Components to Great Elearning Design

Designing Digitally


Components to great Elearning Design

Elearning designers hold more responsibility than just developing a game that is “good.” Their clientele expects a training program that will not only engage their employees as they learn the necessary information, but will also translate into increased revenue for their business. That can be a tall order to fill.

When the stakes are high, an elearning designer needs to do more than churn out a game that’s fun, though that’s definitely expected to be in the mix. Their clients want a program that changes the behavior of their employees, informs their interactions with customers, and ultimately pushes their job performance to a level that makes them an asset to the company.

Guidelines for elearning designers

What components need to be a part of an elearning game that will prove successful for the client and their employees?

  • Prepare learners. A game needs to provide the learner with the knowledge they will need to make choices within the virtual world. This includes a way to give information to the player before they begin the game, if necessary. The learning experience will extend much deeper and be far more successful if the learner is well-prepared for the challenges they will face in the game.
  • Create a relevant setting. The environment of the game doesn’t need to be an exact replica of the workplace. In fact, it shouldn’t be. It does need to be contextually similar, though. There should be elements in the game that are recognizable to the learners. Streamline the virtual world so that only the necessary components are included. This ensures the employee can make the needed connection from the simulation to real-life.
  • Find the work/fun sweet spot. A beneficial learning game will be fun and keep the learners engaged. On the flip side, too much fluff can keep a game from being as effective as it should be. There should be a balance between the two. Fantasy is a great element to include, though there should be reminders throughout the game to keep the players focused on the learning objectives.
  • Sufficient feedback. Feedback is a vitally important part of any learning experience. In the context of a learning game, there are all kinds of different ways that a player gathers feedback. Think about scores, rewards, and other advantages received for displaying the appropriate behavior. Though awards are fun, the feedback should always be tied back to the learning objective that the game is trying to address. The feedback should be detailed enough to help a player understand their mistake.
  • Suitable challenges. A game that is too easy for a player will not hold their interest for long before they are ready to move on. Conversely, an activity that is not in the skill set of the player will quickly frustrate them and cause them to give up. A learning game should be just right in order to receive the maximum benefit.

The key to a successful game in the eyes of a client is one that includes each of these strategies and results in a well-prepared employee.