Let me ask you a question.
Do you know when the process of designing course materials started?
The process of designing started in the early 1900s; during those days, it was in the initial stage but in the 1940s military personnel wanted an effective training material that was based on the principles of instruction and behavior of a human. The test was basically to screen human ability and it was successful.
The field of psychology then used the training system to develop procedures such as analysis, design and evaluation. Since then, the drive to develop more training courses intensified. This led to the development of e-tools, which are an easily accessible tool for learners. “ATI” anytime information just like an ATM.
It is a process through which learning needs can be analyzed, and a delivery system is developed to meet these needs. The most important point in this process is the source, a plan, organizing it, and an effective course design.
Five Effective Elements of Instructional Designing
1. To understand the characteristics of a learner:
While creating a course, the parameters are different for different sets of learners. For instance, adults are always curious about why they should learn something and they also prefer to be self-directed. So it is very important to bear this fact in mind when designing a course for adult learners. Likewise, designing the course for children is not the same as for adults because children are always dependent on the method of explanation.
2. Set objectives for learning:
The most important point is that by the end of the course the learner should be able to clearly assess himself. The objective goes through a process that includes performance, preferred conditions and specific criteria. Objectives that are well defined help in selecting proper content, kind of methods, media and assessments.
Here is a screen shot that shows how to set the learning objectives for the course.
3. Arrange the objectives and contents in a sequence:
Extensive content is invariably available in different books, websites, journals, presentations, videos so on and so forth. Based on the learning objectives, the content can be collected and the most important point is to arrange it and prepare a list of topics and sub-topics and to know the proper way of sequencing the objectives and content you should consult a Subject Matter Expert (SME). The content has to be classified into the types — facts, concepts, principles, process and procedure. This will help in designing a proper learning course and also more effectively helps to test the content.
Here is a screen shot that shows Content that is classified into the different types: facts, concepts, process, procedures and principles.
4. Presentation patterns:
After the three elements, that is, understanding the learner, setting objective and then the sequentially arranging the objectives and content, the most important point is to decide the presentation patterns for the content. It includes pre-determined activity, presentation, assessments and learners’ feedback. Chunking information into easy-to-understand bits encourages learners to take up the course. In the process of feedback with reasons, for all answers that are just a “yes” or “no” the reasons should be specified or explained clearly. While designing courses, focus should be on individuals rather than on groups so that the instructional design process will be more effective.
5. To assess the performance of the learner:
To know whether the learner has understood the course, you can choose pre-test or either of formative or summative evaluation criteria. Assessment with appropriate feedback is very essential at the end of the course because learners can get an idea of their knowledge levels and decide whether to take on more training courses to enhance their skills.
The above “five elements of instructional designing” can help you to create an instructionally interactive course rather than a passive one. Do share your comments on this subject.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
Stories have a magical effect on people. They captivate everyone, from children to adults. Hence, it is not surprising that eLearning developers today extensively use storytelling as a part of their instructional strategies. However, just having a story in your course is not enough. The sole purpose of using a story is to connect with learners and generate interest in them.
It has been a very eventful one year as an instructional designer. Got to experience many things; some good and some not so good. I stated “not so good” because of the improper planning that led to rework and fewer times we were unable to understand the requirements of learners. Happened to meet diverse learners who came up with their own different requirements. Being an instructional designer, I got to understand many things. Let me share a few of them that would really go into making an effective eLearning course.
In eLearning, assessments are usually in a way of click and go, which will not impact the learner more. How to design an assessment which engages learner? Using some design approaches we can make assessments more effective and engage to the learner like scenarios, case studies, interactivities like drag and drop, roll over etc. Assessments designed using games in background can be more engaging to the learner like cricket, football, golf etc. Games in assessments make the learner to show much interest and it helps in reinforcing when applying on job.
Under a good administration, the Nile gains on the desert. Under a bad one, the desert gains on the Nile. – Napoleon Bonaparte
Avatars enhance the quality of learner engagement by grabbing and retaining his attention. They go a long way in motivating your people in the online learning environment. However, if we want to use avatars/ characters effectively in our eLearning courses, we must understand what avatars are, why they are useful and how they can be used in eLearning.
Learning affects all aspects of our existence, every day. The process of learning new things or refreshing existing knowledge keeps our minds up to date and also improves the quality of our life. So, it is very important to retain what we have learned as it helps us to be effective in yielding desired outcomes. Generally, most of us have the tendency to forget most of the things.
