3 Highly Effective Instructional Design Strategies to Create Engaging eLearning Courses

Creating an eLearning course requires a dedicated instructional design strategy to be followed. There are various strategies as per the learner’s needs, here I have discussed the 3 highly effective ones.

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Instructional Design: 3 Effective Strategies to Create Engaging eLearning Courses

For everything you aim at or every goal you wish to achieve, you need a plan or a strategy to proceed on the right path. eLearning is no different, it needs a solid strategy for corporate training. When you design an eLearning course that follows an effective instructional design strategy, you can expect an immensely positive ROI that will enhance a learner’s experience.

Now you must be wondering what exactly an instructional design strategy is. Don’t stress things, let me break down the whole concept to you into a much simpler form. An instructional design strategy is an advanced approach to how a specific topic will be demonstrated. Elements such as presentation patterns, learning devices, multimedia, and other functional specifications are collectively included in an instructional design strategy.

3 Most Effective Instructional Design Strategies

1. Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most effective approaches to captivating your learner’s attention as it creates an emotional and engaging learning experience. An extraordinary narration helps a story to engage more audience as it shatters the monotonous recitation of information. Storytelling contains various elements like inspirational and thought-provoking plot points, characters you can relate to, a feeling of suspense, and a meaningful message at the end conveyed in a conversational tone.

How to Create a Story-Based Learning Program:

  • Try to relate your learners to the main character of the story.
  • Form a story around the main character relevant to the subject’s context.
  • Allow the learner to take control of the story and take the story forward.
  • Emphasize the creation of a conflicting situation.
  • Let that conflicting situation pave the path for the conclusion of the story.
  • The conclusion should contain a strong message that relates to the learner’s goal he thought of achieving throughout the story.

The best use cases of story-based learning are Sales Training, Behavioral Training, and Counseling.

2. Scenario-Based Learning

Scenarios drive immense engagement among the learners because everyone would react differently to a given scenario. The reason is simple, every learner is an individual and every individual thinks differently to some extent. Apart from the engagement factor, scenario-based learning would challenge the learners to take the right decision that will eventually improve their decision-making skills of learners. When the learners gain an understanding of what’s right and what isn’t, this will impact their performance positively and improve their behavior. Learners develop problem-solving skills and enhance their critical thinking when they are put through real-life situations.

What to Include in a Scenario-Based Learning Course:

  • Scenarios that appropriately relate to real-life situations.
  • Characters or avatars that closely relate to the learners.
  • Situations that are challenging and involve the critical thinking of learners to make a decision that will eventually get them to a conclusion.
  • Feedback is associated with every decision a learner takes at the end of every situation they come across.

Learners get to learn from their mistakes and gain clarity over what’s right and what’s wrong with relevance to their work. This strategy is best suited for Safety Training, Compliance Training, and Onboarding Training.

If you wish to dive deep into scenario-based learning, this free webinar recording might assist you.

3. Microlearning

Microlearning is one of the most prominent strategies of eLearning. Whenever a conversation is initiated that involves eLearning, microlearning is supposed to slide through the context by default. The instructional design strategy where specific subjects or topics are divided into smaller sub-topics to emphasize result-oriented learning is called microlearning. Even though every portion is small, it needs to contain information relevant to that particular topic. Every microlearning session has at least one key takeaway. Videos are one of the most popular formats to create a microlearning course, while audio, infographics, or AR can also be used when needed. The basic idea behind the concept of microlearning is to counter the low attention spans of the current generation.

How to Create a Microlearning Course:

  • Understanding whether microlearning fits the context or not.
  • Identifying objectives of the course and focusing significantly on those objectives.
  • Editing ruthlessly shouldn’t take away the prime content of the course.
  • Maintaining a conversational tone throughout the course.
  • Use an appropriate combination of videos, audio, infographics, and scripts to keep the learners engaged throughout the course.

The Microlearning strategy is the parent strategy to implement a mobile learning strategy to assist refresher training. The best use cases of microlearning can be sales training and the development of soft skills.

Honorable Mention: Gamification

As the name suggests, gamification is the implementation of game design in a non-gaming environment. When the concepts of gamification are implemented in an eLearning course correctly, learner engagement is obliged to skyrocket as games are proven to be the most engaging form of multimedia. Learners tend to retain the knowledge they gain through gamified courses due to their highly interactive nature. Gamification courses include elements such as points, badges, awards, levels, and leaderboards.

How to Create a Gamified Course:

  • Identification of the need behind gamification of a particular course.
  • Assurance of content relevancy with gamification concepts.
  • Alignment of game elements with the relevant learning objectives.
  • Settlement of a quick go-to guide before learners start the course to ensure the concepts are understood properly.
  • Evaluation of courses and rewarding certifications that provides a sense of accomplishment to the learners.

Gamification courses are mostly used in Safety Training, Software Training, Onboarding Training, and Product Training.

To Conclude It All!

An effective instructional design strategy promotes collaborative learning. Creating the courses with the strategies specified above can boost the engagement of learners significantly. Choose the strategy after you analyze other relevant aspects of your course such as your target audience, the content in hand, the learning environment, etc.

Instructional design strategy isn’t limited to the above strategies only. There are numerous other strategies that can be specifically targeted to a certain course. To learn more about Instructional designs, take a look at this free ebook.

Instructional Design 101: A Handy Reference Guide to E-learning Designers
Instructional Design: 3 Effective Strategies to Create Engaging eLearning Courses
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