Why Your Digital Learning Program Needs To Be SIMPLE

why your digital learning program needs to be simple


Last week, I had the honor of speaking at PCMA Convening Leaders and Virtual Edge Summit in San Diego, California. I spoke not once, not twice, but FOUR times! Having chosen to deliver most of my presentations online, it was invigorating to be delivering in front of a live physical audience. It was also empowering to know that I was connecting beyond the four walls of the convention center to an extended audience via the digital extension that PCMA and Virtual Edge hosted for a global audience.

Keep Learning Programs SIMPLE

I’ve created an acronym which sums up the message I delivered in each and every presentation.

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Keep it S.I.M.P.L.E, design and redesign online training programs in a way that uses multiple tools to deliver the curriculum, give people the option to test in and out of programs based upon their own personal skills set, and allow people to Learn when they need the skill, not when you think they need it. We are all too busy to be listening to content we already know, or to spend time learning content that isn’t relevant!

By remembering to keeping things S.I.M.P.L.E, we have the opportunity to focus on delivering three core messages that don’t get lost, instead of twenty five that disappear into the disengaged abyss of the human mind.

The S.I.M.P.L.E. Methodology

Short – 5 to 10 Mins of any one medium.

Interactive – design.

Media Rich – use video, chat rooms, breakout rooms, small quizzes to provide hands on experience.

Prime – Produce learning “bytes” [pun intended] (2-5 min videos) for consumption prior to training. Deliver core theory before the session, with a goal to cultivating learning in the classroom.

Listen – its no longer about pushing content out to the participants you now have tools to listen to their skill gaps and adapt yourself to answer questions not deliver canned training.

Engage – be the facilitator and actively participate with your learners.

Next, Deliver C.A.R.E

My resounding message last week was that technology has finally caught up with our desires to deliver content online. 10 years ago technology hindered our ability to deliver the same levels of engagement that we did in a physical classroom, and we asked our learners to become isolated in their learning programs.

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Web 2.0 combined with Webcasting now enables us to CARE: Connect, Articulate, Respond &Engage with our audience. As trainers and even as presenters, we can now become the facilitators of participants’ learning AND continue our own education in doing so. Wrapping a socially driven virtual platform around such programming delivers a solution that can start the learning, cultivate it and then develop it further.

Event television shows like OWN Network’s Oprah’s Life Class, Suze Orman’s Money Class and Bravo’s Top Chef are using virtual classroom environments to continue the conversation post-show. They recognize that the greatest learnings are taking place from one another, not just from theoretical delivery.


My highlight of the week was being able to stand on stage and co-present with David Wilkins of Taleo, a thought leader and learning strategy evangelist. Ten years ago, we were two thought leaders for competing software companies. Today, we are thought leaders for a common goal, to bring connectivity back into learning.

I think David will agree with me that we need to deliver on: SIMPLE and CARE in our learning.


Post contributed by Emma King
Emma King is VP of Event & Learning Strategy at INXPO.