Inputs for the training material can be in form of word documents, PPTs, PDF’s, videos, existing courses etc. In most cases, these inputs are unstructured and inconsistent. In such situations, to ensure that the course reaches its target audience, content comprehension is the first thing to be done by the instructional designers while developing the eLearning course.Content comprehension is the ideal solution to create performance-oriented eLearning courses and is a key component of good instructional design. Content comprehension can be defined as an individual’s ability to understand the content by their traits and skills.
Essential analysis of every effective design includes audience analysis and content analysis.
Audience analysis is very important because in order to communicate the purpose of the course effectively, you need to know who your learners are. Conducting audience analysis is the responsibility of instructional designers and it is performed in the initial stage of planning a project. It is essential to determine the way eLearning course needs to be developed. Once you know who your audiences are, you can then shape your courses in such a way that they cater to the needs of learners having different education levels, backgrounds and job roles. It is very important for the instructional designers to evaluate the learners’ job profile, individual profile, and their experience in learning.
You need answers to these questions to know your audience well.
- Who are the audience?
- How can you solve their problem?
- Why did they come to hear you?
- How can you best reach them?
- How they might resist learning?
- What do you want them to do?
A good content analysisguarantees that your eLearning course is not disrupted and is on track. Content analysis should include careful understanding of the domain as well as the content structure. It is very important to analyze your content thoroughly before deciding on the medium used to deliver the content.
By understanding the content provided by the stakeholders, an instructional designer will.
- Be able to identify relevant and irrelevant content
- Be able to identify gaps in the content
- Be able to understand the content well
- Be able to set the course objectives
- Be able to make a rough outline of the course with the logical flow of topics
Content analysis enables us to classify the content into five different categories – facts, concepts, processes, procedures and principles. It is important to study your content, and then decide to which category it belongs. Once you know the content type of the course, you can then proceed with the content presentation by applying the appropriate instructional strategy depending on the intent and purpose of the content.
In my view, content comprehension is the most important thing every instructional designer should do before he/she starts the development of the course. By comprehending the content efficiently, you can develop the course easily.