Instructional designing provides a framework for designing and delivering quality eLearning courses in a highly competitive market. E-learning courses that are not designed with due attention to sequencing and look and feel can be frustrating to learners and eventually they will drop out from the course.
Hence, incorporating one of the most popular instructional systems design models, that is, the ADDIE model will provide scope for developing effective eLearning courses. The ADDIE model includes five stages: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. In the analysis stage, an instructional designer identifies the learning problems of the learners’, their needs, prior knowledge, and any other relevant characteristics.
In this blog I am going to share about the second stage, which is, designing. As an instructional designer, one needs to follow a specific process to design an eLearning course.
The design stage comprises the following steps:
Analyzing the Content: Analyzing the content is the first step in the designing stage. Content can be simple or complex. Review the content and identify under which category it comes – Facts, Concepts, Principles, Process and Procedure. Concepts, facts, and principles answer “what,” procedures answer “how” and principles answer “why.”
Developing Proper Outline: Developing an outline is a very important step to be considered. An outline includes all the modules, lessons or chapter, topics and sub-topics of an eLearning course. It gives a complete overview to the learners’ about the course. It acts as a map to the learners’ to navigate throughout the course and get an idea of the topics covered in a course.
Here is a screenshot from one of our courses, which shows the course outline.
Framing Effective Learning Objectives: Learning objectives are simple and clear statements that state the goals and objectives which learners’ will accomplish after successfully completing the course. Framing effective learning objectives is a key point to gain your learners’ attention. As an Instructional Designer, one must follow the points given below for framing learning objectives:
- Learner centric
- Simple statements, not paragraphs
- Must start with a verb rather than any other part of speech.
Here is a screenshot that shows how to set the learning objectives for the course.
Storyboarding: Once the GUI is finalized, we start the storyboarding step. The complete course is scripted here. We start developing the storyboard; we decide how to chuck the content, make audio script, and placement of images. Now based on the content, we can use scenarios, case studies, various interactivities to make the course more engaging for the learners’. The interactivities include slideshows, drag and drops, click on numbers, images, tabs, interactive visual hotspots, flipbook, etc.
Here is an screenshot of a storyboard template:
Let’s see an example on how to represent the content.
The learners’ will not lose interest even when reading heavy content if it is represented in the form of interactivities. Use of different types of interactivities makes your eLearning courses interactive and engaging.
Develop using rapid Authoring Tools: After preparing storyboard, now the eLearning course needs to be produced by using one of the rapid eLearning authoring tools (such as Articulate Storyline , Adobe Flash, Lectora, etc.). The selection of any tool is based on the client’s requirement, content type, proposed use, eLearning requirements, time and budget. Sometimes, two to three tools can be combined as per instructional requirement.
Following these steps will help an instructional designer to design effective and engaging eLearning courses for the learners.
Please do share your thoughts!