According to the neuroscientist, Dr. John Medina “all human beings are excellent at remembering pictures”. It means we all retain and learn more when we SEE, rather than when we HEAR or READ. Quite a simple psychology, isn’t it? No wonder when, as children, we learnt the alphabets – they all had a picture to associate each alphabet! Can we think of ways we could make eLearning courses as outstanding as the visually rich books of pre-schoolers?
Thankfully, due to the variety of authoring tools that we have to work with, we can truly make eLearning courses outstanding. Here are some of the elements that would help in the process:
GUI: The very first entity that catches learners’ attention is an attractive GUI. A template has components like modules, units, assessments and certificates, which makes it a foundation on which the course is built. A course template should be designed such that it reflects the characteristics of an organization and at the same time makes it interesting for the learner to get up the course.
For one of our clients, a leading supplier of precision instruments, we customized the GUI to suit the requirements of the client. The GUI had restrictions between slides and buttons that highlight on mouse over among other features. Here is a screenshot of the same:
Scenarios: E-learning sometimes becomes dull because we do not have any person to interact or converse. This limitation can be addressed by making it lively and appealing through scenarios.
A scenario can be created to demonstrate a classroom environment, training hall, manufacturing plant and many more depending on the context. This helps the learner to get involved with the situation discussed in the scenario and solve problems as in the real world. The other way of making the eLearning courses appealing is through storytelling. In this method, possible incidents are explained to the learner in a creative way. This type of approach will lead to longer retention of learning. Other approaches, such as the use of discussion boards and case studies, can also be used.
Here is the snapshot of a scenario which we created for one of our clients, a leading automotive components conglomerate in India:
Videos and Images: Images are the most attractive elements that we can use in an eLearning course. Additionally, we also have ‘Videos’ as a new mantra to enhance the visual appeal of an eLearning course. Images are indeed quite attractive options to make the learner remember. Usage of images like vectors, clipart, real images, etc. makes eLearning interesting. Videos can be created with moving images that combine text, images, sound and animations.They make learners experience a higher level eLearning, by enabling them to connect with the subject.
For one of our clients, we made a video for the content that explained the history of NASA. Here is the snapshot of text and image that we used to make it interesting:
Infographics: Infographics are now magical tools to make your huge content look attractive and visually appealing. We can present any form of content attractively, using an infographic with different colors, charts, notes, etc. They are now being increasingly used to provide quick learning and more prominently to recall the knowledge gained.They give ‘at-a-glance’ preview of the complete content and help in reinforcing learning.
Here is a snap shot for the usage of infographic as an appealing tool:
Interactive Games: Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn”. I am sure you would agree with him, as even we must have experienced the same situation at some point. Maximum learning of a learner takes place when he is involved actively. So, involving learners in the course will make learning interesting. The use of interactivities and games is the most powerful way of making eLearning appealing.
For example, using rollovers, tabs, click on icons, flipbooks and many more exciting interactivities, enables learners to absorb the content better.
When it comes to assessments, we should always try to erase the fear factor of test and quiz from learners’ mind. We can avoid traditional single and multiple select questions and use interesting games, riddles, puzzles, etc.
Have a look at the screenshot, where we have used a game for assessments.
These are some elements, which I think, when added to eLearning courses will surely make your learning outstanding. Do you have some more to add to the list above? Please do share with us!
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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
“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”.
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.
Gen-Y people or millennials are those who are born between 1976 and 1998. They have grown up with technology, and their attention span is 2 minutes or less. They prefer learning through digital media to books.
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.
Numerous classroom training sessions over the years would have resulted in you accumulating a vast knowledge bank on various topics in your organization. The material could be in the form of PowerPoint presentations, MS-Word documents, or PDF files – all reviewed, finalized and signed off by your Subject-matter Experts (SMEs).
Welcome to today’s blog post. Aviation industry is one of the first industries to adapt eLearning and define clear standards for the development of CBTs (AICC). Having worked on several projects for the industry, I have understood the significance of these standards. Developing an eLearning program for the aviation industry is different from any other industry and requires great attention to details. Today, we will look at the three parameters that will help ensure the safe landing of your aviation CBTs.