serious elearning manifestoA few weeks ago, some true visionaries and seasoned practitioners in the eLearning space launched the Serious eLearning Manifesto. If you haven’t read it or become a signatory yet, I encourage you to do so today. Hundreds of your counterparts already have.

Here are our five favourite values from the manifesto and the reasons why they hold a lot of promise for the future of eLearning:

1. The shift from being content focused to becoming performance focused

At the end of the day, why does your L&D function exist? It exists to help improve the performance of your entire organization. This shift alone will help a lot of organizations make strides toward defining the ROI of learning. Performance is the true measure of learning. 

2. The shift from being efficient for authors to becoming meaningful to learners

One of the trustees of the manifesto – Connie Malamed – recently wrote about the need for authors and designers to start putting themselves in the mind of the learner. For eLearning to have true value to a learner it must be meaningful. With the increasing ability for eLearning technology to personalize learning like never before, this push toward meaningful learning is now more possible than ever.

3. The shift from being attendance-driven to becoming engagement-driven

Presence does not necessarily mean attention. If you have an audience that is present, you have to capitalize on their presence by actively working to engage their attention. The rise of gamification in learning and instruction, is a clear indicator of this shift toward creating more engaging eLearning experiences.

4. The shift from one size fits all to individualized challenges

The firehose approach is simply broken. Every learner’s needs are different. New learning technology makes it possible to measure exactly what those needs are and deliver the appropriate training at the exact time it is needed. When combined with value no. 2 above, this will help make eLearning far more relevant to each learner and therefore, far more effective as a way to improve performance in an organization.

5. The shift from one-time events to spaced practice 

The move toward spaced practice (also known as interval reinforcement) is helping combat one of the biggest problems in learning today: the forgetting curve. One-time learning events are simply not designed for long-term retention of knowledge and if people forget, they cannot perform. By combining spaced practice with engagement and personalization, not only does eLearning become effective … it gets a whole lot more serious.

What are you favourite pieces of the Serious eLearning Manifesto? Let us know in the comments below or tweet your thoughts to us.

Written by Shum Attygalle

Axonify Team

Author: Axonify Team

Axonify is the world’s first Employee Knowledge Platform. It combines an award-winning approach to microlearning, with innovative knowledge-on-demand capabilities and the entire experience is gamified, driving high levels of participation.


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  1. Will Thalheimer

    Shum, thanks for sharing the values of the eLearning Manifesto! If people want to read the manifesto, they can do that here:

    The Manifesto’s 22 principles are intended to get a rich discussion going. As we know, learning is much more complicated than rocket science because the human-learning system is infinitely complex. In looking at our learning designs we have to go beyond simple labels. For example, while some aspects of gamification can drive attention, gamification has to be done right, aligned with other principles in the manifesto, including realistic practice, and authentic contexts, to name just a few. As with most things in the complex world of learning, we can’t rely on simple understandings; we have to have a deep appreciation for the human learning system.

    I’m delighted you’re sharing the Manifesto, and I look forward to hearing others thoughts on it.

    Reply March 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm
    • Shum Attygalle

      Will, thank you so much for bringing us this manifesto. I completely agree that the human learning system is infinitely complex and it’s very exciting to see how technology is playing a small part in demystifying that complexity. I am just as eager to hear others thoughts on it and I look forward to seeing more great things from you and the eLearning manifesto team!

      March 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm

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