Be it online or offline, learning is more efficient and worthwhile if you think about it as a personal journey, a continuous process or a life experience. Granted, you have a clearly defined goal in mind, you set up different milestones to keep you motivated along the way, but the journey is just as important as the destination.
It’s such a cliché, or is it?
If you focus on your journey as well as on your destination, you will end up knowing more about yourself.
Let us imagine that you want to learn a language. The destination in and on itself is exterior, it’s that specific language. But how you manage to learn that language, the journey from your very first words to fluency is extremely personal. Ask ten different people how they learned Mandarin, and you will hear ten different stories.
Therefore, designing meaningful learning experiences instead of mere content-based classes is a powerful tool for trainers and can improve learning outcomes for all attendees.
5 Current trends in digital learning experiences
These five current trends in digital learning might be a source of inspiration for trainers and teachers that want to create significant learning experiences in the virtual classes.
Content: design and availability
How to present your content in the digital age and at the same time make it relevant for a wide range of attendees? Since a personal learning journey means that learners use their resources to achieve their goals, make sure that your content is available on a wide range of devices: desktop, laptop, tablets, smartphones.
“Time is of the essence”, so having the content available on the closest device might motivate attendees to stay on track and raise their engagement level.
Also, make your content available for people with visual impairment. There are many apps and tools available for all devices that run on Windows, Android or MacOS, choose the ones that fit the purpose.
Read more: Beyond 508 – UX e-learning design
Use a gaming approach to boost engagement and add a little bit of fun while learning. Since stories are powerful tools for learning new things, try to use storytelling as a general framework for your class. Then use points, badges, leaderboards to keep students motivated and focuses on their learning outcomes.
To make the experience even more engaging, allow your attendees to choose or create a personal avatar. After all, they are the main character in their learning experience.
Use gaming strategies and help your students stay on top of their game!
Personal learning networks
Humans are social beings; it’s hard-wired in our DNA. We have evolved to collaborate and work together to achieve common goals.
No single human being could have stepped on the Moon without the tremendous effort of an immense team – and the vast resources of an entire nation – which worked together for a decade to make it happen.
Let’s have the same approach for learning experiences and make sure that the virtual classrooms create a collaborative in which attendees learn from each other and help each other succeed.
Create group activities, one on one mentoring sessions and use collaborative tools such as Google Docs or BuddyPress.
Because in training it’s all about me!
Create different possible learning paths and allow attendees to enroll on the one with which they feel more comfortable.
Some people are goal-oriented, have background knowledge about the topic or have more time and energy for classrooms. Let them go at cruise speed!
Others are just discovering the topic, have other priorities and want to learn at their own pace. Allow them to grow one step at a time and design a suitable learning path.
All of them will arrive at the destination, even if not at the same time.
Beyond the screen
Take it to the next level and use virtual reality or augmented reality as an integral part of the classroom experience. Use HTC Vive or Google TiltBrush to enhance the learning experience and immerse yourself and your students in the wonderful kingdom of knowledge.
Keep in mind! Holograms are also an option. The sky is the limit and in the future education will take the mixed reality road.
Read more: 5 Types of immersive technology for training
To sum up
To sum up, make it personal to make it memorable.
Veronica is a multilingual trainer of trainers. She has years of experience working with adult learners, both in Higher Education and in the business sector.