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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E-learning is the continuous process of learning through electronic media. Instructional design is a systematic process of learning, and this learning facilitates achievement of the intended goals. Many think that instructional design is all about using technology, but this is not the case.
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