Chartering Your (eLearning) Course The Right Way
An eLearning course is a vast area where the key topics are like ships in the waters, rocking along with the waves. These rocking waves are an analogy for human concentration, an unpredictable and unreliable phenomenon. The rocking waves tend to drive the ships away from their intended path and even to places of no return. So, the sailors use anchors to dock the vessel at port. Can a ship be secured to the port without an anchor, no matter the weather? It seems to be blind faith that can barely ever happen. Then, why do some eLearning course designers rely on the blind faith that the courses they develop will address the learner’s need for knowledge, though they lack proper binding points? The idea of using binding points or “anchoring points” may sound a bit weird and new as this idea is highly underrated and mostly unheard of. However, the impact it has on the eLearning courses is tremendous, transforming a disconnected course into an appealing one.
Anchoring Points In eLearning Courses And Why You Should Use Them
Basically, anchoring points are a few key elements such as wording, images, or illustrations, used within the course that help the course attach itself to the learner’s real-life experience. Anchoring points are not limited to multimedia aspects; they include the course interactivities, assessing the knowledge gained, and narration as well. Here are a few reasons to embed anchoring points throughout the course:
- Embedding anchoring points in the course, where and when required, helps the learners retain the information connecting back to the used binding points.
- The learner experiences a lesser cognitive load as there is no need for them to remember the entire content when they focus on embedded anchoring points.
- When anchoring points are used in courses related to onsite training, the learner needs no further explanation; they view the anchoring points in real time.
- The knowledge retention rate while using anchoring points is higher when compared to other strategies.
Tips To Embedding Anchoring Points In Your Course
Here are a few tips to integrate anchoring points in the course:
1. Use Relevant Multimedia Elements
The first and foremost tip to create an anchoring point is to use relevant multimedia elements throughout the course. Relevancy doesn’t mean using images that are apt for the eLearning course but using apt multimedia elements the learner will be encountering in the workplace. For example, if a course is developed for training the learners on equipment available at their workstation, then it is suggested to utilize the images of the specific equipment rather than general ones. Similarly, relevant usage of other multimedia should be considered.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions To Spark Debate
Offer the learner a social learning experience after they viewed the multimedia anchor and have a clear idea about the basic concepts. Asking an open-ended, thought-provoking question sparks a debate, allowing the learners to engage in an online discussion with their peers. Through this method, the learner has a different perspective of things and analyzes every angle of the eLearning course.
3. Create A Story On The Topic
Using the abovementioned tips alone does not create a successful anchoring points-based course. The success rate depends on presenting the course in a conversational and informal way rather than a lecture. This can be achieved by turning it into a story or, at the very least, including storytelling elements in the course. Making use of even more interactive and immersive elements such as music, sound effects, and visual effects in your eLearning course can bring it to life.
4. Encourage Learners To Identify The Applications Of The Course
Learning the concept doesn’t guarantee an effective outcome. Its efficiency can be witnessed when applying the learned concept to real-life events. Training the learners on a new concept and arranging a brainstorming session can enhance their knowledge retention rate as well as bring clarity to the concept.
Trainers want the learners to use the acquired knowledge in the best possible ways. The lesser the cognitive load and higher the clarity and interconnection are, the greater the efficiency and outcome of the course. Let’s drop the anchor, dock our ship to the port, and prevent it from wandering in the never-ending waters and places of no return.