Organizations resort to custom e-learning courses to train their employees because they want the training to be designed as per their needs. If the training has to meet specific learning goals, custom e-learning is the best option.
Learner engagement is also crucial to getting the maximum ROI from learning initiatives. Adopting a learner-centric approach is the first step toward learner engagement; it makes the course relevant to learners’ needs and challenges. In such an approach, the e-learning experience is built for the learners.
When a course is designed with a learner-centric approach, it becomes user-friendly. This makes it easy to navigate, allowing learners to access the content of their choice. This blog will give you details of six best practices you can adopt to make custom e-learning courses learner-centric.
#1. Know Your Audience
Understand who your audience is, what they already know, and what they need to learn from the course. Find out about the education level of your audience, their level of knowledge of the subject being taught, and their goals in taking the course. This will help you recognize the performance gap between what they know and can do and what they need to know and be enabled to do.
Identifying the performance gap will help you determine what content you need to put into the course to close this gap and help learners know more and perform better, with the aid of this knowledge.
#2. Use Learning Objectives to Determine What Learners Need to Know
The learning objectives should spell out what learners are supposed to know and should be able to do, once they complete the course. The objectives should clearly state, in specific and measurable terms, what the learner will achieve at the end of the course.
To make them learner-centric, ensure that they are relevant to the learners. So assess your learners through surveys, questionnaires, or interviews. This will help you match learners’ needs to the objectives of your course.
The objectives should help learners understand what they will achieve at the end of the online learning course, and if they are clearly spelt out, the outcome will be their motivation to learn and active participation in the learning process.
#3. Spell Out WIFM for Your Learners
For learners, you have to spell out the WIFM or What’s in it for me? They need to know why they are learning something. To answer this, the objectives should tell them what they can expect from the course. The objectives should articulate the benefits of the course to learners, rather than its features.
#4. Allow Learners to Have Control Over the Learning Process
Learners prefer to have control over the learning process. They would like to take the responsibility of their learning. This means using self-paced instruction, providing tools for assessing one’s progress and providing them options, where possible, among different learning activities.
For instance, one learner might prefer visual learning activities such as videos or online presentations, whereas another learner would prefer auditory learning resources such as podcasts or webinars.
To cater to the different types of learners, it is necessary to use different types of learning resources. Likewise, all learners might not be at the same level of knowledge at the beginning of the course. Some may know more while others might need more inputs.
Learners must be given the freedom to navigate the course as per their requirements. A learner with advanced knowledge would like to skip the modules on the basics. Similarly, a learner looking for visual learning resources would like to click and move to that part of the course. So, create a list of modules and activities that learners can choose from.
A clickable course map will help learners navigate to that part of the course relevant to their needs. Avoid having a linear navigation map; offer learners a clickable guide with diverse activities and multimedia.
#5.Test your course among actual learners
Once the course is completed and ready for testing, have actual learners test it, rather than giving it to developers. This will help you get a real-world opinion and feedback that can help you perk up the course. What’s more, the feedback from learners is like an on-the-ground report which will give you a genuine feel of what learners think of the course and valuable insights on improving it.
#6. Provide Supplementary Learning Support
Job-aids, reference guides, and cheat sheets can be included as supplementary learning material which learners can easily access while they are on the job. This will provide them access to resources that will help them overcome challenges and solve real-world challenges. Supplementary support should provide targeted information on specific tasks, skills, or topics. This material should be accessible on mobile phones so that learners can access the material anytime and anywhere. There should be a mix of multiple resources so that they can cater to different learning behaviors and preferences.
Consider these practices for a learner-centric approach while designing custom e-learning courses. This not only brings better results, but also motivates learners, improves performance, makes learning fun, and promotes personalized learning.