Creating an e-learning course is not a one man show and requires time, energy, creativity, and the collaboration of several people. To make your work a little easy, we’ve compiled a list of tips; so whether you have just started or have been designing e-learning courses, read on.
1. Do a thorough content and audience analysis
Thorough content comprehension avoids later disruptions and keeps the project on track. As learning designers, as soon as we receive the inputs, the entire team, especially instructional designers should analyze the content as well as the background of the target audience thoroughly. If there are any queries or gaps in the content, communicate with the client and get them clarified.
2. Frame learning objectives and align the content and assessments to them
The first step before e-learning design actually commences is framing appropriate learning objectives. These communicate to learners what they will achieve by taking the course. Learning objectives answer the ‘What’s In It For Me’ question of learners. Once the learning objectives are set, we need to align the content and assessments with them. This is one of the essentials in the e-learning development process.
3. Reconstruct the PPT with an appropriate strategy
It’s known that an online course is not created for the sake of online reading. As an e-learning professional, you have to come up with a creative strategy based on the nature of the content, target audience, learning environment, and parameter constraints. An efficient strategy should incorporate these four factors, resulting in the desired learning outcome.
4. Use the style guide to maintain consistency
A style guide provides a set of guidelines that specifies how the content is to be written, the preferred colors, capitalizations and fonts, grammatical rules, etc., to maintain uniformity. Usually organizations have their own style guides and the onscreen content has to conform to it. Following a style guide reduces mistakes and ensures the course is aligned with the client requirements.
Click here to check out an example.
5. Brand your training
When a learner starts the course, he should be able to know the training belongs to a particular company. The look and feel i.e., the customized GUI of the course should be designed as per the branding of the company for which you are developing the course. The colors, styles, and logos should be designed as per the company’s branding. You can also design a customized GUI specific to a particular training concept.
6. Keep the wheat, not the chaff
Avoid extraneous content in an e-learning course. Depending on the level of knowledge of the target audience, segregate the need to know and nice to know information. Do not include redundant or extra content. Also, it is recommended not to include plenty of information in a single slide. It looks clean if you chunk the content into bulleted lists, tables, appropriate subheadings, etc.
7. Provide a hands-on approach
Most learners learn by actually doing or trying out things. E-learning is a great medium through which you can provide hands-on experience to learners. For example, using ‘Watch-Try-Do’ simulations provides hand-on training on new software applications before go-live. Also, you can include scenarios and case studies in the course to encourage learners overcome difficulties and avoid mistakes in the real world.
8. Don’t just decorate the screen
Using irrelevant graphics and images just for decoration and blocking space is not the done thing. Instead, select relevant graphics and images that connect to the learners and make them think. This requires a lot of thinking and research. Also, provide clear instructions to help learners freely navigate through the course.
9. Gamify to keep things engaging
A course with just clicks can tire learners and make them want to quit. How can an e-learning be made a pleasure and an enjoyable learning experience? Well, you can gamify the entire course or a few portions to keep up the learners’ enthusiasm. Include the elements of a game such as levels, timing, rewards, challenges, etc., to engage and simultaneously make learners think.
10. Include assessments
Both formative and summative assessments should be used to check learners’ comprehension of the subject. Also, provide explanatory feedback for assessments to reinforce and help learners retain the knowledge for a longer period of time.
In addition to the above, assigning the task to the right talent as per the client’s requirement is a crucial step to be taken by the management. Hope these tips help you approach e-learning design with confidence and ease. Please share your thoughts and opinions on the same!