We might have all heard a great deal about working memory and long term memory and their influence on instructional design. It is said that the working memory has limited capacity and can only process a defined amount of information at a given point of time. Cognitive psychologist George Miller says that the working memory can process 7 ± 2 chunks of information at a time. It is widely referred to as Miller’s law. How is this theory applicable when designing eLearning courses?
Instructional designers can play a key role to free the working memory of learners by managing the cognitive load well. Cognitive load is basically categorized as intrinsic, extraneous and germane.
Manage the intrinsic load:
Intrinsic load is something that is inherently generated by the core content of the learning material. For example, if you intend to teach how to create a PowerPoint presentation, the information that needs to be processed for the purpose is something integral for the course to meet its desired objective. There isn’t much that you can reduce here. All you can do is manage the load in the best possible manner to ensure that information is communicated effectively. So, if you are helping learners create PowerPoint presentations, you can create a step-by-step process where learners are introduced to one concept at a time, beginning with the creation of a simple PPT presentation.
Reduce the extraneous load:
The second type of cognitive load is the extraneous load which is nothing but the extra information that may not be directly relevant to the learning objective. Taking the example of the “PowerPoint course” that you want to design, there are many advanced features in the program which may not be immediately required for a novice. A novice may be only interested in knowing how to create a presentation deck. While advance features are good to know in the long run, you need to first focus on what is important and has immediate relevance for the learner. The additional knowledge about advanced features creates an extraneous load, which when minimized can help in reducing the overall cognitive load on the learners.
Capitalize on germane load:
Germane load is the next category of cognitive load. It refers to the manner in which learner’s process Information for learning. It could be by providing mental schemas or examples that aid in the learning process. A good instructional designer works towards providing such tools to the learners that aid them in effective learning. Examples, hands-on exercises or flow charts are some of the tools that help in capitalizing on the germane load of learners.
The ideal instructional strategy for developing an eLearning course would be to segregate information based on what is essential, what is supportive and what is additional. You use the supportive information to teach what is essential and leave out the additional information as a separate resource to be retrieved when the learner seeks it.
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How can you develop a top-notch eLearning course that meets your needs very effectively? What does it take to create the perfect online course? Well, you need to follow a well-defined eLearning development process.
As instructional designers, training managers, subject matter experts, project managers, and project stakeholders, we all have heard of the term ‘process’. Deciding on and selecting the process which will increase learner performance and improve the Return on Investment (ROI) is of utmost importance to everyone involved in an eLearning project.
Welcome to today’s blog post.
Every instructional designer will be trained on standard instructional design principles such as ADDIE or Gagne’s nine events. It is not easy to remember all these concepts and apply them at the right instant of time, especially for people that have just started their career in instructional design. Therefore, as an instructional designer, you should be skillful at four different slices of an eLearning pie that always remind you of the ideas behind these principles. Let’s see what they are.
The aviation industry was the first industry to adopt eLearning and define the standards for online course development. The Aviation Industry Computer-based Training Committee (AICC) develops guidelines for CBT and WBT. They adopted eLearning to ensure flexibility and minimize costs. The use of eLearning has reduced the dependency on aircraft and other high-end training devices considerably. E-learning courses used to train the people in the aviation sector need to be developed meticulously as even minute details play an important role. E-learning courses for the aviation industry should not infuse doubts in the mind of the learner, and they need to enable him to take quick decisions. This is essential to ensure the safety of passengers and air crews.
Dealing with subject-matter experts for eLearning courses is a regular sight for an instructional designer. The subject-matter expert or SME is an integral part of your course, and this person works behind the scenes gathering relevant content for your eLearning course.
It’s well known that efficient instructional design is the heart of an effective eLearning course. But, how will you make sure this instructional design is learner-centric? In this post, we will look at some tips to design learner-centric eLearning courses.
Title: Visualization in an eLearning course
“Something is happening. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through words, but by reading images.” – Paul Martin Lester, “Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication”
Frontline managers need to frequently interact with employees and possess excellent technical skills. They are responsible for creating reports, enforcing rules and regulations, signing approvals etc. They should lead from the front and motivate their team members to acquire the required skills.
Being a training manager, you may be looking for proven ways to make your training and development initiatives a sure success. You put all your efforts in making a good curriculum to develop an effective online training program.
A checklist is a quick reference tool which tells you of the things you need to ensure in your eLearning course. It enables instructional designers to stay on track and avoid rework, thereby reducing the development time and costs. A checklist consists of a list of parameters that need to be checked thoroughly to maximize the success of your eLearning course.