I subscribe to several learning journals and blogs. As the year concludes, they typically identify the most popular trends in online learning based on the previous year. To me, these lists help me see what everyone else is doing. This is "normal."
Like most people, I’m tempted to compare my work to industry standards. That would put me in the “normal” category. But, being normal won’t take me very far. Pursuing “normal” places artificial limitations on my future.
It doesn’t matter how you express your creativity. Let me challenge you to push beyond those boundaries. Rather than letting others determine what is acceptable, why not raise the bar by engaging your uniqueness in new and innovative ways?
In the world of online learning, there are a few “industry leaders” who exercise a great deal of influence over the work of instructional designers. These people have earned the respect of the online learning community by blazing new trails when others said it couldn’t be done.
I am deeply indebted to those who helped me catch a vision for what online learning can do. However, I’m not limited by their accomplishments. Today, the online learning I create looks nothing like the “industry standard” modules that are celebrated in journals and blogs. Copying those templates would be easy.
I’m not looking for easy; I’m more concerned about effectiveness and engagement. Sure, people might create learning experiences that impress other designers, but do they engage the online learner? Statistics say no.
About 93% of people who begin an online course never finish it. Why? They get bored. The lessons are too long, too repetitive, and too easy to skip. There is no interactivity, no accountability, and no personal motivation to keep going. One-star reviews don’t sell products on Amazon. High attrition rates won’t sell your course.
Doing what everyone else is doing will deliver what everyone else is delivering. When it comes to online learning, that’s not good enough for me. I’m on a mission to change what’s possible. The products I’m working on right now aren’t like anything you’ve ever seen before…and that’s a good thing!
You can change your future by redefining normal. Will you do it?