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Designing an Effective eLearning Course – The Nine-Point Plan

Written By Mandal Mohan Rao

Designing an Effective eLearning Course - The Nine-Point Plan

An effective eLearning is not about just incorporating ample interactivities and graphic elements in your course. Sooner or later your learners will drop out from the course if it does not satisfy their requirements. Hence, the focus should always be on learners while designing an eLearning course. A good eLearning is about motivating your learners to move forward towards achieving their learning goals. But how can you design such an eLearning course that can impress your learners?

Let us see a few points here that need to be considered while designing an effective eLearning course.

Knowledge About Target Audience and Their Requirements

You need to have knowledge about your learners and their requirements. Get to know about their existing knowledge levels and skills, qualification, job roles and responsibilities, areas of interests and even their preferred learning styles. This will help you to design a relevant course for your learners that can enable them in meeting their requirements.

Well-Presented Content

 

Excessive usage of textual content in a single slide is an emphatic no in a self-paced eLearning course. Also, you need to avoid the use of technical jargons to the maximum possible extent. This can annoy the learners and make them dislike the course. Hence, make sure that content is well chunked and presented in a simple, short and clear manner so that learners can easily go through it. This can help your learners to learn and remember the concepts easily and quickly.

Simple and Easy Navigation

 

The learning experience should not be frustrating for learners. Make sure that the navigation buttons in your course allow learners to easily go through different slides, topics and chapters of their choice. Simply said, learners should not get stuck at a particular portion while navigating through the course or get confused about how to move forward or return back.

Scenarios and Case Studies

 

While case studies allow learners to analyze and understand the presented problems and their respective solutions in a situation or event (usually real), scenarios on the other hand are included in courses to make learners think of the possible solutions themselves for a given problem in a situation (not necessarily real). In this way, case studies and scenarios can highly engage learners in course. These case studies and scenarios can be very useful for learners with respect to enhancing various skills such as problem-solving, reasoning and decision making.

Quality Audio Narration

Audio is an important part of an eLearning learning course. It is proven by various research activities that explanation of complex visuals by the audio reduces the cognitive load of learners. According to a published blog by ASTD, titled “Stop Wasting Resources on Learning Styles”, when any animation or complex visuals are required to be explained, the use of audio is better than text because it allows learners to focus their complete attention on such visuals. However, it is better to be cautious about a correct balance between audio and text.

Relevant Content

You need to ensure that the content should be relevant to the requirements of learners from the course and contribute towards enhancing their knowledge and skills. Irrelevant content that does not serve any purpose is like a burden for your learners.

Right Selection of Authoring Tools

You need to select the right authoring tool for your eLearning course development so that your course can be useful for your learners. For this, choose the authoring tool on the basis of requirements of the course and nature of the content. For example, a tool like Lectora can be helpful in presenting content associated with facts and procedures as the tool supports different image formats and also allows conversion of heavy text. In the same way, Articulate, which has inbuilt templates, can be ideal for simple training with less complex interactivities.

Well-Defined Learning Objectives

 

It is very important that learners are clearly aware of what they are going to learn from the course as well as achieve after the completion of course. This will help learners to know ‘what is in the course’ that can be useful from them. But before this, the learning objectives should be designed in such a way that they meet the exact requirements of learners so that learners are motivated to take up the course.

Effective Assessments

 

Assessments do not just allow for knowing the performance of learners in the course. They are also used as a medium for checking the limitations and difficulties of learners throughout the learning period, if any, so that required measures can be taken to aid better learning. As these assessments are very important in an eLearning course, they need to be presented in an effective manner. They should not just inform learners whether their answers for the given assessment questions are correct or incorrect; but rather test their memory and make them think about the problem before attempting the answer. Appropriate feedback should then be provided to allow learners to know why their given answer is correct or incorrect. In this regard, scenarios can be developed to present the problems to learners.

These are a few things that can help you smartly design your eLearning course. However, more effective elements can be added to the list. Would you like to suggest a few? Please do share your views. We would really appreciate your response.

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