Many a time, we are asked to develop courses on subjects that are mundane and wordy, leading to creation of courses that are uninteresting and successfully manage to kill learner interest. As much as we would like to blame the content, as designers, it’s our job to create magic even with the most boring subjects at hand. Here are a few tips that I have learned while creating e-learning courses.
Tip # 1 Gamify to Create Fun
We all love to play video games! Gaming is a powerful medium to instruct. You can use this approach for an entire course. For instance, you can have your learning objectives as a task or a mission that is to be accomplished, and each module can be treated as the next or new level of the game. The most innovative part about gaming is that your assessments can be turned into challenges such as board games and puzzles. With the help of gamification, you can turn subjects such as IT security, performance appraisals and food safety into fun to learn e-learning courses. Check out a few amazing game based courses we can create for you.
Tip # 2 Use Decision Making Scenarios
The key to any good online course is making your learner think, and what better way can there be than creating scenarios that leave the decision in your learners’ hands.
Decision making scenarios are like ‘what’s next’ scenarios. For example, you’re creating a course on how to ace a sale, and your target learners are new or junior sales representatives. The ideal way here is to create a scenario between the customer and the sales representative, where the customer asks questions and the response of the sales representative is decided by your learner! This practical approach helps in two ways. Firstly, it represents how a real life sales situation is like. Secondly, it has great recall and on the job application. Here is a decision making scenario that you can use to make learning more fun.
Tip # 3 Do Away With Jargon
Most of the time you are more likely to receive subjects that are technical and hard to explain. In such instances, we move away from the conversational tone to a technical and business-like tone. While writing, you need to write as a consultant or an equal; never opt to write in an authoritative manner. You need to be conversational, yet professional at the same time. Let’s see how conversational writing simplifies learning.
- Authoritative: This course ‘Panic Disorder’ gives an overview of the ‘the symptoms and treatment’ for panic disorder, and demonstrates how to cope with this disorder.
- Conversational: Hi there! I am John and I will guide you through this course ‘Panic Disorder’ that highlights the symptoms and treatment for panic disorder. I will also take you through how you can cope with this disorder. Let’s get started with what panic disorder is.
Tip # 4 More Visuals, Less Text
Let your visuals do all the talking. Making the learner read every line results in heavy cognitive load. Presenting information in visual chunks helps explain concepts and ideas faster and in a more systematic way. Processes, procedures, concepts, products, you name it and it can be presented with a high visual impact with the help of info-graphics. Have a look at how the food production chain is presented in a visual manner for better understanding.
Hope you find these tips useful. How do you design e-learning courses? We’d love to know.