What Sports Can Teach Us About eLearning

There’s nothing like going to an exciting sports event; the crowd is cheering, families are sharing soft pretzels and buckets of popcorn, and the stadium is smattered with various colored jerseys from each opposing team. Why do fans stick around so long? Because watching the game and the whole experience is fun! Your elearning can incorporate many of the same principles as baseball, basketball, football, or any other sport. Not only is watching the event a good time, the players are having a great time, and there’s usually plenty of action, a few surprises, and a great coach who leads the team. Your elearning audience is much like a sports team. As an elearning designer, your training should lead them to the finish line while they’re having a great time and benefiting from the experience.

Sports are all about goals. Whether it’s a team objective or individual player’s goal, everyone accomplishes milestones along the road to success. Everyone who takes your elearning course should likewise accomplish goals as they advance through their training. Perhaps they’ll even be able to show off their newfound skills at the end of your course.

No sports player would participate if he or she wasn’t having fun along the way (trust me, I quit three different sports while growing up until I found one that I liked and stuck with). Similarly, your elearning audience will quit if they’re not having fun during the learning process. You can incorporate games into your design to make learners more likely to stick around until the end.

A coach can make a big impact on players. Likewise, elearning designers play a critical role in each learner’s experience. eLearning designers provide experiences and offer feedback that help users gain important skills. An elearning course should include valuable information, real-world examples, and feedback to coach learners from beginning to end, and should prepare them to encounter the same situations in the workplace. Remember, that when learners are rapidly taking in new information, a game or activity can provide a much-needed break.

Finally, every athlete knows that practice makes perfect. Even if a professional athlete is “top player,” he or she still knows to keep practicing, improving, and learning new skills. Remember that audiences of your elearning course can always use a refresher or more practice. Even if they’ve finished taking your course, there’s always more to learn and brush up on. Make sure to provide follow-up activities or assessments to keep every learner on his or her toes so they’re ready to go up to bat whenever.