What if the secret to life existed but was locked in a box that no one could open? Well, you’d pretty much just have a box, wouldn’t you? And that is also what you have when you design an eLearning course without taking usability into consideration. It matters little how relevant information in a course might be if your audience can’t access that information. While engaging students and making sure content is entirely covered are critical parts of course success, it is just as important to go through and make sure your user interface (UI) ducks are in a row. Taking the time to go through and check for user-friendliness will help ensure that your students don’t lose out just because the course is difficult to navigate. Keep in mind that an eLearning course often isn’t a choice for most people. They are taking this because they have to and will have little patience for guesswork. Make it clear what the user needs to do in order to advance in the course. Learning is difficult enough without the added annoyance of having to hunt for what to click on.
When starting any new process, there are important questions to ask in order to be prepared to complete the task. When it comes to eLearning, there are lots of choices that need to be made before firing up the eLearning authoring tool. This checklist serves as a framework for essential questions to ask before starting out. Consider them as an essential design decision-making tool.
If your company has been involved in delivering in-house training to staff for a while now, or if you are a freelance trainer or instructional designer who has been developing and offering Instructor Lead Training (ILT) to clients over the years; chances are that you may be sitting on a wealth of existing training materials. With the new workforce circumstances, the evolution of eLearning, and modern learner new expectations, wouldn’t it be great to start moving some (or all) of that content into the online training arena? If you are interested in making that leap, here’s how you should proceed:
Successful eLearning courses hook readers on the very first page. That’s because eLearning, in essence, is all about engaged learning. It’s multi-sensory in that it engages all senses through interactive texts, stunning graphics and compelling videos.
When we think of the word, motivation, instantly two things come to mind. First, when we are young, many outside things motivate us, a desire to do something, the reality of punishment from our parents, positive and negative reinforcement of what we are doing, etc. All of these things help to motivate children, and in some case, it has a positive effect, and in other cases, it does not. The more proactive the motivation, the more positive the response to that motivation, the more reactionary the motivation, the more negative the response. The second picture that comes to mind is a learned reaction to something. Like Pavlov and his dogs, which would salivate when he rang the bell, motivation can be at times subconscious. However, there are much more things that drive the motivation on human beings, and in the arena of learning, there are some critical pieces to the puzzle that have to be developed so that learners feel the value of what they are learning and how it will benefit them. The rewards of their success must be considered from a variety of sources and satisfy them on a variety of levels, and as instructional designers of e-learning programs we must not only understand these factors but be skilled in utilizing them in the courses that we design.
They know that they make the best burgers in town, but McDonald’s still spends billions of dollars on marketing. If it is fried chicken, then it has to be KFC, but the makers still market aggressively. The truth is that your learner has choices, so they won’t come to you. You have to take your offerings to them! Marketing is no longer a dirty word in eLearning. In fact, now it is not even an option. As eLearning designers, you HAVE to take your courses to your audience and convince them of their value. Else there are just 0-5 percent chances that they will take them. The time has come for you to double up as a marketer. Below are some smart marketing tips to make your courses fly off the blocks:
If your eLearning course isn’t meeting your expectations, your development team can, with the right knowledge, improve it without starting from scratch. Here are four elements you should focus on to “stir up” more interest in your course and get more successful results.
We like to be productive. So we create keyboard shortcuts. We make lists. We stick Post-it notes and set up reminders. We don’t want to overlook details or stray away from standards. So we stick to rules, create guidelines, and follow templates. Worksheets, templates, cheat sheets, checklists, and the like are nifty productivity tools. These help us keep our wits about us and our energies from being scattered in the midst of a flurry of activity and create flawless products without working long hours, plodding through multiple rounds of rework, and overshooting deadlines.