When it comes to eLearning, reality is all too often a subjective thing. Animation, video, and images all add a sense of reality, which is an important benefit for eLearners. However, many instructional designers are unsure how to go about adding realism to their content. The good news is that there several ways this can be done, and they are fairly simple to implement. realism in elearning
Begin with Analysis
Prior to creating eLearning content, it is essential to conduct a thorough preliminary analysis of the workplace, the environment, learners’ needs, and other factors. This should provide more than enough information for instructional designers to get a grasp of a learner’s everyday responsibilities and tasks. Based on this information, it becomes simpler to add realism to eLearning content.
Create Simulations Based on Lifelike Scenarios
With enough information, instructional designers should be more than capable of creating lifelike scenarios and simulations based on those scenarios. The user’s choices within the module should be as realistic as possible. For instance, in a scenario meant for training a new retail employee, the simulation could pit the employee against an angry customer. The right choice would move the employee closer to an amicable resolution, while the wrong choice would add further complications. These simulations should feature multiple branches to encourage learners to explore different actions and repercussions.
Use Real Life Case Studies realism-in-elearning
Instructional designers should have access to a wealth of information about the organization or business, as well as customers and clients. From this pool of data, it should be relatively simple to construct case studies (with real names removed) that highlight information pertinent to the discussion and relevant to the scenario. Case studies can act as “walk-throughs” that highlight what could potentially happen based on specific choices and decisions. These can be used for both positive and negative reinforcement as well. Note that case studies also make excellent additions to supplemental training material and can be offered as optional choices for learners who want to dig deeper.
Authentic interviews can be very compelling. These can be with SMEs (subject matter experts), with clients or customers, with employees, managers, and almost anyone else with something of value to add to the eLearning course. However, it is important that all interviews are credible – they cannot be promotional in nature. They should also be accurate and realistic, drawn from real life. As an example, designers could interview employees who had been confronted with dishonest suppliers or business partners, and they might explain how they handled the situation. This can also apply to almost any other area of a business or organization, from customer service to accounting and payroll. realism in elearning
Use Problem Solving
Problem solving can be an important part of any eLearning content, and it can be presented in a number of ways. The most common is the right/wrong or white/black situation where one answer is correct, and resolves the situation, and the other answer is wrong, and does not result in resolution. However, it is more realistic to use situations that do not result in either a right or wrong answer. Real life is rarely so clear cut, and the problems employees must solve generally aren’t ever fully resolved.
One of the greatest advantages to eLearning is its interactive capabilities. By adding realism to your eLearning course, the level of effectiveness and engagement increases dramatically, increasing learning transfer and retention. realism in elearning