E-Learning implementation is on the rise. According to Global Industry Analysts, the eLearning industry represents $56.2 billion and is expected to grow into a $107 billion market by 2015. If not done right, you eLearning program will miss the mark in terms of achieving your training goals. Let’s see 5 Essential Factors that will help you to develop an effective as well as engaging eLearning course that can hit the bull’s eye.
Understand the Learner’s requirement:
The first and foremost task is to know and analyze the learner’s requirements/needs before beginning the course development. These can vary broadly depending on demographics, knowledge and work experience, educational levels and reading capability of the learner etc.
For example, if the target audiences are software/hardware professionals or people who work in the manufacturing industry, the nature of work for these kinds of people will vary depending on their professions. Even though they are working under different organizations they need to be trained on same training platform like eLearning with very different approaches.
A thorough audience analysis is always a key factor to be considered in the process of developing eLearning course. Following are a few points to be considered before developing an eLearning course:
- Background information
Development of an eLearning course may vary depending on the learner’s native language and cultural aspects including educational background. It is important to consider your learner’s ethnicity to understand the learner better; this helps to create the right course for the right learner.
- Learning styles
Learning style may vary from person to person; few people learn through visuals and few learn from sounds/audio and the rest of them learn by practicing. According to David Kolbe, the learning styles are categorized into a finite number as shown below.
Use appropriate instructional strategy:
According to the University of Houston’s Online Learning Center, “effective instructional design should translate the benefits of class room interaction to online activities”. After conducting audience analysis it is as important for every Instructional Designer to develop an appropriate instructional strategy, which facilitates the transfer of knowledge effectively.
A typical instructional strategy may comprise the following points:
- Create learning objectives as simple, brief and avoid long paragraphs for better understanding
- Organize the given content effectively through chunking
- Make the course more interactive and visually rich (Use interactive elements such as illustrations, character animations, graphics etc.)
- Assessments, be it formative or summative, it helps to reinforce the learning process.
Select the Right Authoring Tool:
There are various authoring tools like Articulate storyline, Articulate Studio, Lectora, Adobe Flash and Camtasia to facilitate eLearning effectively. The selected tool must support and meet the learning and training requirements which include:
- Budget as well time allocated for the course
- Level of interactivity used in the course including software for audio, video and image editing purposes.
Check the Quality of the course:
Quality checking is an essential factor in developing eLearning courses. Here are some important points that need to be considered while doing quality check of the course.
- Check the objectives are aligned with the assessments
- Check the flow of content in the course with the inputs provided by the client
- Content Visualization/audio synchronization with onscreen text
- Audio script
- Print script
Publishing and deploying the course:
Once the final eLearning course is developed then it will be tested for SCORM compatibility to avoid any technical issue for the end user. The course is then published and deployed on a Learning Management System, which is a Web-based software application used to plan, implement, assess the learning process of the learner, user activity management, tracking and integration.
Following these 5 essential factors will help you to develop effective as well learner-centric eLearning courses. Do you agree with them? Do share your thoughts and views on the same.