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An Olympic approach to effective e-learning

This post was written by Kayleigh Tanner and first appeared on the Epic blog on 12th February 2014.

zoomed out city skylineWith the Winter Olympics well underway in Sochi, today’s blog post is going to take on a decidedly sporty theme. Those Olympic athletes are an admirable bunch, but how can they inspire us when we’re thinking about commissioning e-learning?


In simple terms, the object of curling is to get your stone as close to the centre of the target as possible. Your broom is your tool to enable you to help it on its way. Think of your learners as your stones being thrown across the ice, and your e-learning is your brush to guide them towards the centre of that target. Without that brush to smooth out the ice, your learners might get close to their optimal performance level, but giving that ice a quick sweep can help them reach their goals more easily with the correct support from the right training programme.

Half pipe

The half pipe is a seriously impressive event. It’s all about coming up with creative ways to capture the attention of the judges and the audience and making a real statement. Your e-learning should engage its audience in the same way. If you rely on the same old tricks time and time again, people will soon know what to expect and will become bored. Innovation keeps things fresh, interesting and ultimately, more engaging. The Epic team work hard to understand what will keep your audience captivated, keeping training boredom at bay.


Slalom requires true discipline. Even though you know what you want your audience to learn, you may not know how to keep them on track. It can be all too easy to venture off-piste with flashy graphics and lengthy videos, but our designers will guide your learners through your learning solution by making it user-friendly and easy to navigate. This is about signposting what your learners need to do and how to do it to avoid a confusing lack of instructions or series of distractions.

Figure skating

Striking the delicate balance between style and substance is key to a show-stopping figure skating routine. Scrimping on the right look and feel can make your learners feel disconnected further down the line. While a background in an off-brand colour or a single broken link might not ruin the entire course, it will detract from the polished, professional feel you want to convey. Enlisting the services of quality assurance testers, such as the team at Epicentre, can smooth out any little bugs or glitches which may detract from the sleek end product you were hoping for.


Commissioning an e-learning course should never be like a skeleton race. Even if you’re short on time, the process should never feel like you’re hurtling head-first down a slippery track. When you’re on a tight deadline, it may initially seem faster to shove your content into an off-the-shelf system and get your learners up and running. However, working with experts who will take the time to understand your needs from the very start will help you create much more relevant, engaging and appropriate e-learning in the long run. A controlled, methodical approach will be beneficial for you and your learners, and ultimately, will help you deliver the gold-medal learning your organisation needs.

For more information about designing great e-learning, head to the Epic Knowledge Base to guide you in the right direction with your e-learning design choices. And if you really want to get your team motivated, sign up now for our free event with Towards Maturity: ‘LearningNow: efficient, effective, engaging’.