Having explored a fairly wide variety of online learning experiences, I’ve observed plenty of wonderful content and ingenious ideas. Unfortunately, I have never seen learning content presented in a comprehensive package – a satisfying learning experience. Fortunately, we’re on the brink of a Learning Renaissance. Read on to learn how it will be organized.
The lonely e-learning designer
My intuition is that most e-learning content is created by someone working alone. The result is clear: The lone designer’s expertise shines through in some aspects of their content, while everything else is dull. All learning content should be created by collaborative multidisciplinary teams. Such teams require a minimum four members:
- Learning professional
- Content expert
To this list could (and should) be added roles such as psychologist, anthropologist, and other professionals to contribute needed insights. If video is included, a videographer should be involved, as well as an audio engineer. These considerations will create the rich ecosystem needed to empower truly powerful learning in the next Renaissance.
If you’ve spent any time browsing teacher-created resources, you’ve no doubt discovered that few of us make anything that looks good in the way an iPhone or Ferragamo shoe does. My own posters, handouts, and web tools are adequate and functional. If I manage to make something aesthetically pleasing, it’s as much by accident as skill.
To engage learners, we must engage their senses, and that’s why a designer is essential. A professional who understands how color, structure, and more discrete design elements affect a user can bring content to life. Fortunately, the constraints of the Learninate system, by design, help to reign in the often ‘over-the-top’ whims of non-designers by keeping our courses and lessons tidy and easy to follow. We are also happy to offer tips and feedback, so please feel confident that your courses will look good.
Some digital teaching platforms require a lot of computer science skill. To create interactive and dynamic content, you need a web developer. Different content lends itself to different formats and interactions: The user experience for a biology course should be different than a recipe guide.
You don’t need any coding experience to use Learninate. There are a variety of teaching tools at your disposal when you feel ready to explore them. But to get started, keep it simple. The code is in the platform. Let your content keep learners interested.
Teaching is one area in which you can’t fake it. If you don’t know your topic well, you shouldn’t pretend to teach it. If an online course isn’t made by an expert in the field, it’s a waste of time. It’s also pretty obvious when content has been created by someone who really knows about what they are teaching.
Learninate encourages everyone to share knowledge and inspire passion. However, the one caveat is that you know your topic deeply and thoroughly. Fortunately, while people just trying to get attention might spam the web with rambling vlogs and ill-informed blog posts, they are not likely to take the time to create a comprehensive course on a social learning platform. Content creators on Learninate are passionate about sharing their knowledge and skills and teach to change how and why people learn online.
Most online learning today is made by instructional designers who may never have met students face-to-face. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but in my experience, to understand how people learn requires teaching in a variety of settings. A teacher with diverse experiences can better anticipate the needs of various learners. They can also partition and order content in sensible ways, making each lesson meaningful and easy to understand.
The future of the Renaissance
Someday, each of these specialists will work together in fluid teams on various projects. Not every member is needed throughout a project, so these gigs will pop up when needed, forming a rich segment of the gig economy. Learninate exists to encourage the culture of learning to become more interactive and collaborative. Get involved in the learning Renaissance now! Complete How to Create a Learninate Course (and Become a Course Creator) to create and share your passion.