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Best Practices for Building Instructionally Sound and Successful Online Programs

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Building Instructionally Sound and Successful Online Programs

Designing an interactive and meaningful online eLearning course takes lot of effort and good understanding of the content. The Key elements for designing successful online training programs are as listed below:

1. Analyze your Audience
2. Designing the Course
3. Designing the Page
4. Use of Interactivities
5. Usability Analysis

Each of these elements will help to design an interactive and meaningful course that meets the training objectives. Especially audience analysis plays an important role.

Analyze your Audience:

Everything you design and develop should be done, with the target audience in mind. The first step in the ADDIE model is to conduct an audience analysis, which will help you to determine the structure of the other four elements.

Designing the Course:

Designing a course plays an important role. It gives the complete flow of the material you provide for the audience to learn. Brainstorm and organize and structure of the course while designing the course. Storyboarding is a great way to build the structure of the course. Consider the following while structuring your course:

1. Identify the flow of the course
2. Incorporate interactive concepts
3. Use pictures/graphics to help explain ideas, concepts, or statements

Designing the Page:

Designing a page has a huge impact on the learning to happen. Few tips to follow while formatting your course:

1. Chunk the information
2. Maintain consistency throughout
3. Effectively use the white space
4. Maintain the balance between text and graphics
5. Navigation must be simple and easy

Use of Interactivities:

E-learning is learning and teaching process with the use of online communication tools and interactivities. Too much of interactivity will predominate the learning objectives. Too little interactivity will risk you losing the learner’s attention in the topic. Tips to keep the learner engaged:

1. Activities used must focus on the course objectives.
2. Use interactive graphics such as animations or simulations.
3. Use assessments or fun activities.
4. Additional concepts must be given in the form of “Nice to Know” information in the hyperlinks.

Usability Analysis:

After the completion of your online course, you should always test it in the same environment in which the learner will complete the course. Usability analysis must be carried out to check the following aspects:

1. Make sure that the course objectives are met
2. Verification of all the additional links provided must be done
3. Graphics used must be clear
4. Confirm that the activities used must functions as designed

These 5 elements of eLearning are the best practices to build instructionally sound and successful online programs.

View Presentation on Effective Qualities and Skills of an Instructional Designer

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