It is widely accepted that an effective eLearning course is the one which is learner-centric and can complement the learning needs. Creating an effective and engaging eLearning course does require some designing principles which are helpful to Instructional designers and can live up to the learner’s requirements.
It is essential for the Instructional designers to have an idea of who their learners are, their needs and what information they hope to accumulate through the course. Keeping all these factors in mind, Instructional designers should adopt certain design principles that will be greatly beneficial to the learners.
1. Develop the learning objectives effectively:
Developing the learning objectives are of key importance as they give a clear idea to the learners on what they would be achieving on completing the course. It is essential for Instructional designers to carefully analyze the inputs and prepare the learning objectives accordingly. The central theme of designing the learning objectives is to keep the learners focused and attentive throughout the course. This approach is very helpful as your course will never go in vain once your learners get motivated by the learning objectives.
2. Organize the content effectively:
Another approach to be followed is organizing the content effectively. The content should be presented in a way that is clear, relevant and unambiguous. Also, organize the content in a way that is easy to recall and retain rather than flooding your learners with heavy content. An excellent approach to organizing the content is to analyze the content first, give appropriate titles and subtitles wherever necessary and then present the content effectively. Another approach could be to chunk the data appropriately without missing on any important information. This approach enables the learners absorb and retain complex content easily.
3. Incorporate interactivities:
Learners learn better when they are involved with the course rather than just sitting back and observing the content. For this, your elearning course has to be interactive and collaborative. Allow the learners to participate in the course by clicking and exploring the content. The interactivities can be in various forms. To name the few, it could be clicking an object or image and exploring its content, or clicking to animate an object or dragging and dropping the items to practice an exercise.
After deciding on the relevant content and interactivities, the developers should ensure that the learners can access the content effectively by providing clear navigation controls. The users should be allowed to go back or skip ahead according to their convenience.
Assessments in eLearning are unavoidable. They are a vital part of any eLearning course. Assessments allow Instructional designers to determine the level to which the learners have absorbed the content of the course. Providing proper feedback to the learners helps reinforce learning and determine learners’ progress. Hence including assessments in eLearning course is an important practice that has to be followed.
These are some of the approaches that could help Instructional designers develop effective eLearning courses. Do share other approaches and tips.