Reflection: The Key to Successful Elearning Training

Designing Digitally


Reflection: The Key to Successful Elearning Training

It’s easy to get addicted to things that are fun. 

Video games today are so lifelike and gripping that it’s not hard to see why people of all ages end up addicted to the gameplay. The power of narrative and imagination compels users to keep coming back, continuing on, and trying again.

The player is driven to find the treasure, get to the next level, beat their opponent, or any number of other tasks that need to be completed.

The problem is that being addicted to the thrill of the game doesn’t equal a true elearning training experience. A desire to be successful in a game, while certainly motivating, doesn’t mean that the player or learner is retaining the information presented to them.

In order for true learning to happen, one must go through a process of reflecting on the elearning training material that has been presented.

Why is Reflection Important?

Reflection is what transforms an activity from an event that simple occurred into true learning. A good example is an elearning training simulation. In a simulation, learners can see the consequences of their choices. They can then take a look at what worked and what didn’t.

Reflecting allows the learner to make meaning out of the information they are taking in.

Methods to Facilitate Reflection in an Successful Elearning Training

There are a few different strategies that can be employed in a successful corporate elearning training session that aids in the process of reflection.

  • Discussion. Reflecting may be as simple as talking about the experience. Dialogue with others about the choices you made in the game, the consequences that resulted, and what you may have done differently. It’s also very helpful to hear a different perspective from others.
  • Keeping a log. Recording the observations made during the game can be a useful reference for the future. This can be something handwritten or a digital log of some sort. The process of having to recap the experience is at the heart of reflection.
  • Summarizing. It can be very helpful to create a synopsis of the concepts broached in the gaming experience. While similar to discussion, summarizing has a specific aim, whereas discussion is more free-flowing. The ability to highlight the most important concepts in a game requires higher level thinking.
  • Generating questions. Asking the learners to come up with questions based on the experiences in the elearning training is a logical way to encourage reflection. In order to generate questions, the learner has to have a certain level of comprehension of the material.
  • Assessment. Another way to integrate reflection into a learning experience is to provide an opportunity for assessment at the conclusion of the game. It provides the learners and the administrators an opportunity to evaluate what concepts were understood and which ones require remediation.

When looking at the potential of elearning training activities, remember that “addiction” or a high level of interest in the game doesn’t mean that true learning is taking place. For that to happen, the key ingredient of reflection cannot be left out of the equation.