December 18, 2022

Learning needs to be desirable

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After nearly two years of researching, experimenting, and interviewing L&D experts, we’ve managed to filter out the noise and establish the core principles of effective online learning. To make it to the list, a core principle had to pass the following test:

  1. Is it supported by scientific research?
  2. Is the technology to build the core principle into an online application available?
  3. Can the L&D Manager and their team implement the principle with ease?

This series explores the six principles.

Principle 3: Learning needs to be desirable

When designing learning content, making it desirable is a goal in itself: if people don’t enjoy the challenge, they won’t engage with it.

Ergo, game design principles (not gamification).

Humans have a natural inclination toward play, and games are part of our culture.

But instead of designing learning games for the sake of play (disconnecting the topic from the content), we need to design tools that can turn any content into an exciting problem to solve (which is exactly what a game is all about)

The ideas you can deploy to make learning feel like a challenging game need to be built right inside the authoring tool, without actually making the experience look like a game:

  • A clear and interesting goal
  • A compelling story
  • A sense of discovery
  • A win/lose scenario
  • A sense of immediate progress
  • A tipping point
  • A sense of closure

The structure of the authoring tool makes it impossible not to use these design principles, but extremely easy to implement: they are already there, pre-built into the system. All you have to do is add your own content, tweak the settings and hit deploy.

We want to make learning difficult for participants, but easy to build and deploy by the L&D and their team.

And if you have too much content, the platform will know and it will suggest you split it into multiple learning sessions.

And this brings us to the next core learning principle: Learning needs to be spaced.

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