Instructional Designers wear many hats while developing a creative eLearning course, which they need to think from the learner’s point of view.They really put in a lot of effort, ability and understanding for assessing and designing an eLearning course.
While reading a few articles on the Instructional Designers, I just came across these courteous lines on putting Instructional Designers and artist on the same platform. The question was very simple, but it made me think “Can everybody be an artist just by splashing colors on a canvas, give it a shape, a form and call it a beautiful abstract art?” To look at the picture it would be beautiful, but is it the same as projecting the understanding of colors, shape etc. of an artist. The knowledge behind the art, practice and application of the same knowledge systematically, makes a good artist.
The need of the skills of an Instructional Designer for an eLearning course is as follows:
Analyzing the Client Requirements:The whole process of designing the course starts with analyzing the client requirements. At this stage,the Instructional Designer will prepare a questionnaire like:
- What is the need for this training?
- Who is the target audience, what is their level of understanding about the subject?
- What learning outcomes are expected from the training?
Answering these questions will help Instructional Designer identify the gaps in the content, if any. They then clarify the gaps with the respective client.
Designing the Course: In the process of designing an eLearning course, Instructional Designers firstly, start with the preparation of a detailed content outline or DCO. At this stage, they decide the respective strategy to be used, interactivities to be applied. In a DCO, the content topic is alligned with the respective strategy and so on. Thus, this DCO serves as a rough draft for preparing a storyboard.
Developing the Course: While developing the course, first the Instructional Designer discusses with the SMEs the creation of a legitimate content with animations, graphics and Interactivities. Here the storyboard for the course is brought into a rough shape. It involves sequencing the content, applying a consistent style, designing meaningful activities, providing instruction to and eliciting feedback from the learners. Storyboard will give an idea of how the course is going to look, this would ensure that there would be no rework once the course is finished, saving costs and time. Once the storyboard is developed, an ID will send it SME for review.
Adding the visual elements: After the SMEs approves the storyboard, the Visual Designers take the responsibility. The Instructional Designer interacts with the Visual Designers and ensures that what has been visualized is implemented in the same way.
Reviewing the Course: After the implementation of course is done, the Instructional Designers check the language, clarity, consistency etc. At this final stage, the Instructional Designer plays a crucial role in the completion of the course.
Instructional Designers plays an important role in designing an eLearning course. They think of different ways for making a subject interesting for the learners. Instructional Designers just don’t write, they visualize and think for easy accessibility and understandability for the learners. Please do share your comments on the same.