In this blog, you will get some practical tips to design courses that gain complete attention of your targeted audience. Designing an e-learning course is very tough and time-consuming for sure, hence, these strategies will help you present the same content in a way that attention of learners can be sustained throughout the course.
Kevin from the Instructional Design team had to give a presentation on a research report to his team. He didn’t want to bore them with slide after bland slide of statistics; he wanted to ensure they would benefit from his presentation. He hit on the idea of developing an eCourse on the findings. As he didn’t want the course to intrude on his work hours, he researched for tools to develop the course swiftly, while including a couple of scenarios, drop down assessments, and a survey to capture their feedback. Luckily, he hit the mother lode when he came across iSpring.
The core job of instructional designers is setting learning objectives that identify the content and activities of a course. Instructional designers have for long fallen back on the celebrated Bloom’s classification system, created for traditional classroom training, to define their learning objectives and create courses that meet the needs of learners.
Why is quality check important in e-learning? For this rather seemingly simple question, we can say, BECAUSE “quality matters”. It’s high time the E-learning industry accepts that ensuring the quality of e-learning products is important to deliver courses that are engaging, which in turn ensure client satisfaction. The quality of the course reflects the professional competence and subject matter proficiency of the institution.
We discussed how style guides are significant in developing a course that is consistent and polished, and helps retain learners’ interest and deliver effective e-learning, in our past blogs. Style guides, as we discussed, save development time, make communication smoother, and help in creating products with consistent code and design. In my previous blog “Creating a Style Guide for Effective E-Learning Experience”, grammar, formatting, and miscellaneous elements were listed as the three key focus areas in style guides. Today, let’s discuss the basic components of what can be classified as the ‘grammatical components’ of a style guide.
E-learning courses need appropriate proofreading and editing to lend a professional touch to the output. Not reviewing content before releasing it to the client can lead to avoidable mistakes which come across as unprofessional, and can seriously undermine the brand value and worth of the courses, and thereby the reputation of the vendor. It is well expected that clients who pay you for the product would want you to be as close to perfection as is realistically possible. Proofreading adds value to a product by eliminating annoying distractions that can put-off online learners.
Visual elements are vital components of e-learning, making the crucial difference between a popular and well received course, and a flat, uninteresting one. It is stated that “design is the visual language of your course.”
We looked at how style guides are important in establishing consistency and regularity in e-learning products that are professional and polished, in our last blog. Having your own style guide, reflecting your institution’s preferences is the first step in standardizing the style elements in e-learning. Creating a standard style guide saves time, effort, and the cost of bringing out a consistent and standardized output. Institutions can take help from popular standardized style books such as AP Stylebook, the Chicago Manual of Style, the AMA Manual of Style, etc., to build their own preferential points of reference.
Maintaining consistency and uniformity in online courses is essential, not only to sustain learners’ interest but also to have a positive impact on them. Content creation for online learning modules is often taken up by varied individuals/teams in an organization. Different individuals have different writing/presentation styles and preferences.
The focus of an e-learning course is to deliver course objectives by retaining the interest of the learner, till the end. Grammar and presentation form the backbone of all e-learning content. Crisp, error-free content is essential to impress and hold the attention of the learner. Basic grammatical errors distract learners’ attention and create doubts about the efficacy and efficiency of the course.