Last week the Chancellor announced new investment in digital skills distance learning courses.
How many of us actually know what great eLearning feels like to use? What are examples of good eLearning in practice? What elements make it a compelling experience for the user and ensure that knowledge and skills are transferred successfully?
The definition of eLearning according to Google is ‘learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the internet’ which gives incredibly broad scope and goes way beyond what a lot of us might have in our minds when we are thinking about transferring that PowerPoint or Word document into something more compelling.
Where our social interactions and our thirst for knowledge naturally crossover are on the pages of Facebook or Instagram these days and it is in these very places we find some of the most compelling examples of eLearning.
We are constantly being updated with news from friends, companies we follow, TV stations and entertainment sources. Receiving our updates in this way is now second nature. So many of us these days will hear of some news and reach for our phone and our social channels to get updated rather than switch on a TV or grab a paper. What we don’t always realise is that eLearning has been slowly infiltrating these areas and educating us under the radar.
Snack sized education
Let’s look at the phenomenon that is Tasty. The social cookery channel delivers quick fire how-to videos in bitesize chunks usually between one and three minutes in length. What we are looking is a piece of eLearning. A clever micro-engagement delivered into our social feeds, requiring no sound, no presenter aside from those famous hands and no explanation. Would we ever dare suggest such a basic approach in our own eLearning! Probably not.
A quick glance across the YouTube stats makes for mouth-watering reading. The Tasty channel was first created on the 22nd January 2016. To date they have amassed over 1.6 billion views on their content. Those numbers are always hard to digest so let’s bite off a smaller piece and understand the impact. That is approximately 480 views per second for over 900 consecutive days. Impressive stuff.
Big cook little cook
So, has it made any of us a better cook? I would think there a few people like me out there that have tried some of the recipes with mixed results. Given the sheer scale of the numbers I would deem this a resounding success. Its made the little cook like you and I feel more empowered and inspired to create the delicious looking food we see in the videos. For big cook Buzzfeed its opened a host of commercial opportunities.
Most articles written about Tasty talk about the top down video approach and how everyone has copied it, but nobody has quite mastered it like Buzzfeed. They probably speak from a commercial perspective. If we take on the role of little cook instead of big cook it can give us some important tips and pointers when we are thinking about our own eLearning development.
Tasty is the perfect marriage of content and delivery mechanism built to survive in the fast world of today. An eLearning micro-engagement you probably didn’t even think was subtly educating you. They have left us all something to chew on in our breakfast meetings tomorrow though, food for thought and that all important first example to show our peers when we talk to them about why we should consider eLearning as an alternative to those more traditional methods of educating.