‘Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.’

That’s what English poet William Cowper wrote in his poem ‘The Task’.

Life would be very boring if everything were the same. If we ate the same lunch every day. If we had the same evening routine day in day out.

The same goes for learning. Using the same approach for a piece of learning isn’t always a bad thing – if it works it works. But people should be enthusiastic about learning.

They want to learn.

They crave content that can help them solve their problem.

You need to show them that their time is valuable. That they are valuable. You need to set them up for success.

What does this mean?

Be open to different approaches. What works best for achieving one goal might not work well for another. Learning isn’t a linear process either. Yes, an eLearning module is a fantastic opportunity to start that behaviour shift, to provoke some thought. But learning is continuous. It never stops. You shouldn’t rely on an eLearning module alone to tick that box for you.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of producing an informational piece of eLearning. It’s hard when you’ve so much information to get across to learners. You’re scared that if you miss anything out, there’ll be repercussions. Repercussions of what though? Reading information and not being able to remember it?

Tackling information overload

Less really is more. Pick out the actions. What do people need to do to do their job better? How can you help them get there? Reading information or knowing where to find it just doesn’t cut it. Learning should be less didactical and more practical.

Each learner is an individual. They’ll take something different away from a learning experience, and this depends on their experience and motivations. They’ll have differing levels of experience in their job role. They may not have the same roles. So learner perspectives will be very different.

In practice

Consider a standard eLearning module. It contains some information for learners to absorb. There’ll be a real-life scenario or reflection point to help the learners connect with the material. And there’ll be at least one work-based activity – something for the learner to do.

The module might address a particular learning need:

  1. Is it their first look at this subject area?
  2. Does this expand on what they already know?
  3. Is this going to be a useful reference resource for them?
  4. Does the learning address a particular pain point or business issue?
  5. Has your business encountered some change in the way you work?

Or the same piece of learning may even cater to these different needs, wants and frustrations. Let’s imagine you asked a few of the learners what their main takeaway was after completing the module.

Learner A says that it was the last screen in the module because it was the last thing they remember.

Learner B says there was one thing that resonated with them. They didn’t know that it wasn’t ok to wear face masks around their neck. Now they’ll be more careful.

Learner C says that the work-based activity allowed them to practice entering patient data into the new system and in a safe environment.

Learner D says that it was the reflection activity. It made them think about how they could better incorporate infection and prevention control practices into their work.

And that’s ok. No matter how much you engineer it, learners won’t take away everything they’ve looked at in an eLearning module. They’ll take away what they need at that moment in time. What you can do is create as relevant and as individual a learning journey or learning pathway as possible, to encourage change. In addition, an eLearning module is a great start, but how do learners make it to the finish line?

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There are lots of tactics that you can put in place. In our blogs, we refer to Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping model a lot. It helps learning designers, subject matter experts, and stakeholders work together to identify:

  • The performance issue.
  • Why the performance issue is an issue.
  • If training will solve the problem.
  • What activities you can identify that will help to resolve the performance issue.

If training will solve your problem, there are several ways you can incorporate activities that will attempt to tick the boxes for every type of learner. Several ways you can provide a richer, more meaningful experience for them, and ultimately, positive change for your business.

You can add activities into your eLearning module (remember, modules are not an information dump). You can also provide activities as part of classroom training or an extension activity. In the classroom, learners can practice applying behaviours, receive real-time individual feedback, and collaborate with others. Extension activities target those who want to know more. They have real value because often learners choose to do these rather than being told to do them.

One of our latest projects with Scottish Housing Options incorporates a mixture of eLearning, classroom training and extension activities in a ‘dip in dip out’ training toolkit. Within each section of the toolkit, there are several learning pathways. Each of these pathways starts with an introductory e-lesson. There is a range of activities to complement the e-lesson and expand on topics, such as interactive scenarios, social forums, assignments, quizzes, practice activities, and job aids.

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Our latest service offering ByteKast LXP, excels at delivering easily digestible learning nuggets in structured learning pathways to readily support learners at their moment of need.

ABC learning design

Clive Young and Nataša Perovic developed the ABC Curriculum Design in 2014 for University College London. They identified 6 learning types to help learning designers think about the structure of the experiences they want to create: for online, classroom and blended learning.


This is the only passive learning type of the 6. The learner doesn’t have to actively do anything.

A learner develops concepts through activities such as listening to a podcast or watching a demonstration.


Now we start to work through our active learning types.

The learner can further develop concepts through investigation activities. This time they'll have to do something, for example, providing a critique or comparison, or exploring resources to find out more.


Both discussion and collaboration learning types bring learners together.

Through discussion, learners articulate their ideas, ask and respond to questions, and challenge the ideas of others.

Through collaboration, learners work together to practice a task or work on a project.


‘Practice makes perfect.’

When learners practice tasks, they can have a go without the pressure of real-life. It doesn’t matter if they fail the first time. Or the second time. What matters is that they can improve as a result of their practice. Examples of practice activities include exercises, simulations, or role-play.


Producing a piece of work is a great way for learners to put what they've acquired, investigated, discussed, or practiced into something tangible. For example, an essay, blog, resource, animation, or video.

Another real-life example

We also used a learning pathway approach for Tourism Ireland’s learning hub for marketers. Each pathway for a topic suggests a logical sequence of activities. It starts with an introductory video, then an eLearning module, and moves on to support documents and resources, work-based activities, and an opportunity to share findings with the team.

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Your learning challenge

Think about a learning challenge that you have. How can you use Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping and the ABC model to produce an activity-packed learning experience? Why not ask your learners what they think? Our blog, Creating eLearning for your audience with your audience can help you to involve your learners in this process.

If you’d like some help navigating your learning challenge or you’d like to know more about working with us to create a learning pathway, with ByteKast LXP get in touch. It all starts with hello.

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