Presentation patterns in e-learning comprise text, images and interactivities. These form the basic foundations of visual and instructional designing. There is a need for different kinds of visualization, as using the same pattern and design will only put off your learner.
The following are the eleven most commonly used presentation patterns, with a brief description of their purpose and importance.
Images: When we listen to a conversation or hear a random word, the first thing that comes to our minds is a picture, for example when I say “I ate a cupcake yesterday” I bet you created the image of a cupcake in your mind. Similarly, information needs to be layered into proper context, in order for the learner to understand; A,nd what better way than to correspond your content with an appropriate image so that the learner effortlessly registers it and whenever he hears or sees the same word again, this image will pop up in his head.
Hotspots:This form of presentation is used when there is a scarcity of content and audio. Navigations are used to highlight information. Hotspots require learner to participate in interactivity, by clicking on each hotspot, to gather more information.
Roll over: Quite similar to Hotspot, used in the same context where there is little or no information. The learner here is required only to move his cursor on the highlighted option, rather than clicking it. For example, parts of a machine.
Tabs: One of the most common used patterns, where information is layered into sub topics with descriptive titles, and the user can access the information, in whichever order he chooses, with the click of a mouse. The minimum number of tabs used, on an average, is three, with a maximum up to seven tabs, depending upon the screen space.
Timeline: As the word suggests, timeline is a show of evolution, depicting instruction via a time scale, which usually consists of hours, days, weeks, months and years
Numbers/ Process: Similar in functionality to tabs, however this form of personation is mostly used to show a Step by Step process, for example, the functions of an induction motor.
Slide Show: Best used for narrative descriptions, it encompasses all the other presentation patterns. Its savvy nature makes it the most sought after pattern, both in terms of display and usability.
FAQ’s: Frequently asked questions, popularly known as FAQ’s, are used to answer the questions within a course. This form of personation reduces the dependency of an instructor and is highly interactive. However FAQ’s must be made from the users perspectives and cover the basic concepts and principles.
Flip cards: Used for quick reference, these provide nuggets of information, usually for a refresher course.
Flipbook: A virtual note book, where the user can flip pages for further information. This pattern is sequential in nature.
Video: Demonstrates real-time procedures, also used for testimonials. It is necessary to ensure consistent band-width for easy playing.
Apart from the above, there are presentation patterns for assessments as well, which we will look in to in te next blog.