In the last post on this topic, I’d tried answering the question of whether classroom instructors can be effective courseware designers. I’d shared a few factors that I feel help make a smooth transition – namely motivation, a background in creating course materials for classroom training, and exposure to basic theory around the psychology of adult learning.
Which brought me to the question of – can an instructor without any experience in developing classroom materials or minus a strong theoretical framework in the science of instruction make the transition to being an effective instructional designer of eLearning?
There is no simple answer to this except to try it out and see it if works. But you can increase the chances of success with these three simple steps. By the end of this experience, your instructors are sure to get exposure to the entire gamut of what it takes to be effective IDs.
Get them involved as SMEs working with an external team on courseware development
One way of easing the transition into the new role is to first get the instructors involved as SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) on eLearning projects. They can work with an external team from Learning Solutions companies specializing in custom eLearning courseware to gain exposure to the demands of an ID role. In fact this also is a good way for you to test the waters if your organization is new to eLearning. As an SME, the instructor will be closely involved in providing content inputs, validating content structuring, and in providing review feedback. This will give the instructor the relevant exposure to working with storyboards, the course design and development process, the design of interactivity, along with a background understanding of tools and templates that support this design. It will also give the instructor an immersive experience with the many other surrounding intangibles that go into instructional design.
Put them through the basics of ID and instructional technology
A foundation course in instructional design will go a long way in helping them get into the new role. If this foundation is in place already, you can focus on the providing an orientation to the technology side of eLearning. To begin with, get the instructors acquainted with good eLearning courses. In my previous post, I’d mentioned a success story of the faculty of the Department of Distance Education. How did they make the transition? They had arranged for a crash course in the basics of instructional design in the eLearning context. As one of the resource people for this course, I had been a bit skeptical initially as most of the faculty didn’t have much prior exposure to the online medium, leave alone designing materials for it. But once they had the basics of ID using technology in place, they got their eLearning project off the ground in record time.
Let them get acquainted with at least 1 rapid content authoring tool
While they are working as SMEs on eLearning projects, encourage your instructors to play around with at least one rapid content authoring tool such as Lectora, Captivate, Adobe Presenter or Engage just to get a feel of development. This exposure to the tool and templates used within will help them come up with more effective storyboard design and development as they will now have hands-on experience with the potential and limitations of each tool. In fact if you have outsourced your eLearning to start with, you can ensure that as SMEs, your instructors can get a lot of information on tools during their interactions with the learning companies you are partnering with to develop your eLearning. This will give them an overall end-to-end picture of what it takes to be instructional designers.
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E-learning courses are used extensively by companies to equip their staff members with the needed knowledge and skills. According to Ambient Insight, global self-paced eLearning market reached the $49.9 billion mark in 2015, registering a compound annual growth rate of approximately 9.2% over a five year period.
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In this blog, I’ll discuss a few tips for effective audio narration in an eLearning course.
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Forget training and eLearning. Did you ever think what you really mean by a good design? Try to think about the term ‘good design’ comprehensively. For this, imagine and think about something that has been well-designed and approved by everyone. Else, hold this elegant design and consider the following things to define a ‘good design’.
Every Instructional designer needs to have good knowledge of standard instructional design models like ADDIE or Gagne’s nine events. These models facilitate the development of learner centric eLearning courses. But, it is not easy to remember all these concepts and apply them at the right instant of time to develop a successful eLearning course.
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Do you know on an average 3000 people get killed due to Fire accidents in the US every year? The NFPA estimates that 65,880 firefighter injuries have occurred in the line of duty in 2013, out of which 12,535 accidents took place at non-fire emergency incidents.
Here’s a scenario that is quite familiar to learners and designers alike; John, an employee in XYZ corporation, was asked to take an eLearning course as part of the company’s training requirements. John sat down enthusiastically in front of the computer and said to himself, “This must be fun.” He clicked the launch button of the course and started his training. Five minutes into the course, John went spiraling down into confusion with the amount of information that was being thrown on him and was frustrated and disappointed. John clicked the close button and went on to do his work.