver real value through online learning, you’ve got to cut your content.
Continuing education has become an information dumping grounds. This tendency is rooted in our live in-person session reflexes to give event participants bang for their buck. We think we’ve got to pack in the content, so we develop sliduments and deliver rapid-fire lectures with little (if any) discussion. This naturally results in event attendees’ requests for slide decks, syllabi, and conference recordings – because they can’t possibly digest the content in the session.
As we’ve transitioned content online, we’ve brought these bad habits with us. We load our screens and eLearning courses with so much information we’ve lost the opportunity for a transformational learning experience.
The truth is, learning science tells us lecture info-dumps are one of the most ineffective ways to learn. When speakers do not account for cognitive load (presenting the appropriate amount of information to meet the eLearning objectives vs. covering ground on everything we know about a subject) the effectiveness of our courses are at risk. There comes a point where including additional content decreases the total amount learned!
The result: When the learning experience is at risk, completion rates are at risk. And when completion rates are at risk, your target audiences are not finding value. And when your target audiences are not finding value, they won’t be back for more.
Brain Bomb: We don’t have to present everything in one sitting or even with the same format!
As an eLearning provider, you have the capability to cut your content – cut out what’s unnecessary and cut it up into digestible chunks delivered over time.
Learning is not an event. It’s a process that takes place over time. Resist the urge to treat learner brains like 4-alarm fires with firehose info dumps. Cut your content and design a transformational learning experience. The transformation is where your value lies.
Tracy King, MA, CAE
As Chief Learning Strategist & Founder of InspirEd, Tracy leverages her more than 17 years in the education industry for associations interested in increasing their relevance and revenue with meaningful live, online, and mobile learning programs. Tracy specializes in the intersection of learning science and technology. She’s a thought leader in education strategy and learning experience design. In addition, Tracy offers training to instructional design teams, content experts, and at conferences to promote leading edge practices developing learning experiences that make a measurable difference. For more information, please visit www.inspired-ed.com or www.tracy-king.com