An eLearning course can be considered effective only when it can engage learners and motivate them to leverage the fullest benefit of the course. To shape a good eLearning course, we need to align learning objectives, instructional strategies, and assessments.
The steps in aligning learning objectives, instructional activities, and assessments include:
Defining the intended learning objectives
Learning objectives should be learner-centric and specify what learners will be able to do on completion of the course. Every assessment must be connected to the learning objectives as it ensures that the objective is being achieved.
By the end of this course, learners will be able to identify the top five features of the product.
By the end of the course, learners will be able to understand the features of a product.
Selecting instructional strategies that are aligned with learning objectives.
If you consider product training, some of the strategies would be to:
Use product demo videos: If products are too complicated, videos seem a more viable option.
Include storytelling: Story telling is a powerful teaching tool and what better way can there be than creating scenarios for real-life-like situations that your learner may face in the future.
Using Hotspots: Hotspots engage the learner to participate in interactivities. Learners are required to click on each hotspot to gather more information.
Creating assessments that demonstrate learner’s achievement of learning objectives.
How the assessments are designed depends on what the learning objectives are, how the learning content is being approached, and finally the learning activities that are weaved into the design process.
You can check learners’ understanding by giving a scenario with options. Learners need to choose the correct option/options.
You can also create a drag-and-drop question (similar to labeling the parts), where learners need to drag the name of the part and drop it in the correct position.
To ensure that these three components of your course are aligned, ask yourself the following questions (adapted from Carnegie Mellon’s work):
- Learning objectives: What do I want learnersto know how to do when they leave this course?
- Assessments: What kinds of tasks will reveal whether learnershave achieved the learning objectives I have identified?
- Instructional strategies: What kinds of activities in and out of class will reinforce my learning objectives and prepare learners for assessments?
Aligning learning objectives, instructional strategies, and assessments will provide learners with knowledge and skills that are related to their job and performance.