To make learners participate actively throughout a course, an instructional designer should choose an appropriate strategy to keep the learners engrossed in the course. A strategy is a game plan (high-level or long-term plan), which every instructional designer follows while developing an eLearning course.
For this an instructional designer first needs to analyze the content properly and then depending upon the nature and purpose of the content, an appropriate instructional strategy to present the content must be chosen. Among the various instructional strategies, I found the following six to be effective for performance-based outcomes.
E-learning courses can really become appealing and fruitful if the information is organized in a proper order, in a logical manner. Presenting content in a well-structured and logical manner really helps learners to retain and recall information quickly and easily. Based on the course objectives, content should be clustered into logical modules and then this grouped content should be presented in manageable chunks in a sequential order. Thus, logical presentation and proper sequencing of the content really enhances learners’ interest in the course as well as helps in achieving course outcomes easily.
Storytelling, if used for training, makes the session really exciting and attractive as they are fun and interesting. Stories can really alter boring data into captivating information, which then becomes easier for the learners to remember. Storytelling connects learners to the subject, transfers information to the learners in a unique way and also enables learners to get involved with the subject matter emotionally. Thus, the training programs that include interesting stories will surely help in enhancing the interest levels of the audience.
Guided learning is one of the strategies used by the instructional designers, which enable learners to make decisions. This means that the instructor defines the result but does not specify how it will be accomplished. We know that eLearning is a self-paced learning model that does not need any instructor to teach; thus guided learning creates a similar learning atmosphere to the learners. Guided learning redirects you throughout the course and makes sure that the learners take home the key points. In eLearning we use real images, vector images, avatars, etc., to promote guided learning. These characters lead the learners throughout the course.
Simulations are one of the good examples of guided learning. Here is a screenshot from one of our courses that guides the learners to proceed further.
Scenario-based learning enhances the learning process as it includes very less of text and more of conversational-based learning. Scenarios are the best option when you want the learners to ‘perform’ rather than ‘inform’ for this is a way to arouse the minds of the learners. Adopting this strategy motivates the learners to involve themselves in the learning as they can relate to a specific situation and identify themselves with the characters in the scenario.
Let’s take an example from our course in which we introduced a conversation-based scenario that explained the necessary skills and knowledge that the learners need to understand.
LEAD – Learning through Explanation and Discovery
Embedding interactivities such as click on images, tabs, numbers, hotspots, rollovers, timeline, slide shows, FAQ’s, flip cards, flip book, etc., enables earners to learn, explore, discover, try, practice and perform various tasks. This strategy makes them to gain mastery over the core concepts in the course. Learning through explanation and discovery is suitable for mainly kinesthetic learners who can learn well trying and practicing what they have learned.
To teach problem-based situations, we use case studies. A case study is an incomplete story about a situation or event, which holds solution for a problem. A case study enables the learner to analyze and think about the information, make right decisions leading to a possible solution. Thus, in an eLearning course, making use of case studies greatly enhances the learning experience, thereby making the learners to resolve their problems by thinking creatively.
Training programs that include these strategies will surely help in enhancing the interest levels of the audience. If you have any such experiences, we would love to hear from you. Please do share.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
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.
Most of the eLearning experts concur that learning requires learner’s engagement. The aim of any instructional designer is to engage the learner in an online learning environment. How to create learner’s engagement in eLearning courses? In this blog I would like to share some ideas and approaches to engage learner in eLearning courses.