Instructional design is considered more an art than science. Instructional Designers (IDs) play a vital role in designing effective e-learning courses that are able to engage learners. An instructional designer’s job is not just dumping information with attractive visuals but to guide learners to transform that information into useable knowledge. An ID needs to ensure that the workflow of a course keeps the learner engaged and this goes a long way in making the course highly effective.
In this blog, I would like to share how to present the content in an engaging way with help of an example.
The learning objective of this portion of the content is to familiarize the learner with anti-bribery rules.
In e-learning courses, the above content can be represented in an engaging way by adhering to the following methods:
1. Conversation between two people
In online courses, adopting the conversation style is one of the best approaches to make learning interesting. Make courses using this style, as learners find it easy to engage with such content. To represent this content, we can use two characters such as Stanley and Jessica, where one asks the question and the other explains what anti-bribery rules are.
2. Images + audio
As we all know, “a picture is worth a thousand words”; this quotation applies very well in the context of e-learning also. A relevant image for the content will help the learner understand and absorb the information easily. Content can only be in the audio and we can bring the images onscreen to sync with the audio. If there are only images onscreen and the audio runs, it is easy for the learner to concentrate on the subject.On the contrary, if text and images fill the screen and partial audio is heard, this will increase the cognitive load of the learner, which is again distracting.
The transcript for this slide can be:
Learning happens very effectively when storytelling is identified as a medium. Storytelling makes the learners’ motivated, engaged and influenced and stories can also create an emotional connection with the learners. So, if the content is presented in the form of a story, learners’ can learn better and retain the content effectively.
Let’s look at the anti-bribery rules example where the content can be represented in the form of storytelling. Here three characters can be used—Jim (Sales Manager), Jack(Jim’s friend), andJohn (Jim’s Senior collegue).
4. Avatars/ Characters
In e-learning, avatars/characterscan be used as presenters. The use of avatars makes the course engaging and effective for the learners and provides the much needed excitement to take on the course. The use of avatar makes the course more interesting and engaging for the learners because it creates a feeling as of the characters are directly interacting with the learners.
We can create a situation for Bob, who plays the role of a sales manager. He faces problems in achieving the target and so opts a different route of bribing. At this moment, to avoid conflicts to the organization, an avatar teaches the rules of anti-bribery. Here an avatar takes the place of an instructor who guides Bob throughout the course.
These are some of the instructional design strategies to design an engaging course. If you have any other strategies, do share.We would love to hear!