Are you one of the many people who are now automatically blocking advertisements in your browser? In fact, I’ve been blocking ads forever by deliberately ignoring them. I’m well aware that my searches are continuously tracked and the cookies are set so I’m shown ‘the ads I actually would like to see’. I refuse to click on them. You track me? I won’t give you my attention.
How is this relevant to e-learning? Gathering more user data, tracking your learners and then bombarding people with ‘your product’ (i.e. another training module) isn’t making any difference at all. It’s putting off learners and soon – just like with the ads – they’ll click on ‘delete all’. Perhaps they are ignoring you already?
Top-down advertising isn’t working anymore. Good marketing nowadays is about conversations and spreading of ideas. It’s about giving a voice to people. People want to shape products – they want to be listened to.
Top-down training isn’t working either. Have you noticed? Are you doing something about it? Earn the privilege to train your learners. Start by respecting adult learning principles and give your learners a voice. Not by adding a discussion forum under your content, but by putting their voice at the centre of the learning process. It’s challenging to design online learning events that do that – but who said good learning design is easy?