How award winning eLearning gets made

Last Wednesday the eLearning Network hosted an event on award winning eLearning. It was excellent event hosted at the iconic BT Tower in London.

Here is our summary of the day…

The eLearning Awards and the judging process

Tony Frascina kicked off the day by explaining the judging process of the eLearning Awards. He informed us that the judges work in threes and the chair of each group is an experienced judge.

He asked us, ‘What the secret was of entering a good submission?’ According to Tony, it’s the same as a good essay: Answer the question!

And ‘What makes a good presentation?’

  • Back up your claims with evidence
  • Tell a good story
  • Don’t over indulge!

We then heard from some of the winners of the eLearning Awards:

Managing and hosting video for social learning

Martyn Stevenson from BT talked about his love of video in learning (which, unsurprising we loved, being a video production company who specialise in video for learning!)

The first award BT won was why i love learningfor a series of short sharp videos (no more than 3 minutes long) aimed at engaging the viewer’s heart and head to ensure maximum knowledge retention.

The second one was for a video hosting sight Martyn had worked on and called ‘Creative U’ (he got the ‘creative’ from watching the beloved Ken Robinson’s TED Talks and the ‘U’ because it was ‘funky’). The real asset to this is that it encourages social learning, as the learners can upload and share videos they’d made themselves.

A marina radio course for the Royal Yachting Association

Richard Hyde from Mind Click and Jane Hall from Royal Yachting Association (RYA) discussed the award winning projected they’d collaborated on.RYA

International and European regulations meant that the RYA’s Marine Radio one day course was no longer sufficient. The new regulations demanded a longer compulsory course, which could have risked a drop in applicants.

So RYA with Mind Click together created an online course, which used clever design and made the most of available technology to make sure it could really prepare the students for their marine radio test, while being engaging.

Tips from eLearning Designer of the Year

eLearning Designer of the Year, Sam Yates from Unicorn Training shared how Unicorn had funded her work on the charity project ‘Global Giveback’.

In this (very beautifuGlobal Givebacklly designed) course, Sam created a fictional country call Katoa In Katoa you are thrown into the story of Maria who you have to help make important decisions.

Sam emphasised the importance of storytelling in eLearning:

  • it creates emotional connections
  • it makes it real
  • it makes it digestible
  • it makes it easier to retain

Learning to take risks – pushing the boundaries of compliance training at Channel 4 

Owen Rose from Acteon explained how after some controversies conLearning to take riskscerning standards of conduct, Channel 4 needed to make sure it’s employees were complying with their guidelines. However, this didn’t always go down well at Channel 4, as their ethos is all about risk taking.

However, the course explained that the standards of conduct were the foundations that allowed Channel 4 to take risks. The course was designed in a Channel 4 advertising style and was in keeping with the risk-taking environment (it was called ‘learning to take risks’).

Channel 4’s target was for 90% of people to take the course in the first 6 months, they smashed this target and achieved this in 11 weeks.

Ensuring compliance with tough internal policies at Honda

Steve Finch told us how CDSM and Honda created award winning eLearing by really staying true to Honda’s ethos of ‘innovation’ (we saw how they incorporated the famous ad into the elearning – ‘hate something, change something, hate something, change something, make something betterrrr da daa da daa da daa’).

Steve really emphasised how important it is to collaborate with your clients and really get them on board with the eLearning. Also how important it is to properly test your eLearning with the learners first, they bring the learners perspective and notice things you don’t.

Key take-aways from the day

    • Storytelling is vital, whether it’s in your eLearning or in your application for an eLearning award
    • Understand your learners, make sure the course really delivers what they need
    • Make sure your eLearning is in keeping the companies ethos and branding


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