Elearning, now with more fun! #LCBQ

I am just going to go ahead and admit that in my organization, elearning is not synonymous with fun. As much as I might like to imagine otherwise, nobody thinks, “YES! I get to do some eLearning courses today!” This is partially because our organization has a poor track record with elearning – we are so guilty of bullet point overload. And partially because we have to train on many non-fun topics. Anybody want to spend an afternoon learning about bloodborne pathogens? How about corporate compliance? Or health care privacy regulations? Can learning about infection control ever be fun? And what is fun, anyway? This is the question posed by the ASTD Learning Circuits blog in their monthly Big Question. Actually, the question as written is: How do you make e-learning fun? Or is engaging really what you go after? And how does that differ from fun? For many of our topics, fun seems inappropriate. But I think that many seemingly staid topics can be approached with a sense of fun.

I’m working on a large, two-part computer-based learning module right now about change management and coaching to support excellence customer service. Customer service in health care is not a light topic; the patient’s perception of the quality of their care is directly related to the level of service they receive. Hospitals’ service scores are publicly reported, and soon payment incentives will be contingent upon those scores. So – this is important.

But rather than overwhelm our learners with change management models and methodologies, I am wrapping a narrative around the content. Using a comic book style (fun!), the module shows the experience of an employee as she learns about change management and coaching. In one section, the learner can guide her responses, and then see the effects of their choice. If they choose a less effective option, the coaching session starts to go south. This can be fun – I fully expect some learners to choose the “wrong” answers at least once just to see what can happen.

The module was made possible by the fantastic set of characters available at Design Comics.

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Posted on July 10, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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