Training magazine Names 2017 eLearning Design Challenge Winners

Award-winning design examples of successful eLearning in five categories: Microlearning, Mobile Learning, Motivation Through Gamification, Simulation Design, and Social/Collaborative Learning.

For information, contact:

Lorri Freifeld

Editor-in-Chief, Training magazine

New Orleans, LA (October 2, 2017)—2017 Online Learning Conference attendees got a bead on the latest training technology products and trends at Training magazine’s eLearning Design Challenge (eLDC) demos held September 27 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. They also learned the winners of the eLDC awards program, who received crystal awards provided by Pelucida in five categories during a special event sponsored by AirClass.

Companies submitted applications detailing their eLearning design challenges and solutions, which were reviewed by technology guru Bryan Chapman and his review panel of experts. They chose 28 winning solutions to do demos at the 2017 Online Learning Conference in New Orleans and then further chose a bronze, silver, and gold winner in each of the five categories (Microlearning, Mobile Learning, Motivation Through Gamification, Simulation Design, and Social/Collaborative Learning).

The 2017 eLDC winners are:


GOLD: Allen Interactions, United Capital FinLife Micro-Learning Portal


  • Microlearning allows the course to be self-paced, distributed across several weeks or months, or as just-in-time learning (performance support).
  • Modules are 2 to 5 minutes long and can be taken in any sequence.
  • One of the greatest innovations is that learners are asked to build a presentation (they pick topics from a list) and build a presentation deck from the library on bite-sized learning objects that make up the course; this maximizes learning by teaching to others.

SILVER: University of Colorado, No More Paper: Creating Context-Rich and Engaging Learning Resources


  • This entry is exemplary in showing how microlearning can be applied to procedural, just-in-time learning.
  • They created procedural job aids with PDFs.
  • Each procedural topic is organized with reusable “video walkthroughs,” job aids for each task, tips, hover-over glossary items, and more.
  • Results indicate that learning is easier to share and better for content searches. There was an enthusiastic response from the learner population.

BRONZE: Artisan E-Learning, Don’t Just Learn It; Do It! Microlessons Focused on Practice and Application


  • The team created templates to rapidly develop 40 microlessons, restricted to 8 minutes or less.
  • The separation of content vs. delivery allows them to personalize and brand learning for different clients and enhances reusability.


GOLD: MedImmune, Leadership Development Mobile App


  • The app was designed for use in tandem with in-person, face-to-face learning.
  • Innovations include an intelligent, adaptive learning tutor; sharing video podcasts; use of live polls; ands alerts for upcoming events.
  • It is so much more than a linear course for mobile. It draws on best practices of informal learning and social learning

SILVER: Google, Google’s Academy for Ads program


  • Learners choose their own learning path, along with interactive challenges throughout.
  • It has a mobile-first, non-cluttered design with optimized layouts for smartphones vs. tablets.
  • It awards badges at the modular level and has internal links directly to a help center.
  • Judges called this program “engaging and motivating.”

BRONZE: FirstNet Learning, Situation Boost: Law Enforcement Use of Force Training Simulation


  • This is an excellent example of video/scenario-based learning delivered on mobile devices.
  • Expert feedback changes based on learner choices.
  • It  is designed for law enforcement officers to observe, participate in a situation, and make critical decisions about how best to respond.


GOLD: LOMA, Impact Cx: The Quest


  • Learners choose an avatar and then embark on CX Missions.
  • Scoring not only provides great feedback on good vs. bad decisions, but also is elegantly designed into the whole experience.
  • A surprise twist using “wildcards” to boost scores allows learners to explore beyond the basics of each topic.
  • The judges liked the rating scale (vs. just awarding points) as learners are ranked by rookie, amateur, apprentice, ace, specialist, elite, master, or grand master.

SILVER: IBM, IBM Open Badge Program


  • The program correlates meaningful content with specific, demonstrated skills.
  • Badges are “resume worthy” because the criteria are so well defined.
  • Learners can easily share achievements through social media.

BRONZE: Highmark, Breaking the Spell


  • The program uses a medieval theme as the gamification base.
  • There is scorecard advancement through obtaining objects, a mirror for self-reflection, and a spell book.
  • The reflection actually captures self-assessment information from the learner in a freeform fashion.


GOLD: Gronstedt Group, American Hotel and Lodging Association 3D Guest-Experience Game


  • The game has an immersive, 3-D world environment.
  • Learners engage in real-life scenarios, such as assisting a customer with a handicap, spotting an unidentified duffle bag in the lobby, or filling out paperwork they use on the job.
  • It is an excellent transfer to real-life work skills.

SILVER: Wrainbo Inc., Mobile Platform for Experiential Learning


  • The platform uses a serious game approach.
  • Participants make choices about how much to produce, setting prices, and quality control while receiving real-time cost analysis, seeing the impact on financial reports, and getting immediate feedback throughout.
  • The game can be played by an individual or in a multi-player, team format.

BRONZE: Advantexe Learning Solutions, Drivers of Business Performance Simulation


  • Learners choose avatars.
  • Learners engage in executing a business strategy while simultaneously observing dashboards showing expenditures and other results of decisions made.
  • The simulation experience is designed to expose the cause and effect of specific choices.


GOLD: InSync Training, InSync Training’s Blended Learning Hub—A Community for Perpetual Learning


  • The judges noted there are “too many best practices to mention here,” but noted a few below.
  • Learners create their own learning path by setting learning goals and creating a weekly roadmap.
  • Learners are encouraged to “Share what you’ve learned today” with other participants.
  • The hub is based around a model of content curation inside an engaging community experience.

SILVER: Keller Williams Realty, KW Connect: The Online Learning Platform


  • Learners focus on enhancing their own deep learning profile.
  • Associates share, interact, follow others, have others follow them, access a thorough leader database, and follow trending topics.
  • Learners can create their own learning playlists.

BRONZE: Dell EMC Education Services, Knowledge Sharing Program


  • The program encourages and rewards knowledge sharing from one central location.
  • Participants can post topic content, or there is also a method for posting a topic title with a request for others to address it (the judges called this “very innovative”).
  • The company has an annual Knowledge Sharing celebration where content authors are recognized onstage in front of their peers


Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.