About bells and whistles and LMSs

Fortunately, the time of obligating your employees to follow a refined PowerPoint presentation as an e-learning module is now somewhat behind us. No one wants to be chased by their manager to read huge amounts of screen content and click the ‘next’ button miserably until the end of the module. Everyone knows by now that the only thing you achieve is a decrease in enthusiasm and motivation from your employees.

But the trend that now prevails is the other extreme! The e-learning modules are loaded with all kinds of bells and whistles: gamification, polls, quizzes, and final multiple choice tests. Okay, only text does not longer fulfil, even a photo is not good enough. The norm is moving image. But to stuff e-learning with all those bells and whistles only distracts from the core of the message and is really only necessary if the content is not strong enough. Formidable and inspirational communication in short videos; that is essential. And that is why this communication is nowadays no longer an important added value of just a communication professional, but also of the learning specialist.

Nowadays, Learning Management Systems are also frequently used. With an LMS, the learning process of your employees can be controlled efficiently and in a structured manner. But you have to ask yourself whether it is really necessary for employees to obtain a certificate. And whether it is really needed to check whether employees have done their homework. If information about them is collected behind their back, or if it becomes standard procedure to check employees: they may feel as if their employer does not have confidence in them. When people feel that learning is not being imposed, but that they have chosen to take action themselves, they learn via intrinsic motivation. Managing on the basis of trust rather than on control is absolutely the most sustainable in the long term. It ensures successful, flexible, and innovative organizations.

And besides, why would you, if you have developed beautiful content, want to ‘hide’ it in an LMS? You can also use, for example, a video channel and place the material on your website. This ensures that the inspiring videos of your company can easily be viewed by your new employees and also by your potential employees and by customers. I too often see companies use an LMS when they can also make their valuable content available for external communication.

One Comment

  1. Suus Groeliker-
    7 February 2019 at 11:38

    Totally agree, Chiara! Nice article!