Periodic Table of eLearning

A few weeks ago, Brian introduced the periodic table of learning. In his post, he discussed this table from an instructor-led training perspective. Training isn’t isolated to instructor-led training (ILT) programs and I thought it might be fun to look at the application of the Elements of Amazing Learning Experiences from an eLearning perspective.


Solid eLearning Elements

SolidsLike all instructional design, we use elements like Word (Wd), Google (Gg), and a lesson plan (Lp) in eLearning design, and that shouldn’t change. Some of the solid elements that are common to live instructor-led training have to be thought of differently when approaching eLearning. Most of our development takes place in element 27 Storyline (St), and you need to be creative if you want to have an interaction that would look like sticky notes (Pi), voting dots (Vd), or a Flipchart (Fc). With sound instructional design and development, it can be done.

Liquid ElementsLiquids

The liquid portion of this table applies across the board to every type of learning. Yeah, that is a big statement. But here is the rub, the liquid elements take the shape of the vessel into which they are poured. ILT, Virtual ILT, eLearning, performance support, etc.… this portion of the table is critical for all types of training.

Like all training, eLearning needs buy-in from supervisors (Su), benefits from assessment (As) and follow-up (Fu) and sees advantages to programs that include microlearning (Ms), goal setting (Gs), spaced learning (Sl), learning boots (Lb).

Gas-like Elements


Gas -like elements waft through eLearning differently than they do through a training room. ADDIE (Ad) guides instructional design (Id) for adult learning (Al) and there may be some gamification (Gm), but that is approached carefully because that one can be combustible. Concepts like Venn Diagrams (Vd) can be used in eLearning, but creativity should be used in the approach so it doesn’t seem cheesy.

Radioactive Elements

Like ILT, the radioactive elements should be handled with care in eLearning (eL), which Radioactiveso happens to be element 32. There are several eLearning equivalents to element 5 Lecture (Lc), including a lot of screen text, a long, talking-head video, a long video with no animation, or a course with no interaction.

Role play (Rp) in elearning often takes the form of more limited scenarios that help learners take on a persona and practice a new skill. They are generally more limited in elearning but incredibly valuable.

Many of the other radioactive elements are not applicable to eLearning mainly because of logistics. At least I haven’t come up with ways to include snacks (Sn), table toys (Tt)

Interactive Elements

I see the interactive elements as being leveraged in eLearning similarly to any other training program. Taking your learning experience to social media and discussing it with others who have had it, no matter what media you took it through, is a great way to keep the learning going.


What other types of learning experiences do you think Endurance Learnings Elements of Amazing Learning Experiences is applicable to? Let’s keep this conversation going in the chat below.

2 thoughts on “Periodic Table of eLearning

    • We’re big fan’s of Bloom too (element #39 on the table is “Learning Objective Taxonomy” which we made more generic than Bloom because there are several folks who have added to Bloom’s original taxonomy)!

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