According to www.certifyme.net, 72% of companies surveyed report that eLearning keeps them on top of their industry changes. If you have to roll out eLearning courses on a large scale in your organization, what factors would you follow? What is the basis for them? I am sure every trainer must have faced these questions.
Here are a few key answers to those questions. Some principles for successful eLearning are as follows:
Identify your target group for training:
As we all know, no two people learn in the same way. This difference may be because of their roles in an organization and their own interest. An audience analysis has to be done to understand and serve them more effectively. The audience analysis recognizes every group of audience and also their respective traits. Audience analysis will help us to identify the demographics of learners, their scholastic qualifications, prior knowledge on subject, hands on experience with computers and preferred style of learning. It also helps us to identify the roles and responsibilities of an employee in an organization.
Educate them on the knowledge gain:
According to Gagne’s Nine Levels of Learning model, to gain the attention of the learner should be the first level of focus. The most important aspect that grabs the attention of a learner is to create in him an awareness of what he is going to learn, what’s in it for him, and how he will benefit from learning or understanding that particular concept. Lack of clarity about the objectives can hold back learners from paying attention. For example, conducting ice-breakers or presenting some scenario can help in making the proper introduction to the course.
Make learning innovative:
Design the course in a very innovative way. Give examples that learners can relate to in their day-to-day lives. Keep reminding them what they already know. This will in a way help them to boost their confidence and also recollect those things that they could have forgotten. Also, provide ways for them to remember concepts, theories and facts. Conduct interesting activities in between two topics for this will allow them to revise what they have learnt and also will give them a small break from continuous learning.
Use graphics, animations to make learning interactive:
Use pictures and illustrations because it is human tendency to get drawn to colorful and bright things and make sure to maintain balance between visuals and text. Make use of animations and avatars to create an interesting visual and auditory effect. Keep the text and sentences simple and avoid use of complicated words (so that the learners don’t end up spending more time on looking up at the dictionary than on the course!)
Assess the knowledge acquired:
After the completion of the course let the learners take an assessment test. This will show how effectively a learner has been benefited from the course. It will measure the knowledge acquired. Appreciate the good performers and identify areas where they can excel even more. Do not use terms like “fail”, “did not clear” for learners who could not perform well. Point out to them all areas in which they went wrong and how not to repeat those mistakes. Provide inspiring feedback on how to do well the next time.
Design User-friendly, cost effective courses:
The technology used to provide e-learning must not be very high technically. Any person who has basic knowledge on how to operate computers should be able to take up the course. Also the cost involved to develop the course should be reasonable and moderate.
To summarize, the above principles will help you to design successful e-learning courses. Moreover, it will also enable you to reinforce of the learners’ knowledge.