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Designing Content for an ELearning Course

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Designing the Content for an eLearning course

You do have a lot of content in the form of PPT slides but can they be directly used as online course material? There is a difference between face-to-face training and online training and therefore, classroom training material cannot be used as such to create eLearning courses. This is one of the main mistakes people make and end up with a substandard eLearning course.

Let us see the differences between face-to-face training and online training.

1. The success of face-to-face training is dependent on the trainer’s communication skills. However, the success of online training rests solely on the way content is presented.

2. Facilitators or trainers are physically present to clarify or elaborate on details as and when required. However, content is the only element that the learner has in self-paced learning.

3. Physical interaction between trainer and learners is possible in face-to-face training but interaction in eLearning is through internal assessments, animations and interactivities, which need to be interwoven into the course content.

4. When you are physically addressing learners, you can assess their motivation levels and make necessary adjustments in the way you are interacting with them or in the content. However, in online courses, you need to address the motivation levels of various groups after carefully analyzing the learner profiles and their learning objectives.

So while designing content for an online course a learning strategy has to be first conceived. Learning strategy defines how information has to be structured and delivered. It is a macro-level strategy and broadly has four categories:

Instructional Strategy: This includes ensuring intellectual, emotional and physical participation of the learners by logical and physical structuring of the training content.

Media Strategy: This defines how media will be utilized to aid instruction and to engage learners.

Assessment Strategy: This defines the kind of assessments that will be used in the course. It also includes purpose, frequency, and scoring strategies for the assessments.

Technical Strategy: This lists the technology details of the project like specifications and requirements for the deployment server and client systems, the eLearning-related standards that the course will comply with, the method of tracking course completion, and certification details if applicable, along with the framework to be used to develop the course.

All these strategies define how instruction should be structured and delivered to ensure effective eLearning. These strategies help in engaging learners by providing mental stimulus for effective learning.

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