Coherence Principle and Personalization Principle in e-Learning
With current market conditions getting more challenging, business imposes more requirements to employees performance and qualifications. Every day new concepts and technologies are introduced, and professionals need to master them quickly and apply to business tasks fulfillment. In such cases many companies take advantage of e-Learning.
In reference to business-oriented needs e-Learning is content and instructional methods delivered on a computer and designed to build knowledge and skills related to individual or organizational goals (Clarks, 2002). A vast variety of e-Learning courses are being designed, but not all of them address the learning requirements with proper quality level. Therefore, two remarkable e-Learning technologists Ruth Clark and Richard Mayer have developed six principles of effective e- Learning.
The principles describe the ways to deliver the training to the learner most efficiently, with proper use of “media elements in e-Learning” - text, graphics, and audio (Clarks, 2002). Each principle is based on scientific research and has psychological grounding. In current paper we will touch upon two principles: Coherence and Personalization.
The motto of Coherence principle is “Less is more”. It means that the material is more comprehensible if it is not overloaded with long descriptions and distracting media elements. When designing a course developers sometimes tend to attract learners’ attention by enhancing the material with additional elements: fun video, animation or illustrations. However, according to Clark and Mayers, adding such elements can only bring value if they help to better explain the notion or process under discussion, while if their only purpose is to entertain, it will have a prominent negative effect on learning the material.
The psychological reason for this negative effect lies in the fact that irrelevant details, incorporated to learning materials, activate irrelevant prior knowledge of the learner. Thus, the mixture of useful material and extraneous information turn into a mess in a learner’s mind, disrupting the material learning process. Indeed, this effect can be compared with intrusive advertisements in the internet when we are exploring some business data: these captions can be so catchy and illustrations can be so fun, but if we look into them for just two seconds, our concentration will be ruined and we may lose our train of thought.
Below are the video links concerning Coherence principle.
The first video describes Coherence principle itself, providing relevant example of how it should be implemented in e-learning.
Another video provides example of E-Learning Explainer Video. It represents coherent principle in action: although graphics and music are widely used, they are very relevant and do not seem excessive, on the contrary, they help to follow the information presented.
Another principle we’d like to discuss is Personalization. In current time people spend enormous amount of time working with computers – both at work and at home. It seems like people should have got used to impersonal style of computer language. However, we are still human beings and we feel more comfortable if there is some animate creature standing between us and regular digital programs. Clark and Mayer have revealed this tendency and concluded that learner’s attitude would be more positive and training effect would be more significant if some materials or prompts were delivered via learning agent, representing a sort of communication process (2002). While appearance of this agent is not very important and can differ, it is more preferable to implement audio for him and use quite an informal language.
Below are two links for the video, demonstrating Personalization principle in action.
The first is called Mayer and Clark Personalization principle. The principle is described here by a cartoon girl with pleasant appearance and in an informal language, which forms a positive attitude to the information.
The second video provides an example of Corporate video, the topic is Fraud Risk Indicators. The vision of a girl is used throughout the whole video creating the atmosphere of trustfulness by adding personalization.
The discussed e-Learning principles should be taken as a guide by all learning program designers. Their appliance will help to avoid ineffective time spent at courses and improve training quality.
Allbritton G. (2014, February 14). The Coherence Principle.[Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG1NeCWTFEQ
Clark D.(2013, January 17).Mayer & Clark – 10 brilliant design rules for e-Learning. Donald Clark Plan B. Retrieved from http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.ru/2013/01/mayer-clark-10-brilliant-design-rules.html
Clark R. (2002, September 10) Six principles of effective e-Learning: what works and why. Learning Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.elearningguild.com/pdf/2/091002DES-H.pdf
Corporate e-Learning example. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iahazOgTH1Q
King S.V. (2013 February 15). Mayer & Clark Personalization Principle. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WulWTdyiy0
Main K. (2015, February 23). E-Learning - Explainer Video : Example #1. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_QkkidIB94