Instructional designers usually come from different educational backgrounds, and most of them do not have a degree in instructional design. So, what does it take to become a good instructional designer and design effective eLearning courses?
All instructional designers wish to create excellent eLearning courses that capture the imagination of their learners. But, what does it take to design a top-notch online course? How can you make a course that leaves learners spellbound? Well, you need to focus on 4 critical aspects to create a first-rate eLearning course. Let us see what they are.
The effectiveness of classroom training and eLearning is often debated. It is common knowledge that classroom training and eLearning are used extensively to deliver training. But, which of these media is more effective? Well, training in a classroom enables real-time interaction with the instructor. On the hand, the online training medium is highly flexible and learners can access courses anytime, anywhere. Which of the two is more effective?
In his article, Facing Down The Biggest Challenges In Manufacturing Today, Tom Bonine, President, National Metal Fabricators lists down the following as the most important problems dogging the American manufacturing Industry.
In eLearning courses, two types of assessments are used – formative and summative. Formative assessments are conducted after completing each topic. On the other hand, a summative assessment is conducted at the end of the course. In formative assessments, feedback is given after each question is answered. The goal of a formative assessment is to reinforce the learning. Whereas, the goal of summative assessments is to evaluate the learner. A summative assessment is similar to a final exam where feedback is not provided and results are shown at the end of the course. This info-graphic shares some information about formative and summative assessments, used in eLearning courses.
All eLearning professionals, when developing eLearning deliverables, must ensure that their training material achieves the most encouraging results. Therefore to achieve better training outcomes, we must always keep the following 3 things in mind.
Assessments in eLearning courses play a vital role. Assessments help the learner understand the level of knowledge he has gained from an eLearning course. At the same time, they help the trainer evaluate whether the learning objectives of the eLearning course have been met or not.
We all remember our school days. Don’t we? We still cherish the happy moments spent with our friends during those days. But, there were a few times where we faced difficulties with certain subjects. The formulae in mathematics, complicated equations in physics and chemistry and important dates and years in history was no less than a “haunting movie”. But, thanks to our teachers who would try out all possibilities to make these difficult subjects interesting, we could learn them effectively. The same is the case with instructional designers. They need to act as teachers and make eLearning interesting, so that learners are engaged effectively.
India ranks on the top of the outsourcing destinations for Information Technology, according to a study by the consulting firm AT Kearney. Six Indian cities, including Hyderabad, ranked in the top 6 of this list.
Preparing the audio script for an eLearning course is a very important task which must be done carefully, as a small mistake in it may lead to a lot of rework. If we take care of a few things before sending the script for recording, we can avoid mistakes.
How are eLearning courses made effective? The answer – through effective instructional and visual design. The most significant part of eLearning course development is the design phase.
Do you believe that you can get better results by including games in your online courses?
Companies across the world have following the trend of globalization for new market opportunities. This led to the expansion of their workforce exponentially. Now, a big question arises as to how quickly can you train this workforce, so as to make them ready for the job. In this regard, cost-efficient training methods like eLearning could help companies meet training challenges in the age of globalization. Let us see how eLearning can help reduce training costs.
A picture paints a thousand words and is very effective in communicating what often can’t be said through words. A picture can also break the monotony of words and present a breath of fresh air. Right from childhood, all of us are fascinated by pictures, their vivid hues and the depth of emotions they evoke.
What is content in the context of an eLearning course? It is the training material that is made available for developing an eLearning course. This is collected by instructional designers from various sources. Some of the content is provided by the subject matter experts, other materials may be shared by line managers or training managers. The content is usually developed by multiple authors and therefore lacks consistency in the way it is presented. After all, each author has his/her own style of writing and expressing thoughts.
It is common knowledge that an interactive eLearning course engages the learner very effectively. But, how can you make an excellent course that captures the imagination of your learners? Well, you can create wonderful learning experiences using videos.
It is well-known that the ultimate goal of an online learning course is to bring a measurable change in the performance or behavior of the learner. Therefore, as instructional designers, it is our job to make effective elearning courses that impart first-rate training.
There are many instructional design strategies which engage the learner in an online learning environment such as scenarios, case studies, interactivities, etc. Now-a-days most organizations want to gamify their courses to create better learning experiences.
There are many instructional principles and models that guide us in creating an effective learning process. One such model is Gagne’s instructional principles. These principles keep learners glued to eLearning courses. Here are a few of these principles.