by Kelly Juhasz, President, The Knowledge Transfer Company (TKTC) Inc.
Over coffee with Milana Todoroff, a fellow senior instructional designer, changes in eLearning design and development became a topic of great discussion. So great, we decided to write them down. Here's our thoughts:
1.) Status Quo: eLearning is becoming more the norm in large companies instead of in-class programs. This is a good thing but the quality of online instructional design is decreasing as course design becomes more about learning a solftware program to build it faster and cheaper rather than understanding adult learning and motivation, and investing in a sound learner experience. Eventually the push-back from learners will force companies to provide a better online learning experience.
2.) Accessibility: The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) (and other similar government initiatives in other provinces and countries) requires changes in the design and development of eLearning for training - in particular, courses offered to the public or in the education system. However, some popular course design features and functionality offered within current market eLearning software are not fully accessible. So design changes are required and a better understanding of what is and what isn't accessible is needed for instructional designers to meet the needs of their learners.
3.) Social Media: The use of social media in and by large companies is growing. As companies develop policies on the use of social media within their organizations, there will be an increased need for training programs outlining the differences between social media sites, associated risks and general how-tos in creating effective messaging to achieve predefined goals.
4.) Learning Benefits: There is an increased push by employees for recognized accreditation in their training and immediate job application of new skills. Companies will need to develop programs with accreditation in mind and/or a greater sense of purpose for learners.
5.) Expanded Options: There is a growing trend within colleges and universities to develop Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOC). While MOOCs do not always provide course credits, there is an opportunity here for corporations to enhance employee learning by partnering with institutions offering MOOCs by adding specific courses into corporate learning paths.