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.
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In my previous blogs, I have discussed about the importance of instructional design strategy and visual design strategy, the two main elements of e-learning in terms of design approach. In this blog, I will discuss about the significance of audio and audio strategy.
Every organization has to follow a set of laws which govern their sector in the country they operate. So, it needs to ensure that the employees are effectively trained on these rules to avoid compliance issues. Traditionally, this was done through face-to-face training in an engaging manner. But, with organizations expanding globally and the need for constant training, companies started using e-learning to quickly reach their global employees.
E-Learning is gradually replacing the classroom training format, worldwide. 41.7 % of fortune 500 companies are using e-learning tools for online training (E-learning Magazine 2013).
Online courses need to be engaging and interactive because they are self-paced i.e. an instructor is not present to deliver the courses.
Content comprehension is an important step in the e-learning development process. It broadly includes identification of relevant content and its separation from irrelevant content and arranging it in a proper manner. It enables instructional designers (IDs) to ensure that topics ‘flow’ in a logical sequence. It also helps IDs to find gaps in the content. If performed effectively, it will help you understand the subject-matter of the course better, and you will be able to present the content in an easily understandable manner.
IPad – a device that has revolutionized the corporate world. According to the Mac Observer, 94% of Fortune 500 companies are either testing or using this device from Apple. The widespread usage of iPads has resulted in the opening of new vistas in online training. No longer were learners required to carry “heavy” laptops or remain confined to their desks. People could conveniently go through online courses on these devices. Indeed, these devices have truly made learning anytime, anywhere.
When it comes to training, most organizations have a need for product training. Be it manufacturing, pharmaceutical, electronics or finance, product training needs to be imparted by companies in all industries. So, how does one cater to a single form of training for such different segments? In this post, we will look at a few effective e-learning design strategies that are best suited for product training across various industries.
Curriculum-based courses are very much in demand today. Organizations prefer curriculum-based courses to stand-alone courses. Curriculum courses cater to a long running training program that usually runs for a period of two to three months. It is a course that has several modules which instruct on a particular subject in-depth. From the learner’s perspective, these modules would be easy to grasp and understand. They can be bite-sized modules that are easily accessible by the learners, anywhere, anytime, as per their convenience. Since all the modules of a curriculum are inter-related to each other, it is a tough task to develop such modules effectively.
Ask Compliance managers what they expect from a good online compliance course, and all of them will say, “It should make our employees adhere to rules and policies.”
Most of the companies provide compliance training through e-learning, and often, these courses have high dropout rates. Poor instructional strategies are one of the main reasons for this problem.
Before we begin, let us look at the big question — What does “Just-in-Time (JIT) Learning” mean?
Just-in-time (JIT) learning systems deliver training to employees when and where they need it.
Mobile devices are excellent tools to provide just-in-time information or learning. Learners can access relevant information whenever they need it and can use this information as a reference when in doubt and for making the right decisions.
Being an instructional designer, I can understand how it feels when your project does not meet the client expectations at the final stage. This leads to complete rework of your project, which in turn causes substantial wastage of your time and effort. All this rework and failure to meet stipulated project schedules are the results of the lack of proper communication with your client.