Developing an Effective eLearning Course Part II



Last week I wrote about an eLearning module I had reviewed and provided feedback on. As I mentioned then, the material significantly lacked several key elements required when creating eLearning so this week I thought I would share a few tips and suggestions that will help ensure success, specific to our learners taking from the material exactly what you expected.

The first piece of advice I would start with is the most obvious, and that is to ensure your material covers all of the stated learning objectives and tests the learners understanding of said objectives. By doing so, you are well on your way to creating a successful eLearning course. With that in mind here are few additional strategies I use when creating an eLearning program.

The proof is in the pudding. If you want to know for certain if a person can complete the task you have just demonstrated, one sure fire way of making that happen is, to put it bluntly, make them prove it. For shorter programs a test at the end of the course can be sufficient, however if your program is longer than 10 minutes it is always a good idea to include quick tests for understanding throughout the course. This can be done through a game, true/false interaction or a multiple choice just to name a few. Regardless of the activity you create remember that marking a course “complete” should not be the only indicator that the learning objectives were clearly understood.

Mix it up. I have written in the past that I am amazed at what eLearning developers are coming out with but too much of a good thing is, well, a bad thing. The options for what can be included in an eLearning course are endless so make making the best use of video, whiteboard animation, computer animation, gaming and music to name a few will go a long way in tuning a good eLearning course in to a great one.

Looking good. Using graphics and images that are visually appealing are important, but no less important is ensuring you put the same effort in to using fonts that match the content and page, a layout that is logical and easy to navigate, colours and titles that do not clash and interactions that are smooth and consistent with the rest of the course. Many students will tell you that regardless of how well written the material is, if the layout is difficult to follow, navigation does not make sense or the fonts are not pleasing to the eye, often that is where their focus is concentrated as opposed to the words on the screen.

Less is more. Adding to the above point on visual appeal, remember the page does not need to be filled from top to bottom. White space is OK if all you wanted to convey were a few simple points. To enhance the appeal when the page is a bit bare you can use bold, bullets, colours, etc…but regardless your choice remember to keep the focus on not filling the screen with animated explosions that are not part of the objective.

There are of course many more strategies for developing an effective eLearning course but I am hopeful the above gave you enough to think about for now, and will help to serve as a reminder that above all else, remember to always keep the learning objectives at the forefront when creating your eLearning training.

To learn more about eLearning training solutions offered by Pathways please visit our website at http://www.Pathwaysinc.ca

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