How to spring-clean your e-learning cobwebs

Lisa Wait eWorks Accredited ConsultantLisa Wait has held key roles leading national digital education initiatives for government. Her passions include instructional design, educational strategy and digital resource development for schools, VET and industry. Lisa might only get serious about spring-cleaning once per year, but here she explains how we can apply spring-cleaning principles across the board – ‘e’ cobwebs included.

It’s springtime!

When the sun begins to shine and the trees begin to blossom it is time to have a good spring-clean. Springtime is my annual prompt to wash the windows, clean out cupboards and sweep away the cobwebs. I must confess, these are once a year activities in my housekeeping schedule! However, although these cleaning activities don’t happen very often, they are certainly an annual undertaking. But why limit your spring-cleaning to your home? How many of us think to spruce up our organisation’s e-learning programs on an annual basis?

Online learning and spring cleaning

Spring-cleaning our online learning programs allows us to reflect on what we have been doing, to consider what worked and, most importantly perhaps, to review what didn’t. Then we can clean out the e-learning ‘cobwebs’ and brainstorm new ideas for the year ahead. If you’re not sure where to start, here is an e-learning spring-cleaning checklist.

spring cleanCredits: Betty Spent Some Time Cleaning Her Windows by Kate Ter Haar

1. Maintenance

  • Check for broken links and links that should be replaced with more up-to-date information
  • Make sure that the e-learning content reflects current language, concepts or customer needs.
  • Be on the lookout for out dated graphics, logos or branding.

2. Learning design

  • Review the learning design – ‘drag and drop’ and ‘click and reveal’ were once considered highly interactive. Do these activities still deliver the required learning?
  • Is the e-learning as engaging and relevant today as it was 5 years ago?
  • Does the learning design reflect your current workplace and practices?
  • Is there opportunity for communication and collaboration?
  • Can your organisation make use of social media for learning?

3. Technical

  • Work through any interactive learning objects or assets to check they function correctly on the latest browsers and platforms.
  • Is it time to consider delivering e-learning on ipads, tablets and mobiles?

Too busy to spring-clean?

Perhaps I can be a little blunt here? No, you’re not too busy to spring-clean. If we never do it, if we never pause to think about what we have been doing and why, we never grow as individuals or as organisations. So spring-cleaning is about prioritising. Like all things that are good for us, from our regular yoga class to an annual check-up at the dentist, it might take a little effort to make it happen, but we know that it’s important. Lecture over (for now!). Do let me know if you need a hand.