Last week on the Connect Thinking blog I wrote an article Compliance E-Learning Alone Will Not Make an Ethical Culture. I discussed the over-reliance of compliance e-learning as the solution to addressing organisational ethics. I also brought into question the authoritarian nature of the instructional design approach of many of the compliance e-learning I see.
Here are my top tips when designing compliance e-learning.
1. Remember your audience are adults – don’t insult them
Interactivity such as ‘move the smartphone (illustration) across the page to reveal the IT risks’ may be clever Flash coding but is not good e-learning design for smart, busy people.
Use real life, stretch scenarios to help adults to explore their biases and judgement.
2. If conversation is important to your culture, then instill conversation in your e-learn
How ironic that we try to elicit an ethical, inclusive culture with self-directed e-learning courseware!
Find ways to ensure managers talk with staff before and after they have completed the e-learn. Use videos to illustrate the attitude of ‘real people’ in your business. Provide information on how staff can explore the ethics of your culture.
3. A culture is made up of the stories and experiences of people - so give it to them
Illustrate the values of your organisation through stories, such articles from the media and videos of staff describing their experiences.
4. If all you want to do is ensure they have read the policy, then don’t develop an e-learn at all
Instead, spend time and money writing your policies well and getting a designer to format them well. Use plain language. Illustrate with pictures and case studies. Then, simply use an online assessment to test staff understanding of the policy.
5. Separate the role of the Subject Matter Expert from that of the e-learning designer
Subject Matter Experts love their subject. This often means they want to put everything into the e-learn. You need someone objective who can stand back and distill the 3 key messages. Succinct e-learning content is key to staff remembering what you want them to know.
6. No more than 10 minutes!
Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Don’t make the e-learn any longer than 10 minutes in duration. This is your best chance of having staff start the course with a positive, receptive attitude. If it doesn’t cover everything, then create a series of 10 minute e-learns and release them every couple of months.
7. Never develop your e-learn in isolation
Your compliance e-learn should be only one aspect of a range of cultural initiatives that are ongoing. Use Corporate Comms to integrate messages and visuals across the organisation.
Got any other tips? I’d love to read them. Please leave a comment.