Did you ever take an eLearning course and get dismayed by its content structure? Was the content flow chaotic? Did you come across courses in which the concepts were defined in one place, the process explained after the examples, with a few concepts missing? Sounds like a quite a muddled situation, doesn’t it? Well, I am sure you will agree with me that such online courses are not uncommon.
The courses lack a proper structure and flow in terms of content, leaving the learners frustrated, confused, and irritated.
This is due to the fact that most of the time, instructional designers start designing the storyboard as soon as the inputs are received. They do not spend enough time to go through the content, understand it and arrange it in a logical sequence. This is not a feasible option, as often the inputs are not contiguous and are also spread across different sources. Owing to time constraints, they handle the content as it appears in the inputs and commence the storyboard development. Though this approach looks like a time saver initially, it causes a lot of problems in the long run.
In this blog, I will highlight the pitfalls of this approach and talk about a simple solution to avoid this problem.
Failure to read and comprehend the content before embarking on the storyboard development causes a multitude of problems in the final product – the eLearning course. These problems include, but are not limited to the following:
- Improper content structure
Example: A concept may be defined in the first unit, but explained in the third unit, after its dependent concepts have been explained.
- Lack of a logical flow
Example: A technical model/ process may be explained before the terminology is defined.
- Lack of continuity between the topics
Example: A topic may have been introduced in the first unit, stopped abruptly, and continued quite suddenly in the middle of another topic, say in the third unit.
These issues lead to a disjointed, haphazard eLearning course, which rather than providing knowledge to the learners, will leave them confused about the topic being taught, disconnected with the course, and more importantly, with a negative perspective towards eLearning.
How can we avoid this situation?
The answer is quite simple, and easy to follow.
Read, Comprehend, Structure!!! A Really Cool Solution!
Content comprehension is the key. Read the entire content so that you grasp what it is talking about. This will give also you an idea of the various topics and the order in which they are to be presented. Also, if related topics are in different inputs or in disparate places within the same inputs, content comprehension will help you collate them and arrange so that they make logical sense.
This approach, though time consuming initially, will iron out a lot of difficulties and save time and effort in the later phases of eLearning course development.
Follow this simple key and unlock the secret of making the eLearning course a beneficial, pleasant experience for everyone involved – the learners, client and you.