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.
Usability applies to any user interface, from a door handle to an airplane cockpit - or an eLearning course. It means, simply, how easy it is for users to get what they need out of the device. How usable your eLearning course is, is one of the most important factors that make or break your entire program. Usability is so critical in eLearning because every minute students spend learning to use the software is a minute out of their time spent learning the content. What is Usability? Usability is a measure of how well a specific user in a specific context can use a product/design to achieve a defined goal effectively, efficiently and satisfactorily. If you are in the middle or just starting an eLearning course, before you go any further, ask yourself if you have covered the 5 E's of usability. Use these as guidelines or standards to make sure your course is as easy to use as you can make it.
So, you’re at your desk, cruising the Internet, and suddenly a random ad flashes on your screen, totally catching your attention. So much that you’re inclined to click on it to learn more. It’s happened to all of us many times before. And despite continually blowing off ads, when they lure us in, most of us will admit, “That was good!” as we click for more. When was the last time someone caught your attention in a second? It’s not that easy nowadays, but creating attention-grabbing eLearning content can be an easy task by applying some proven tricks.
As someone who cares about the prosperity of your business, you want your employees to be able to apply the knowledge acquired from the training programs to resolve real problems at the workplace. You have invested time, money, and effort to train your employees; you want to make sure that they DO and not just recite theories, quote statistics, and recount case studies. You want your employees to be able to figure out what is wrong with a machine and fix it, than just know the troubleshooting tips. Unfortunately, transferring learning is easier said than done. According to research, packing your courses with punchy content does not always deliver the knockout effect you desire. Learning transfer is challenging because human beings are complex individuals and every person is different from the other. It is difficult to predict how each of them will respond to a course. One game that appeals to the intelligence of one learner might be too challenging for another one. Again, someone may comprehend an idea very well during the training but may not be able to apply his knowledge to solve a real-world problem. The most powerful reason why learning transfer is ineffective is that 90 percent of training is designed without a well-defined strategy that facilitates it. There are various other factors that determine how efficient the transfer of learning will be. Read this paper to find out. When you have an idea of the variables you have to work with, you can design more effective eLearning programs. As a training manager and a course designer, you have to provide a COMPREHENSIVE learning experience. You have to keep in mind that learning does not start and stop with the training session. You have to take care of all the stages of learning transfer: before, during, and after training.
Though building an eLearning course isn’t necessarily an easy task the first time around, it doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. Like most things in life, creating your first course simply requires structure and a little know-how. If you’re here, you are probably a beginner and eager to learn more about how to create effective eLearning courses. In an attempt to make your journey easier, we’ve compiled five essential tips to help diffuse the drama around successful eLearning development.
What’s the point of creating a course that no one wants? No point at all, right? YET, we find hundreds of eLearning designers creating courses that nobody wants. Courses which the designers themselves can’t figure: who would want! It should ALWAYS be the other way around. Designers must first understand their target audience and then build content around their needs, circumstances, limitations, preferences, and wants. This means that one must move beyond the common descriptions handed out by SMEs, the manager, or even the client. Hence, this post where I will talk about empathy mapping — an intuitive, yet highly powerful framework that uses a set of questions that puts you in your audience’s shoes. It is a great way for engaging with SMEs as well as performing your own research.
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.
Sometimes it feels like your eLearning courses haven't been updated since the 90s. Often, today’s courses will look remarkably similar to the ones we made ten years ago. This sense of timelessness can easily bore your learners and actually take away from the impact of the course content. How can you make your eLearning courses more innovative? How can you adapt them to modern learner's needs and spice them up? Most importantly, how can you design solutions that actually engage your learners. Continue reading! Find out the new rules for bringing innovation to your eLearning course designs: