Content designing is important in eLearning, since it is the content which the learner has to understand and not the technology. When the content is designed properly, it provides the advantage of conformity to global eLearning standards. Effective content design needs a collaborative effort of Instruction designer, Visual Designer and Multimedia artist.
Here are some quick tips that can be applied while designing effective and evaluative content:
- Remember the learner: Keep the learner in mind and then design. It is essential to know who the target audience is and then design accordingly, because the learner may not be interested in say the basics, if he/she already knows something about the subject.
- Identify the objectives of the course: This helps in designing the course according to the audience needs and learning outcomes. This could be accomplished by keeping the learning objectives SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound).
- Divide the content: Divide the content into units or modules. This will help the learners to easily understand what they will be learning.
- Adhere to one idea: Stick to one main idea for each unit or module. The learner may not be able to grasp more than one idea.
- Use simple content: Keep the content simple, short and clear. This could be done by use of text alone, but with the help of pictures, audio or video it can be understood more easily.
- Reduce unnecessary content: Decide on what must be presented on screen and what should not. Delete unnecessary text and include a list of points. Make sure that all important information has been covered. Additional information can be given as PDF file.
- Make the learner think: Encourage the learner to think. The difference between a PowerPoint presentation and eLearning is the interactivity that makes the learner engage in the learning. This could be done by adding examples, scenarios, cases, games, etc.
- Correct multimedia usage: Use the multimedia for interactivity purpose. The multimedia can be used for highlighting important content, presenting stories and scenarios, etc.
- Use images wisely: Ensure that the images enhance the content. Images should not be used arbitrarily, but when required.
- Have content reviewed: Get a content review done by a technical editor and ensure that meaning, grammar, and spelling are correct.
- Assess the learner: It is important to know what the learner has understood. So assess the learner by giving practice tests or quiz.
- Go through the course: Take a walk through of the course. This is to check time allocations for learning activity; assessments are in accordance with learning objectives, etc.
Thus, imbibing these tips while designing the content will surely make e-Learning an exciting program for the learner.