Training Industry Magazine - Fall 2015 - (Page 36)

USING + INFORMATION DESIGN TO ELEVATE SOFTSKILLS TRAINING STEPHEN J. MEYER IN 2014, E-LEARNING BECAME THE MOST WIDELY USED METHOD FOR WORKPLACE TRAINING. FOR E-LEARNING PROPONENTS, THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS. THE BAD NEWS? WORKPLACE E-LEARNING HAS CONTINUALLY EXPERIENCED POOR ENGAGEMENT, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO SOFT SKILLS LIKE LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT. So, with more and more organizations turning to e-learning to deliver training, how can we address this issue of learner engagement? The answer is information design, a set of principles used by multimedia designers to create effective, engaging visuals. Microlearning - quick, highly focused e-learning modules delivered in less than 10 minutes - is gaining momentum as the solution for many learning professionals. The thinking goes like this: Learners are much more likely to engage in a training experience if the time commitment is short, and the learning objective is clearly articulated. WHAT IS INFORMATION DESIGN? But "shorter" doesn't automatically equal "better." When we view content online, our attention span is miniscule, and our patience is absurdly low. For all its potential upsides, microlearning can still trigger learner abandonment if content isn't presented in a compelling and engaging way. So how do e-learning designers grab and sustain their learners' attention, and keep them coming back for more? 36 In its simplest form, information design is the practice of presenting information so people understand it. The term was first coined in the 1970s by graphic designers, but it has since become an interdisciplinary field concerned with representing information in a way that's intuitive and digestible. And that should be the goal of any e-learning module - to provide content that learners can easily absorb. While some overlap exists, information design is distinct from the principles of instructional design that typically guide the creation of e-learning. Instructional design is primarily focused on content. For example, establishing

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Fall 2015

Delivery: Is This Where Technology Changes the Game?
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: The Pendulums Swing
Access Trumps Knowledge: Changes for Training Delivery
Hardwired to Learn
Using a Blended Approach When Crafting a Training Delivery Strategy
Planning, Developing and Implementing Serious Games
Let's Get Serious about Live, Instructor-led Training
Just What Employees Ordered: Personalized Adaptive Learning
Training with Pictures, Not Bullet Points
Anti-Social Learning?
Using Microlearning and Information Design to Elevate Soft Skills Training
How Improvisation Can Drive Employee Engagement
Accelerating Expertise with Simulations
Technology and Trends Driving the China Training Market
Helping Buyers of Training Services Become More Savvy
Are Bad Communication Habits Holding You Back?
Measuring the ROI of Social Media within Your Organization
Closing Deals
Company News
What's Online
Training Talk

Training Industry Magazine - Fall 2015