Instructional designers adhere to basic adult learning principles while designing eLearning courses. However, in addition to these adult learning principles, it is good if they keep in mind different learning preferences in eLearning. This helps them use the right learning tools and objects for a particular piece of content.
Learning takes place in different ways and at different levels – first, by what we read, then by what we see and hear and later by what we actually do and experience. However, for effective learning to take place, it is a good practice for instructional designers to incorporate all the elements in their courseware. Let’s look at how this can be achieved.
- Provide learners bite sized content to READ – key takeaways from a module, tips and summary. Additional resources can be provided in such a way that the learner does not get intimidated but is encouraged to seek details when required.
- Allow them to SEE visual representation of concepts or information in the form of images, infographics etc. Include videos, animations or demos to reinforce information such as working of a product, process or procedures.
- Let learners HEAR important content so that information is reiterated and reinforced. Audio can also be in the form of guidelines, sharing of experiences by co-workers or messages from higher-ups in the courseware. It helps to provide validity to the course and emphasize its importance and relevance.
- Include activities for the learners to DO during the eLearning course. It could be in the form of simulations, scenario based exercises, interactivities and so on. This helps learners test their knowledge by applying the concepts learnt during the course.
Therefore, to make your eLearning courses effective, ensure that you engage the learners by including a balance of learning objects that they can read, see, hear and do.