Instructional designers always strive to build effective e-learning courses. They keep themselves updated with the latest events in the e-learning industry. In this blog, I will share 8 important tips to help you develop successful e-learning courses.
1. Use Style Guides
A Style guide is similar to a blueprint document used in the construction industry. Engineers use the blueprint to have consistent design across the construction. So basically, style guide acts as a blueprint for instructional designers in building e-learning courses.
A style guide is a document that puts together all organization-specific standards including grammar rules, formatting issues, visual guidelines, capitalizations, usage of abbreviations, and so on. It may also include specialized styles that meet client requirements. In short, it defines the ‘Style’ of your course.
The intent of using a style guide is to ensure uniform style and consistency throughout the e-learning course.
You can follow some of these standard style guides to ensure uniformity in your online courses:
- AP Stylebook
- AMA Manual of Style
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- The Gregg Reference Manual
2. Go ‘Mobile First’
Mobiles are more relevant than desktops or tablets today. Therefore, consider mobile strategy in your online courses and plan and design your course for the smallest possible screen to build an adaptive environment. Think about your learners’ experience on a mobile device and then scale it up to desktop or tablet screens. Most instructional designers embrace the ‘mobile first’ strategy because 1 in every 5 persons use mobile devices for web browsing.
3. Use a Clean Design
Too many elements onscreen give a cluttered look to your course. Content is the most important element of a course. Therefore, avoid unnecessary stuff to reduce loading issues and help your learners complete the course smoothly.
In addition, eliminate unnecessary graphics, layouts, and borders that do not add any value.
4. Use Large Fonts
Mobile devices are gaining popularity and trending among millennials. If you are targeting courses for multiple devices, use large fonts to enable readability on smaller screens, while using flat designs. Naturally, your ultimate goal is to create a platform-friendly e-learning course.
5. Create Enough Space
Too much clutter leads to distraction among learners and makes the course complicated. To this end, we have discussed avoiding any unnecessary elements onscreen.Use more white space to help your learner focus on the important aspects of the course.
You should also include more space around and between elements for easy navigation throughout the course and retain learners’ attention.
6. Adopt Responsive Design
Mobile devices are continuously growing, especially in terms of accessing e-learning courses. So one key e-learning tip for 2017 is to adopt responsive design technology in your courses.
In responsive design, resizing of the layouts and onscreen elements is done automatically, based on the screen size of the device. Responsive design has come as a boon to both corporate companies and employees. This technology has been gaining popularity recently and authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate and LectoraInspire, provide this feature.
7. Simplify Navigation
The trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is being followed by most corporate companies. This enables learners to bring their own devices to work and take eLearning courses at their convenience.
Complicated navigation on a Smartphone may lead your learners to chaos and end up with them leaving the course altogether. Therefore, create simple navigation for optimal viewing experiences across platforms.
8. Use Quality Images
Your learners tend to scan the screen rather than going through the content word by word. So, if there is a delay in loading, obviously, your learner feels bored and might not focus on the course.
As a best practice, compress your e-learning content, limit the use of text, use more infographics, and create optimized images (separate versions of images) to reduce scaling and bandwidth issues.
Follow these tips and ensure your eLearning courses offer learners memorable learning experiences.