Every company has a unique culture. Acronyms that only employees understand, lingo that sounds like another language to outsiders, a ‘feeling’ that you might not be able to put your finger on.
When we create a custom e-learning course, we aren’t creating it for a wide audience. It is being developed for a specific audience. Creative writers have to quickly become accustomed to the unique cultures and audiences for each course so we can speak to this audience in a meaningful way.
HOW CAN AN OUTSIDER UNDERSTAND OUR CULTURE?
E-learning writers must be able to dive into clients’ source material, reading everything they can get their hands on to better understand the people and the audience. Writers should visit clients’ locations and immerse themselves in the environment that learners inhabit. On location, writers should be watching how employees speak and how they act.
If you can tap into a client’s culture by using their language, by using examples and scenarios within simulations that resonate with the audience, you are able to connect with learners on deeper level.
WHY IS AUTHENTICITY IMPORTANT?
A benefit of developing a custom e-learning course is that you can use the platform to build your company’s language and culture. It provides a way to ensure that every employee is receiving a consistent training experience in a uniform voice. This is especially useful for clients who have many employees dispersed over large areas. Every employee is seeing the exact same thing. And that thing must be relatable.
Writing realistic scenarios gives learners something to relate to. If they are able to identify with the characters and scenarios in the course, they will be more engaged. They will be more likely to believe the material. If a character or scenario is realistic, audience members are drawn in. They care more. If something is broad and phony, the audience spends more time picking out the flaws.
It’s like watching a bad movie. We spend our time calling out the inconsistencies, making fun of the dialogue, and laughing at the absurd plot holes.
Think of the TV shows The Wire and Law & Order. The Wire gives the audience realistic characters. We are drawn into the complex story and genuine situations. Law & Order is formulaic. Its characters are robots whose only purpose is to move the plot forward. The show may get information across, but we as audience members don’t remember it. The Wire sticks with us. Law & Order does not.
Okay, maybe the dun-dun sound at the beginning.
And what are we doing when we are watching a TV show? We are sharing an experience. An e-learning audience is sharing a learning experience when they complete a course. If it is well written, with engaging scenarios and meaningful language, that experience will be valuable.