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Learning Evolution: From computer-based training to digital learning

I heard the term “computer-based training” the other day and actually had to think about—to remember—what it meant. Though the term is technically still around, it certainly isn’t used like it used to be. Even web-based learning is going out of style to make place for digital. Of course, those terms mean vastly different things, and the fluidity of the industry nomenclature is reflective of the changes in technology itself.

In the move from Flash to HTML5, the move from longer courses to microlearning, the change from cell phones the size of a brick to smartphones, digital media has changed dramatically. Learning technology has had to keep up. Elearning conventions are being exchanged for digital trends:

  • Layout
    • For instance, rather than “click next to continue,” the trend is now scrolling pages with interactions that take the learner deeper into the content or layer on top.
  • Media placement
    • For example, rather than videos embedded within the course, they are segmented to stand alone.
  • Delivery and devices
  • Interaction
    • Elearning used to be a “designed” learner experience, but web media requires a user-controlled experience with touchpoints that allow the learner to self-explore rather than move linearly.
  • Content
    • Data visualization—like infographics and clickable states—provides learners one quick look into the content.

Recently at Allen, we have developed several courses that embody these new digital tenets, and our clients are grateful for the fresh perspective and longer shelf life of these designs. They are digital design at its finest. Although these projects are proprietary for our clients, a coworker just pointed out a great design example from Google. The story of How Search Works embodies this new standard rather marvelously. With scrolling, interaction, visualized content—the works!—it’s nascent, quick, informative and…dare I say it, fun.

How could your content use a facelift? Call us today.