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Elearning innovation: examples, tips and technology

8 minute read

Marcus Markovic, Content & Brand Lead at Elucidat
By Marcus Markovic

Content and Brand Lead


Inspiration can be hard to find. It can be even harder to be continuously innovative. So then, how do you keep your ideas fresh, your production process smart and your elearning strategy current? Our expert learning consultants have hand-picked some useful resources to kick-start your elearning innovation.

colour creative innovation work elearning

Whether you’re producing online training courses for your own employees or you’re in the business of selling online training, keeping content creative and engaging is essential. But inspiration doesn’t always ignite when and where you want it to. Sometimes you need a gentle push in the right direction.

Experienced learning designers’ go-to resources for innovation include:

  • The latest online learning examples
  • Insights from industry leaders
  • Modern elearning frameworks and approaches
  • The latest technology
  • Podcasts and blogs

Let’s take a look at these and get the creative juices flowing!

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Examples of innovative elearning courses

The online world is jam-packed with innovative elearning courses to spark a moment of magic. Elucidat’s showcase is a great example. In fact, you can even explore the design approaches and learning interactions used!

Here are a few of our innovative elearning favorites:

Interactive Storytelling Example

If you need to provide online training around a moral or emotive subject matter, using stories could be just the thing.

story telling innovative elearning example

This subtly interactive, longer-form story uses music clips and imagery to help immerse users and create an engaging experience. Want to master the art of storytelling? Get our top 5 storytelling tips here.

giftable exampleGiftable | See this example

Gamified Scenario

Using audio to simulate a realistic work conversation is a great way to immerse learners in a life-like situation.

audio gamification innovative elearning example

Through active participation, this audio-driven, first-person scenario helps sales staff learn by practicing in a simulated environment. Demonstrating how “grown-up games” can be effective learning tools.

giftable exampleGiftable | See this example

Personalized Action Plan

A personalized experience that asks learners to reflect on their delegation style before offering up a tailored action plan.

Personalized Action Plan elearning example inspiration

Social polling and personalized feedback provide a unique opportunity to personalize the learner’s experience. In addition, making use of rules and clips is a fun and new way to tailor the online experience.

giftable exampleGiftable | See this example

Insights on future trends from elearning innovators

Staying tuned in to the work of established industry professionals is another surefire way to stay innovative. What research have they recently carried out? Are they sharing helpful content on social media? Can you catch them at an industry event?

To give you some examples, we asked 15 top industry experts to share their future predictions and hopes for elearning. Here are 3 highlights:

Lori Niles-Hofmann: more responsible, people-centered design

Trend prediction:

“More focus on the learner. I know this sounds obvious, but too often I hear learning impact measured in business KPIs. Yes, those are important. However, as we shift to gig economies with fluid careers, the content we design and deliver could mean the difference between a person remaining relevant in the workforce or left behind. In this fierce employment landscape, we must exercise responsibility, manage our SMEs, and design only for learning effectiveness.”

Linkedin | Twitter

Clive Shepherd: sayonara to tick-box, ‘instructional’ elearning

Trend prediction:

“A recognition that classic, instructional e-learning doesn’t deliver – it doesn’t close performance gaps and it doesn’t provide a satisfying learning experience. All it does is tick compliance boxes. This is in contrast to digital content generally (videos, infographics, articles, animations, quizzes, scenarios) which have changed the world – just not the world of work.”

Linkedin | Twitter

Treion Muller: more user-focused design approaches

Trends prediction:

“Regardless of what some of the players in the microlearning space are saying, there is no one bite-size fits all. It all depends on what your ultimate objective is, what the gaps are, and who your learners are. I hope that those in the L&D space will consider what they need to do differently with their unique L&D needs, challenges and learners to make it work.”

Linkedin | Twitter

Tune into the podcast where learning leaders share all

An easy and convenient way to stay on top of new trends is through industry specific podcasts. Fill your commute to work with weekly updates of how industry leaders are innovating.

Take Elucidat’s new podcast as an example, Learning at Large.

Learning at large podcast find innovation

Learning at Large is the podcast where business leaders talk high-impact learning at scale: challenges, innovations and the future.

How are modern learning leaders delivering high impact learning initiatives for global audiences? What big challenges are they facing? How do they measure the impact and ROI of learning programs?

These are just some of the questions being put to guests, giving you insight into how top learning leaders stay on top of their game.

Find out more and subscribe to the Learning at Large podcast here.

7 tips for integrating innovation into your development process

By making some adjustments to your development process, your planning will foster creativity by nature.

1. Use your audience as inspiration

Innovation is only worthwhile if it meets the needs of your learners. Therefore, it’s important to first understand your audience’s wants and needs before you start getting creative.

Keep your ideas centered around the context in which your users are likely to learn. Then, be sure to set measurable goals to show you your solution is working for them and the business. To help you get a grip on what modern professionals need, we’ve pulled together findings from numerous research papers and surveys to establish the profile of the modern learner.

