How to explain eLearning to your grandparents

Hannah Waddams | 10/25/2016

Recently one of our instructional designers stated that her Granddad thinks “she makes PowerPoint presentations for a living”. We know that eLearning creation is so much more than creating a slide presentation. However, it can be hard to describe exactly what eLearning is to someone who has never taken an online course. In this blog, we will give you some ideas on how to explain eLearning to your grandparents. 

So, what is eLearning?  

eLearning is described as “the use of electronic media (computers, tablets or phones) to educate or train learners”. But, how do we persuade our grandparents that this means so much more than ‘creating PowerPoint presentations’? 

Our friends at Articulate helped us out with answering this: Many people would recognize a basic eLearning course as a slide-based online activity that contains simple navigation buttons and incorporates quizzes with true-false or multiple choice questions. But not all eLearning courses share the same fingerprint. For example, an eLearning course could be a software simulation. Or, it could be a very interactive course that features role playing and complex decision-making.  

But, is eLearning as effective as having a teacher in the room? 

We cannot underestimate the effectiveness of classroom training, but it doesn’t mean it is more effective than eLearning. Learners are increasingly independent, which increases the need and appeal for eLearning. Instructional designers and content developers have developed their practice over many years, integrating educational theory with technology; tailoring content to ensure it is interactive and engaging for learners. eLearning also provides additional benefits for learners, such as: 24/7 access to learning materials and allowing your learners to ‘fail without fear’.  

Well, how do you know that they’ve actually completed it? 

A well designed eLearning course meets both business objectives and learners needs. Creating an eLearning course that your learners want to take is the first step at making sure they actually complete it. The second step is to make the course interactive and engaging in order to keep the learners attention (check out some of our helpful tips, here). And finally, hosting your eLearning course in a Learning Management System (LMS), such as Docebo, makes it easy to track your learners progress through any course. 

(At this point, your Grandparents are going to ask ‘what on earth is a Learning Management System?’ We’ve got an answer for that too!)  

So, why can’t you just use a standard presentation? 

Standard presentations are great for an instructor led learning, but they sometimes lack the interactivity a successful eLearning course needs. The comparison between PowerPoint presentations and Storyline is summed up really nicely here: “Storyline and PowerPoint are different products for different purposes.  If you are looking for sit-back-and-watch presentations or instructor-led presentations, then you can probably stick with PowerPoint.  If you want interactive eLearning, then you would be better off with Storyline.” 

So you really don’t just make PowerPoint presentations every day? 

“No Granddad, I don’t.”  

Creating eLearning is so much more than creating a presentation. eLearning development is about understanding your learners, understanding the business objectives, and bringing them together in a place where learners want to learn and are engaged with the information in front of them.   

So, now you your grandparents have got their heads around eLearning, do you think you’re ready to graduate from PowerPoint to Storyline? 

Read 'PowerPoint to Storyline' blog

Hannah Waddams

Hannah is a marketing executive here at Omniplex