Everyone experiences those moments when we struggle for creative thoughts. The harder you try, the shorter the supply. Even normally creative learning professionals can struggle to find good presentation angles. Truth is, great courses don’t come easily.
Great Courses Don’t Come Easily
Picture this: After youve added your content and have steadily stared at your computer screen for a time, you realize youve hit a wall. As hard as you might try, the innovative ideas arent coming and your multimedia authoring tool sits ready, but unutilized. Your content is proven but translating it to an engaging elearning format is becoming more of a challenge than you expected. Some might call it a form of writers block, others losing your muse.
The good news is that there are ways to jumpstart your imagination and get the creative juices flowing again. Here are a few you can try.
Have a game plan
Reset your mind to begin again with your online course development with sketching out an instructional design document and storyboard before beginning the course build:
- The instructional design document is a method of restructuring your content into learning objects and learning strategies. In other words, what you want to teach and the best way to teach it.
- The storyboard is similar to what you might have seen used before shooting a motion picture. It identifies the visuals and other features and techniques to be used in your course. These might include audio and video clips, illustrations, images, etc.
Talk about it
Ideas are closer than you think! Very often, the best way to solicit ideas for your course is to engage colleagues, family, or friends in a dialogue about the topic. Sometimes great ideas can come from those with nothing at stake. By considering others suggestions, you’ll gain access to an alternate perspective and prompt you to consider ways of improving yours. Im trying to show… Any ideas or suggestions?
Get to know your software
Understanding your authoring tools capabilities serves two purposes:
- Manufacturers typically provide examples of their products capabilities in training materials. The examples may be reusable and fit your specific needs.
- Understanding what your authoring tool can and cannot do will eliminate idea dead ends.
Look at what others are doing
Another solution is to scour the internet for course samples from others in your field, or completely unrelated fields. Broaden your search by looking internationally and across industries. Seeing the direction others have taken opens the mind to new possibilities. Take advantage of discussion groups on social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn to solicit ideas from others in the industry.
Get away from it all
Just as getting out of bed and engaging in a low concentration activity is recommended if you cant sleep, so too if youre struggling to come up with ideas, remove yourself completely from the task. Do something else; Move on to another task, get some exercise, read a book, bake a cake. A change in environment and concentration, even for a short time, can help to promote creativity.
The most important take-away is to not be discouraged. Custom elearning development is not an innate talent in many and even the creative have their doldrums. (Think Winston Churchill and his dark episodes.)
The fact is you know your stuff and your material is solid. By looking beyond the typical channels for inspiration you can find your muse and begin to create great online training that will keep your learners or trainees engaged and entertained.
Where do you go for inspiration? We want to know! Share your links, stories, or ideas in the comments below.