Last month, our founder Jude Novak gave a talk at DevLearn, the world’s largest conference for online learning and technology.

Delivering his talk to members of DevLearn’s 3,000-strong attendee list, Jude focused on his personal attempts to simplify the creation and delivery of eLearning.

Here are a few takeaways from Jude’s talk that resonated with us:

If you’d rather click through Jude’s talk yourself, the slides are attached at the bottom of this post.

1. Fresh eyes can be a blessing

One of Jude’s early insights was that the ideas that most disrupt an industry, often come from outside that industry – from a fresh set of eyes.

Jude discussed how his own fresh set of eyes allowed him to see that eLearning materials were boring and disengaging to learners when he first started creating eLearning.

Not only this, but Jude’s experience in creating iPhone and iPad apps in the early days of the Apple Store had taught him how to make learning experiences fun, engaging and interactive – something that allowed him not only to realise what was wrong with eLearning, but try to change it.

2. Simple changes can make online learning fun

Jude listed 5 steps that he took to try to make eLearning fun again. None of them were overly complex, but when combined they led to dynamic, interactive learning experiences.

  • Adding personality: By creating in-app characters, boring subjects could be brought to life, and learning pathways could be given a narrative
  • Using colour: Using colours that were familiar and consistent to learners allowed them to better understand what was required of them. For example, Jude used orange for checkpoint questions to signal that they were a waiting point in the learning pathway, like waiting at an amber traffic light
  • Animation: Animation can pique the learner’s interest and give feedback to the end user
  • Challenging the user: By challenging the learner, Jude found that he could increase their buy in and lift engagement
  • Providing variety: Varying the delivery of content allowed for a dynamic learning experience
3. Traditional eLearning doesn’t make sense

Jude spoke at length about how the traditional eLearning model doesn’t make sense. In the traditional model that Jude spoke of, online learning requires multiple platforms (such as authoring tools and Learning Management Systems) and multiple experts (such as Instructional Designers and IT experts).

These factors make traditional online learning disconnected, expensive, and a maintenance nightmare.

Jude’s insight was to unify the creation and delivery aspects of eLearning, leading to a single platform – eCoach!

4. eLearning can and should be simple

One of Jude’s final points was that eLearning is, in it’s simplest form, a repository of resources, created by designers, and a set of results, generated from those resources by end learners. Pretty simple, right?

By focusing on making the process of creating resources and generating results as easy and powerful as possible, and by taking a customer-centric approach to product design, Jude was able to drive eCoach towards becoming the world’s top-rated LMS for customer satisfaction.

This led to eCoach’s current goal: to simplify the sharing of knowledge for success – thus make online learning more accessible to anyone. Sounds pretty good to us!

Jude’s talk