For support in establishing a clear plan before you shape and test your digital learning solution, download our project planning template.

2. Use an elearning production framework that cultivates innovation

The backbone to any piece of successful learning content is careful planning and consideration. With this in mind, we’ve developed a modern development process called the 5Cs Framework. To support you creating elearning that really works.

5c framework elearning innovation

Think of it as a handy blueprint to successful design. Or, a modern alternative to the ADDIE framework with tips, checklists, templates and guides each step of the way.

Get started by downloading the 5C Framework guides here.

Looking for a quick solution? Answer two questions about your elearning challenges and get some free tips and guides specific to you with our interactive 5C toolkit.

3. Adopt a people-centered approach

Adopting a modern, learner-focused approach to content creation is an easy way to get better results. To put this into action, we’ve tested numerous ideas in hundreds of live projects to uncover the recipe for successful elearning: People-Centered Elearning. There are 6 simple things you can do to produce online learning that is people-centered:

people centered elearning innovation

People-centered elearning is a strategy that’s driven by your audience, their context and their needs. Try playing to this by pairing business goals with personal goals to have the biggest real-life impact. Ensuring you avoid a “one size fits all” solution. This will give your content more reach, more impact, more quickly. Plus, it benefits the learner too!

Be sure to download the strategic guide to people-centered elearning to get insight into how to deliver impact where it matters most with a people-centered approach. This includes a 25-point checklist to assess how people-centered your learning is and identify key areas for improvement.

4. Introduce brain-friendly solutions

Injecting some science into your design thinking is a popular practice amongst learning innovators. Don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as you think!

Try taking advice from Learning Psychologist Stella Collins, who specializes in applying brain-friendly methods to improving communication and performance. Stella delves into what’s needed to help people form new long-term memories, habits and behaviors. Through this research, Stella has developed six devices to creating learning that “sticks”, wrapped up in the memorable anchor of LEARNS: Linking, Emotion, Anchor, Repetition, Novel, Story.

Watch the video or read more for a summary of Stella’s expert advice, to make your content “sticky”!

5. Choose technologies that enable elearning innovation

Choosing the right technologies for your learning strategy isn’t easy. It’s a careful balance between meeting the needs of your production team, business KPIs and your end users, while also choosing tools that will enable you to create transformative learning experiences.

choose right innovative elearning technologies

First things first. Before you commit to a technology option, it’s crucial to clarify your goals and priorities so you can make the right choice. Then, when you’re clear on what you’re looking for, it becomes much easier to trial different tools against your criteria.

Which features are crucial? What are your technical capabilities? How much support will you need? Will your team need cloud-based software?

Save time evaluating these issues by downloading our guide to choosing the right elearning technology. It’s packed with the big questions and key considerations to aid you in choosing the right authoring software for your team.

Learn more about Elucidat’s authoring platform – for teams that need faster, smarter ways to produce innovative elearning.

6. Make data-led decisions about innovation

Dashboards are your best friends when it comes to evaluating elearning, prototyping ideas and producing content. Imagine sitting down to develop a learning design strategy and already knowing the optimum length, medium, style, and tone. Sounds good, right?

learning analytics innovative dashboard

Data is gold dust to any elearning producer. Use it ahead of designs, and along the way, to tweak and refine until your solution is an innovative winner. And to make it easier, good dashboards update automatically with live user data, so you can have your finger on the pulse. See the top 10 elearning analytics stats to track here.

Learning analytics can seem daunting. However, our everyday guide to learning analytics can help you decode the digital body language of your audience, to establish the design of elearning that works best.

7. Take advantage of xAPI

The decision about which standards to use when producing elearning will affect the longevity of your content. As a result, the use of xAPI is becoming increasingly more popular in comparison to SCORM.

xAPI is a game changer. It enables the recording, tracking, personalizing and improving of learning activity, both on and offline. In other words, it can help you to identify where learning interventions might be needed, measure the impact of blended learning experiences and identify how they could be improved – ideal for any designer looking to advance their content.

Want to see a real life example? Here are 4 killer examples of xAPI used for more effective learning.

In summary…

There are tons of great innovative resources out there to unlock your inner-creative. Nevertheless, understanding your users’ wants and needs is what’s crucial to producing truly effective learning experiences.

Now that you’re feeling inspired, see the full breakdown of elearning best practices and download the guide – to create truly effective content!

Like the examples you’ve seen using Elucidat? Book a demo today to see how we can support your digital innovation.

Book a demo of Elucidat

Written by Marcus Markovic

Marcus plays a pivotal role in connecting Elucidat's cutting-edge content and our brand with a global audience. He specializes in distilling complex ideas into engaging, accessible content that drives forward the mission of making elearning universally accessible.

Read more articles by Marcus Markovic