As an eLearning designer, I learnt that if your employees are taking an eLearning course for the first time, you should have a separate design strategy for the course. After all, one of our main objectives when employees take eLearning courses is that they understand the content better without getting confused or intimidated with the eLearning interface.
I’d like to share my experience in creating a course for novice eLearners.
For example, let’s assume that we have a course with
- High level interactivities,
- Long duration of screens and
- Heavy on-screen content.
- Course navigation allowing jumping some steps in the eLearning course.
What would happen? For a novice eLearner, it is very difficult to understand the content. They do not have any prior knowledge of interactivities and they do not know where to click and how to go about it. Therefore, a specific design strategy, keeping their needs in mind, is necessary.
As a strategy, we could have someone guiding the learner throughout the course like an Avatar/ Trainer. Based on the content, we can make strategies and design models using classroom scenarios or case studies as appropriate.
However, broadly speaking, here are 5 tips for carving out a design strategy for novice eLearners:
- Rich look and Feel of the course: We can design each and every slide such that, it looks visually rich and very informative.
- Use bigger and clearer font,
- Use simple images and graphics that gives lot of information
- Make simple animations
- Create demonstrations for technical content
- Use sounds (claps) for the correct responses as this motivates learners.
- Easy Navigation: We should focus on learner activities and give complete information on course navigation buttons.
- We should add the audio for all the instructions and make the buttons blink when an action is required from learners.
- Do not allow learner to skip the steps.
Example: Once a learner completes the slide, we should ensure that the “next” button blinks so that he/she knows where to click to go to the next screen.
- Minimum duration sides: Giving too much information on-screen can confuse the learners. It also affects their participation as they could skip some of the information.
To avoid too much information on-screen, break the content into smaller parts and give more examples so that content is reinforced.
- Basic assessments: It is important to give assessments that enable learners to recall what they have learned. We should give simple assessments like single choice and multiple choice selections instead of giving high level interactivities such as games.
- Give explanatory feedback: Feedback helps learners gain better understanding of the content. We can provide feedback with short explanation in response to their correct/ incorrect answers. We can also provide supplementary information as this helps learners understand the content better.
These small tips will help you to design E-learning Course for Novice Learners! Do let me know if these tips have been useful.