Sam Taylor

Sam Taylor, eLearning Manager

Sam Taylor has worked within elearning and Learning Technologies for over 10 years in Private and Public Sector Organisations, and currently is eLearning Manager for Barclaycard.  She was elected to the ELearning Network board in 2010, and organised 24 tips for 2011 (link to: http://insights.elearningnetwork.org/?cat=56) as well as helping to found the Campaign for Effective Elearning.

How do you work to make elearning effective?

I don’t want my business to have boring, painful experiences, where they might not even learn anything at the end of it. Effective elearning doesn’t have to be about using the cutting edge of technology, it’s about good instructional design. You don’t need bells and whistles, you need content which is engaging, relevant and resonates with your learners. The days of online PowerPoints need to be over.

Creating effective elearning is a journey. I’ve learnt through trial and error, reading up on best practice, as well as from colleagues, developers, and my social network. 

I believe in the following principles:

  • Know your audience. Know what works and doesn’t work for your business – who are your learners, what things do they really not like.  Effective elearning needs to meet their needs.
  • Don’t assume the learner knows nothing – really effective elearning is about giving the learner a choice on the level of content to access, through scenarios, diagnostics and pre-assessments.
  • Build good relationships with all your internal stakeholders.  If you have good working relationships with your subject matter experts (SMEs) you can help influence instructional approaches that they might not have chosen otherwise.  Build good relationships with your developers too – if you’re all sharing the same vision, you’re all working to make that elearning effective.
  • Write it down and commit to your effective standards – I’ve created design guidelines for sharing with developers as a reference that covers everything from the company’s brand to instructional templates we don’t like.
  • Finally, love your specialism – I always want to learn and find out more – what new ways can we make learning  ‘sticky’ , what’s cutting edge,  what makes great elearning.  I use Twitter and  ELearning Network events, but inspiration can come from unusual sources too. 

I want to be proud of every module I create, and know that it’s the best solution I could have provided. That’s my commitment to effective elearning.

You can tweet Sam via @samt_el (https://twitter.com/#!/samt_el)