How to humanise digital learning

Bringing a personal, human touch to your digital content is a great way to increase engagement. Up to 50% of the UK due to work remotely until 2021, and as L&D professionals we cannot wipe out the rest of 2020’s learning potential. However, we have a new challenge on our hands as we battle with increasingly distracting work places. From the TV, to children – all our employees will face new challenges while at home. By bringing a ‘human’ touch to our digital learning, we can create content our learners want to engage in (and thus ignore those pesky WFH distractions).
 
 
So, here are my top tips on humanising your digital learning content.
 

1. Quit the jargon

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in our industry who hasn’t seen the LinkedIn post saying “Don’t you just hate the word X”. Quit the jargon, speak to your learners like humans – they’ll appreciate it.
 
However, it’s important to note that many think jargon is synonymous with technical vocabulary. No, don’t dumb down all your content to make it more ‘human’, but avoid those phrases that send shivers down most of our spines (think – “low hanging fruit”).
 
 

2. Social learning

Once upon a time, if you wanted to know the office gossip, you’d linger around the water cooler. It was also known that you’d learn a lot there; company tips and tricks, guidance from those more senior than you. But one day, the water cooler disappeared, and all your learners started working from home.
 
By facilitating social learning through digital mediums (such as your LMS or company intranet), you can imitate the ‘water cooler’ situation. This infographic from Docebo is a great visualisation of how social learning works. But most of all, it shows the difference between social learning and the more traditional, top-down approach to learning. (And shows why social learning is better, of course!)
 
 

3. Digital instructor

The idea of a digital instructor still gets mixed reviews. Some think back to Mr Clippy from the early days of MS Word. Some think it echoes the modern day YouTube ‘vlogger’. But the area of digital learning I’m asking you to consider is: Virtual-Instructor-Led-Training (or VILT). VILT gives your learners instant access to SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), whilst still benefiting from remote learning – what more could you want?
 
Plus, the virtual instructor eradicates the possibility of passive learning. Overcoming the problem of learners, laid back in their chair, clicking ‘next’ until they get to the end-of-course assessment.
 
 

4. Storytelling

A great way to bring life to your digital learning is by storytelling. Humans are programmed to absorb stories. It’s why we imagine and dream. Integrating a good story line into your elearning is a great way to make your learners care.
 

 

5. Use multi-media

Note, the key word is multi. Mean multiple. Mix it up a bit, use video, audio, text and graphics throughout your course. We process visuals six thousand times faster than other forms of content – so why wouldn’t you use visuals in your course?
 
But mix it up to keep learners engaged – just don’t over do it. We don’t want to increase learners’ cognitive load.
 
 
So, there you have it. Six ways to humanise your digital content. If you have any other ideas, please let us know on Twitter @Cursim. We’d love to know your thoughts!