You might be tempted to think that here at NogginLabs, it’s all about e-learning, beer, and dogs. But there’s another, more subtle—even, at times, aloof—presence among us that we are just as passionate about. You see it in on our coffee mugs, the occasional scratch on an arm shrugged off by an embarrassed grin, and always on our clothes. I am, of course, coyly referring to The Cat.
Cats are a great subject for an e-learning blog because, like great e-learning, it’s not easy to meet their high standards—but it’s 100% worth it when you do. Without further ado, here are the top three lessons cats can teach us about creating great e-learning.
LESSON #1: YOU HAVE TO EARN IT.
You’re going to have to bring your A-game if you want to capture a cat’s or a learner’s attention. Limply waving some ratty piece of string in front of a cat’s face isn’t going to do it, just like a bunch of text and endlessly clicking Next isn’t going to do it for your learners. Quite literally, cats and learners alike need sparkle, noise, and movement.
In our e-learning, we provide this through stunning visuals that dance across the screen, graceful functionality that is so intuitive you don’t even notice it, and exciting prose that primes the mind. We dazzle your learners to hook them, and we look for ways to keep surprising and engaging them at every turn.
LESSON #2: RESPECT DISCERNING TASTE.
Ever buy food your cat doesn’t like? And rather than replacing it with the good stuff, you stubbornly leave it to crust over in the dish while your cat sits by with maddening calm and stares at you with unblinking eyes that scream judgment? It doesn’t matter if your cat hasn’t eaten for days; she will NOT touch that stuff. Ever. Learners are the same way. They know when you’re trying to force-feed them a pile of garbage, and they will not learn that way. Ever.
So what do we do? We figure out what your learners like, their tastes and preferences. Do you have a competitive culture that responds well to games and social elements like leaderboards and challenges? Do you have a more buttoned-up organization that prefers no-nonsense, knowledge-based activities? Does your company promote teamwork and interpersonal connection and value conversational interaction? We know one size doesn’t fit all—and we know you know it, too.
LESSON #3: CATS (AND LEARNERS) ARE PEOPLE, TOO.
Due to their quirks, cats are oft reduced to a singular word that is meant to sum them up: Aloof. Independent. Cuddly. Mischievous. Curious. It’s easy to abstract learners into the same sort of meaningless cliches that don’t allow them to be what they are: complex people. That’s why we don’t just take your word for what your learners are like. Instead, we go to your workplace and meet your learners. We hear from them about what they do and what they need and who they are, and we inject this personality and life into an e-learning experience that truly resonates—and this in turn achieves behavioral change.
So, what about you? Has Mr./Ms. Whiskers taught you anything about e-learning?