A good design is the crux of an eLearning course, as it is the look and feel of the course that catches the eyes of learners at a glance. Before we buy some product, we get impressed by the colors and packing of a product similarly a good design catches the attention of a learner. So a proper structure and good color theme will induce a positive mood of the learner that is carried throughout the course and help them to learn more.
As Graphic Designers, we have to ensure that learning happens properly. Here are some tips that can help you design an effective course.
1. Understand Course Objectives:
Along with the Instructional Designers, Visual designers also must understand the course objectives before you start designing the course. This will help them in analyzing the design challenges and address them in early stages.
For Example: If the course is on effective sales skills and the recommended strategy is to present challenges of sales people in the form of scenarios. As a graphic artist, we can add value to it by creating the virtual scenarios related to sales people.
2. Learners Analysis:
Analysis on learner profile like their age, geography, education, familiarity with eLearning and computers can help us decide on course features, navigation, colors, font sizes and relevant graphics.
For Example: If the learners are new to eLearning, we should design the course with a simple navigation, use more instructive and guided methodologies with the help of relevant graphics.
3. Delivery Format:
We should also be aware of how and from where will the learners access the course? Will they use internet or intranet? Are there any bandwidth issues? Is it from LMS or CD and also which device will they use Like IPAD, PC or Mobile. Based on these, we can design a right template and decide on the Graphical User Interface sizes as well as type of fonts, media elements and file sizes.
For Example: if our target learners are from sales background and they will access the courses using their mobiles and IPADS, the design should be compatible.
4. Instructional Strategy:
Graphics support learning, if they convey the relevant meaning of the text. So we should be cautious before using them, or else there is a chance that the learners will be misguided. So depending on content type the presentation patterns should be decided.
For Example: In a product training course, if we need to present the comparison between more than 2 products, presenting the data in a table format would be the best way of teaching.
5. Media Strategy:
last but not the least; we should maintain consistency throughout the course while using media elements like icons, images, 2D or 3D animations, and supporting visuals and graphics.
For Example: If we use X design to present more information in one page and Y Design in another page, the learner may get confused and distracted.
Also usage of white space, proper margins, alignments and functionality will add value to the course.
Before looking into the actual content, it is the colors, graphics and theme that inspire learners to take the course. I hope these tips were useful to you. Please do share if you have any comments.