In simple terms, strategy is a high-level plan of the systematic method to perform a task. In pedagogical terms, it is the approach used to achieve learning objectives. Instructional strategies are known to enrich both instruction and learning. Strategies for online learning are instructional strategies used in the classroom, adapted for the online environment. Without sound Instructional Design strategies, eLearning courses and programs will be unsuccessful. In this blog, let’s delve into four components and see why it is important to have an instructional design strategy when designing an eLearning course.
1. To Make Learning Efficient and Engaging
We live in an age where information is easily accessible, just one click away – just a Google away. However, accessing information does not guarantee understanding it in a way that improves job performance. As an instructional designer, you can make life easier for your learners by developing courses that are engaging and facilitate accurate knowledge transfer.
For instance, if you are to teach someone to drive a car, you can do two things – either list the steps or present it in as engaging an activity that lets the learner explore and learn from missteps. Guided learning is a fine strategy to make learning efficient and engaging for learners. 3D vectors can be used that guides the learner through the course. Other ID strategies such as simulations and scenarios also offer effective learning.
2. To Motivate Learners
One of the most aspects in instruction that is often overlooked is the lack of interest and appeal to the learner. The priority of an instructional design strategy should be to gain the attention of learners and subsequently retain it throughout the course. The best strategy is to tap into their emotions and build a personal connect. For learners to be highly motivated, they need to be confident that the learning objectives will meet their skill gaps.
To deal with the challenge of creating a suitable environment to motivate learners and generate interest, pose intriguing questions and let learners know what’s in store for them. As a final step, check if your learners are satisfied with the learning experience. Reinforcement can also be considered as a level of satisfaction. Perhaps, creating mental challenges and using human-interest examples are the best solutions to motivate the learners.
3. To Present Content Effectively
Ensure that you are fully aware of how you wish to present the concepts, facts, or principles to your learners. Many a time, IDs go overboard in presenting content, where learners are overloaded with information, most of which are unrelated to the learning objectives. With an ID strategy in place, explaining concepts and the interrelationships becomes easy. When you present the content using the right strategy, it becomes easier to retain the attention of learners.
They would know what to expect from the course and learning becomes effective. Consider an example of training workers on the shop floor on operating a machine. An animation or video can be included to demonstrate the process. This can be followed by a simulation where the learner is required to choose the steps involved in operating the machine.
4. To Improve Learner Participation
Learner participation is the most important aspect of a learning process. You may have the best course in place, but if it fails to appeal to the learner, it is no good. You can enhance the learning process greatly by providing learners with activities that are unswervingly applicable to achieving the learning objectives.
Another aspect to consider is the freedom for learners to undertake the activities the way they wish to. When there are too many restrictions, they tend to refrain from completing the course or use shortcuts to complete. Apart from the freedom to practice through intuitive navigation, they should also be given constant feedback on their performance.
As an instructional designer, it is of the utmost importance to develop an instructional strategy that is congruent with learners’ maturity and ability levels and the type of learning outcome. Ensure that you prioritize strategy development before you commence with a course.