eLBX Online Day 24 - Adding the Human Element to eLearning

Adding the Human Element to eLearning header graphic

As instructional designers, we talk a lot about adding the “human element” to our training, but what does it really mean? Is it more than just having an image of our narrator on the screen? Yes, it is! There’s a lot more to the human element than you might think.

In this webinar, Dr. David Christiansen walked attendees through sample courses that don’t quite implement the human element and together they brainstormed ways to effectively add a human element.

Dave shared 7 specific approaches to adding the human element.

  1. Aesthetics
  2. "Why I Should Care"
  3. Leveling
  4. "Learner-centric"
  5. Gamification/Competition
  6. Humor
  7. "What Do You Think?"

Let's dive into each approach.


Dave was careful to remind attendees that aesthetics is more than just imagery. When considering aesthetics, consider how narration, audio effects, and images work together to create that truly human element of your course.

"Why I Should Care"

For this one, really think about what's the best way to get learners to care about the training topic.


While this isn't feasible for all training programs, factoring in your learners' previous experience and knowledge is a great way to customize your content. Allowing learners to test out of training they already know can really increase morale.


This approach lets learners control which sections they take in what order and opt out of sections they might know already. It can increase engagement and learner appreciation.


People inherently like to be challenged, which makes gamification a great way to add in a human element and motivate learners.


If your company culture allows it, adding relevant humor to a slide here and there can lighten up your learning and boost engagement. Make sure you don't stray into sarcasm, however, or make light of serious situations.

"What Do You Think?"

Add opportunities for the learner to share their input or think critically about a topic.

And now you're ready to add a human element to your next eLearning course!

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