Designing an appealing and momentous online course takes lot of hard work that includes good content comprehension. It involves efforts by different teams such as subject matter experts, instructional designers, visual designers, production, integration and technology specialists to name a few.
So, how does one create this appealing and momentous online course? It is by following some tried and tested practices that one can create an effective and evocative course that meets the desired learning objectives.
The key practices that need to followed while designing an online course are:
In order to communicate the actual purpose of the eLearning course, you need to know who your learners are. The structure of the entire course will depend on who is finally going to benefit from it. Once we know the target audience of the course, we can plan the eLearning content, interactivities and the overall instructional strategy that will cater to the learning needs of the specific audience group. Therefore, audience analysis plays an important role in devising the instructional strategy of an eLearning course.
Structuring the content:
Structuring the course means organizing the content in a significant and understandable way. Storyboarding is a great way that provides an overview of the course. Here is a rough guideline to organize the content :
- Place the content in the order of importance
- Divide the content into small manageable chunks
- Try to begin with a slow initiation into the subject i.e., first simple concepts then complex.
Presenting the content:
Content presentation is the heart of all eLearning courses. When the information is presented in a fascinating and memorable way, learners take an additional effort to study such information and more importantly retain it. Therefore, to design the content in the most attractive and appealing way,
- Maintain consistency throughout the course
- Chunk the information into small bits
- Use images and graphics instead of huge text
- Make navigation simple and easy.
Use of Interactivities:
Interactivity can be defined as ‘learning by doing’. Interactivities result in learners’ engagement with the course content. Such interactivities should be used appropriately i.e. at the right place to keep the learner engaged. Here are the few tips to keep learners engaged:
- Make use of interactivities based on your content
- Activities/ events used must emphasize on learning objectives
- Use animations and graphics wherever required
- Present additional or more information about the topic in the form of ‘Nice-to-know’ information
Review to ensure quality-driven courses:
It is the responsibility of an online developer to test the course in the same environment in which the learner takes the course. Applicability analysis must be done in order to
- Check whether the course objectives are met
- Make sure there are no grammatical errors in the content.
- Verify whether all the additional links(hyperlinks) provided work
- Check whether graphics used in the course are clear and perfect
- Check whether the activities used in the course are functioning as designed.
Try to follow these five elements while designing online training programs. Along with these elements, you can also add your creativeness to deliver a captivating and consistent learning experience.