It has been a very eventful one year as an instructional designer. Got to experience many things; some good and some not so good. I stated “not so good” because of the improper planning that led to rework and fewer times we were unable to understand the requirements of learners. Happened to meet diverse learners who came up with their own different requirements. Being an instructional designer, I got to understand many things. Let me share a few of them that would really go into making an effective eLearning course.
- Empathize with your learners: Try to create learner-centric elearning courses. Step into your learners’ shoes, empathize with them and think how you can help them gain knowledge through your online course. Do not create a course that does not meet their learning needs.Before developing a course, you need to understand who your learners are and what they need to learn.
- Test their knowledge at the start: Include introductory questions in your elearning course, ask your learners a few questions on the subject they would be learning. This would motivate them to take the course as they would like to find answers to those questions. For example, ask questions such as “what”, “how” and “what if” to make your learner think apply their prior knowledge.
- Simplicity is sometimes good: Keep your elearning course simple; do not dump too much content onto the screen and overload your learners. Standardize your interface properly; keep your design simple, so that your learners can navigate through the course easily and concentrate on learning. . For this, you need to make sure that your GUI (Graphical User Interface) is consistent throughout your course.
- Go real: Design your online learning course in such a way that it provides value for your learners. Help your learners apply the knowledge gained from your course in their jobs. For this, you need to incorporate scenarios in your eLearning course that relate to the situations they encounter in their daily lives. This would make learners look forward to your course and help them find solutions to their work-related problems.
- Design is important: The design of the course affects the quality of the course to some extent. Make use of good visuals to design an engaging and effective course. The use of graphics, multimedia and other design elements can boost learning.
- Emphasis on learning outcomes: Try all the possibilities in deciding what would be the ideal way to impart knowledge and skills to your learners. Try focusing on how well you can transfer knowledge and skills to your learners, so that they can make the most out of your e-learning course.
These are few things that I have learned as an instructional designer. Do share if you have anything to add.