As children, we have always been guided wherever we were to be trained on anything. This was considered the best strategy to train us throughout our school life. But as we grew up, we have been forgetting how effective and helpful this approach had been all these years. Guiding is not commanding, but directing someone on how to do a particular task. Organizations, who have realized this fact, have preferred guided learning as the instructional design strategy for the e-learning courses they have designed for their employees.
What is Guided Learning?
Guided learning is a way of facilitating guidance (instructions) by a guide (instructor) to a learner to show him how to perform a particular task. Classroom training, which is also called instructor-led training, can be one of the best examples for guided learning. When we incorporate this approach in e-learning, it makes quite an effective learning experience. This approach will ensure that a learner is guided through the right path for reaching an outcome.
Can We Incorporate Such a Learning Experience in E-Learning?
To facilitate such a learning experience through e-learning, we create a vector or 3D character (avatar) instead of a real person. This avatar acts as an instructor and guides the learner through the course instructing him on the relevant information regarding the subject or on how to perform a particular task.
In this instruction method, we can also think of designing approaches, which can allow the learner to make decisions. For example, in a code of conduct course, you can show the learner two different images or instances of a workplace practice and ask him to identify the correct practice from the two. On making a correct decision, the avatar gives him the feedback followed by an explanation of why the identified practice is correct and why the other one is wrong. It will be vice-versa if the learner makes a wrong decision. This will ensure better retention of the information provided.
How to Select an Avatar?
When you think of a real-life guide or instructor, organizations choose a person who is knowledgeable and experienced in the subject that is to be taught. Why don’t we follow the same idea when designing an avatar for guided e-learning? You can design an avatar that will seem to be a relevant guide for the subject. For example, for a course on workplace safety, an apt avatar would be of a safety manager who will take the learner through all the safety-related information necessary for him. For a course on medical products, you can have an avatar of a doctor who will take your learner through all the details of what kinds of requirements are necessary.
Where to Use Guided Learning Approach?
This approach is usually adopted as a high-level strategy for the entire course where the avatar guides the learners through each learning point of the course. It can be a very effective learning design strategy for e-learning training programs like Induction Training, Product Training, Safety Training, Software Training, and Manufacturing Supply Chain.
However, you should always keep in mind that this approach of guided e-learning is not to replace the traditional instructor-led training method, but to facilitate such a learning experience in e-learning.
Rapid Authoring Tool Recommended for Guided E-Learning
Since the e-learning rapid authoring tools have come into existence, the life of e-learning developers has not been so difficult. But, since Articulate Storyline has come into existence, their life has become a cake walk. This tool is being used by many e-learning developers around the world. Its simplified user interface, built-in templates, quiz slides, interactive slides and many more amazing features let you develop e-learning courses of good quality within a short time.
Especially with its built-in interactive elements, Articulate Storyline makes this guided-learning approach interactive and engaging, so that the learning experience becomes more effective and the rate of retention increases.
CommLab India has developed such e-learning courses for its various clients over these years. Screenshots given below show an example of one such course. This training program was designed for a manufacturing supply chain.
This is how the guided e-learning, can make your learning experience more effective and interactive. However, this is not the only best learning design strategy to facilitate learning. There are different learning design strategies that are decided for an e-learning course, depending on the type of content that has to be taught. Guided e-learning is only one such effective learning experience facilitator.