The designing and developing of eLearning courses should be done by focusing on the target audience. In the ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) process, the first step is to conduct an audience analysis and this plays a very crucial role. To develop an eLearning course, the following factors about the audience should be considered:
Audience Prior Knowledge: The course that is to be designed and developed should address the audience learning ability and analysis should be done to check if there is any requirement of a prerequisite topic for the course. For example, let us assume that a course on how a train will run is to be created The audience should first have some mechanical knowledge of how a train functions. Therefore, a prerequisite for the course might require that the audience know the working of an engine before learning or understanding and completing a course on how a train will run.
Audience Knowledge on Usage of Technology: The most important part is to know how much the audiences are capable to access and view the course. For example, if the course includes audio, then it is a must to ascertain if the audiences have the appropriate accessories to listen to the audio of the course.
Audience Role in the Organization: As an Instructional Designer, it is a must to know the job responsibilities of the audience. By knowing the job responsibility of the learner, you, as the Instructional Designer, can meet the expectations and objectives of the course. This knowledge will help in creating effective online exercises and games for the learner to have a grasp over the subject presented.
Audience Learning Style: While performing audience analysis, understanding the preferences of the audience is one of the overlooked areas. Some prefer to learn from video and audio exercises, while some need hands-on and more simulated exercises to learn from. Therefore, for achieving results and to design a course that is interactive, the learning styles of the audience should be understood.
Effective analysis of the audience will help in designing and developing an instructionally sound and successful eLearning course.