What do you think is the most important thing you need to focus on right now to GUARANTEE that the eLearning courses you are creating are successful?
Imagine sitting down at a computer to complete an eLearning course and instantly becoming confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated with the amount of information that is being dumped on you at once. Many employees that participate in eLearning courses report this as a complaint. Too often, they are inundated with information, data, and related content and the course quickly feels much more like a lecture and less like an interactive learning environment.
It's so easy to assume the content is all that matters in an eLearning course. But, how information is presented affects its effectiveness. The design, for instance, influences how students interact with information. Think about one of your existing eLearning course designs: Is it too cluttered? Or is it designed to properly guide learners toward clear goals?
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.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of ‘Outliers’ says that to truly master something takes 10,000 hours of practice. That’s a long time. But while Gladwell is probably not too far off the mark, we’d add one small caveat: 10,000 hours of practicing the right way, with the right foundations. So we’ve put together the 10 commandments eLearning professionals must follow to see their courses be a success. Take these rules, incorporate them into your eLearning, and get busy mastering your craft.
Brain research opens up new opportunities eLearning designers should make the most of. One such opportunity lies in how people read online. By tracking eye movements and fixation points while readers look at web content, study after study found answers to questions like
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.
Although it might seem absurd to design training without the end user in mind, an audience analysis is an extremely important yet often overlooked element of instructional design. Before creating an eLearning course, you should find out as much as possible about your learners. This information should directly impact your design and content choices. For example, the experience levels of the audience will affect the types of activities incorporated in the course. During the eLearning audience analysis stage of design, it is important to think of your learners as a group of individuals with specific goals. Remember, demographic profiles of your target audience do not always paint the complete picture. You have to look beyond statistics like age, educational qualification, and occupation to understand the learner. Your learner is a sum of his or her past experiences, desires, aspirations, and expectations. Their learning styles and media preferences are shaped by their familiarity with and access to technology. Their cultural upbringing influences their perception of symbols, images, words, or analogies. Learners are a complex and multi-dimensional human beings; just a few numbers do not define them. Here are five ways you can get to know your eLearning course target audience: