What is the fundamental objective of instructional design? Instructional design involves understanding the learning objectives of the course and chalking a strategy that helps learners meet those objectives. It involves analyzing learners, content & course objectives, designing and developing the course in a format that best suits the needs of learners and evaluating its effectiveness.
Rapid authoring tools make it easier to develop eLearning courses
Now, in the pre-rapid authoring tools days, you might have had to outsource the eLearning design and development to an external vendor. They would take into account the available content & resources and design a customized course to cater to your specific requirements. This obviously involved a huge amount of costs not to speak of the endless back and forth meetings to approve and finalize the content. However, with the advent of rapid authoring tools, suddenly it seems a lot easier to develop an eLearning course. It is just a matter of converting PowerPoint presentations into eLearning courses using one of the rapid authoring tools. Is it really the case?
No one tool meets all the designing needs
Rapid authoring tools provide you with new tools to design and develop your eLearning courses. However, you must remember that each of the available tools have certain capabilities. If you are an organization looking to develop your own eLearning courses, you need to really be careful before choosing an authoring tool that will meet your present and future training requirements. Each of the tools are ideal for certain tasks – for example articulate is best for converting PowerPoint slides into eLearning courses, Captivate is known to be useful for capturing screen simulations and Lectora allows a great deal of customizations. These are some of the popular tools today. Articulate has come up with another version called Storyline which, according to the initial reports, provides powerful yet simple options not to speak of its compatibility with mobile devices. There are innumerable other tools flooding the market and tomorrow, more powerful tools might occupy prominent position in the market shelf space.
The best option
Typically, if an organization has already invested in an authoring tool, they tend to use the same tool for all their eLearning courses. However, the best option is to choose the right tool based on the requirement of the course. If you outsource your design and development needs to an external eLearning service provider, you do not have to bother about choosing the right tool or making do with an existing tool. The eLearning service provider will analyze your content and choose the best tool that is suitable for the learning requirements. You will be free of licenses and renewals of the tools and can focus on your core L&D function. The tools should not dictate your content; the tools are only a means to achieve your learning goals and that is the way it should be.
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Jim is the training manager of a large washing machine manufacturer. He needs to impart product training to sales personnel, service technicians and customers. Jim wanted to build a course on his company’s latest washing machine and use the same to train all his learners.
In my previous blog, we discussed the importance of closed captions in eLearning and how to add the Notes Pane to the player that is used as the closed caption.
If there is a need to develop an eLearning course in quick time and a cost-effective manner, Articulate Storyline is the first choice of the eLearning developer. A survey by the E-learning Guild, in 2013, revealed that Articulate Storyline is the most preferred rapid authoring tool. It has many built-in features such as templates, characters and so on. They are ‘ready to use’ and help developers save time. If required, customization can also be done.
You must have noticed movies in which closed captions (sub titles) of the dialogues are shown of the same language as the movie. The idea of closed captions was mainly introduced for the deaf or people with hearing deficiency, but it has been very useful even for the non-native speakers of the language.Movies now-a-days show closed captions, so that people all over the world can watch it even if they do not know the language.
Want to develop an eLearning course but confused which tool to select? Here are a few tips for using a particular tool, based on your needs.
As you know, there are many types of eLearning development tools available. Among these, the most popular and extensively used ones are:
Watch-try-do simulations are ideal for software training. They enable learners to first watch, and then, try it themselves, and finally, work on the software. Recently, we satisfieda unique requirement. The training manager wanted to have a login screen in some screens of software. Learners have to type their usernames and passwords in the text entry fields. The learner should automatically jump to the next slide, whenever he types correct answer. The most important thing here is that the learner should neither click anywhere else in the slide nor press any key after typing the response.
Recently, I missed attending a webinar. I was forwarded the PowerPoint slides in the PDF format, subsequently. When I looked at the slides, I couldn’t understand the content and context properly. Luckily, I was also given an audio file that I was supposed to play while viewing the slides. Not the most convenient way to get knowledge but it was a good punishment for missing the webinar!
Is your screen filled with content and has no space for more? Are you looking for an easy way to display this additional content? Articulate Storyline gives you the solution for this problem.
Avatars are the favorites of instructional designers to create classroom training experiences in online training courses. Often, we decide which type of avatar would be suitable to the course. But, can you make learners to choose the avatar they wish to guide them through the course?