eLearning is technology-enabled learning and can be of two types: synchronous and asynchronous. In asynchronous eLearning, learners can learn at their own pace accessing learning material anytime anywhere.
Asynchronous, self-paced eLearning addresses the need for training to be available at the moment of need. It is consistent in the sense that it is not dependent on the individual personality of a trainer and the same standard of the content can be maintained across various locations.
It is faster to deliver through various means such as the intranet, email and so on. Especially for learners who travel frequently, such as sales people, courses can be made accessible on their PDAs and mobile phones, thus enabling learning on the go. Deploying a learning program across a wider audience across different geographical regions is quicker when using this method.
The major shortcoming of this is the high-dropout rate. As there is no physical monitoring or motivating factor, it is seen that employees tend to drop out mid-way. To be successful learners, learners need to be self-driven with very high motivation levels – which cannot be expected as a norm.
To overcome these shortcomings, a blended approach is adopted where personal instructions are interspersed with online courseware content, especially relevant when complicated product features need to be explained. If the instructor is using multimedia such as a video or online simulations, especially with respect to product features, it reduces the monotony of a classroom instruction method and makes the learning engaging and interesting.
Sales people are usually on the move and it is difficult to coordinate the schedules of multiple persons to organize classroom training. Therefore, eLearning is a viable alternative which gives the flexibility of reach and ease of access to sales people who spend more time on the field than at the desk.
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Going green – this is much more than a slogan or a corporate policy. It is a necessity. Protecting our environment is vital to our very survival. As the menacing problem of pollution is increasing with each passing day, saving Mother Earth is humanity’s topmost priority.
It is common knowledge that organizations want the maximum ROI on training and prefer to conduct only those learning programs that equip their staff members with the needed knowledge and skills in a cost-effective manner. But, how do you measure the return on the money spent on an eLearning initiative? What are the aspects you need to consider to measure the effectiveness of an online training program?
Gamification is the use of the game theory and game-based mechanics in a non-gaming contexts such as education, work, and so on to facilitate better engagement. The main idea of using gamification in eLearning is to create a fun-filled learning environment that helps learners acquire knowledge and skills better.
Title: Best Practices of Visualization for an E-learning course
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In my previous blog, Checklist for content standardization in eLearning- Part 1, I have discussed the grammatical rules that every instructional designer (ID) should follow while developing a storyboard. In this blog, I would like to share some guidelines on sentence structuring, style and important elements of an online course.
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One of the adult learning principles states that adult learners don’t like to be directed, but wish to explore and acquire knowledge themselves. In an eLearning course, the main purpose of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is to enable learners to navigate seamlessly and tell them ‘where they are’ in the course, how many slides they have completed, how many more do they need to complete and so on. The GUI of a typical online training course contains buttons such as Play, Pause, Replay, Previous, and Next. It also has the progress bar and a menu which contains options to turn the audio on/off, seek help online, access the glossary and resources and exit the eLearning course. Depending upon our requirements, we can skip or add some of the elements described above.
People expect to be bored by eLearning – let’s show them it doesn’t have to be like that!”
– Cammy Bean
The ultimate challenge that every eLearning course designer faces is engaging the adult learner in the online learning environment. To overcome this challenge, they need to have a clear idea of the strategy they are going to use.
Effective audio narration goes a long way in enhancing the efficacy of an eLearning course by reducing the cognitive load. The modality principle states that the learner can learn better from animations and narration than just animations and on-screen text.
Designing the prototype of an eLearning course and getting it approved before developing the course plays a key role in the smooth execution of the online course development project. Having a prototype allows the client and the developer to be on the same page, and this helps reduce rework in the later stages of the project.