Designing your eLearning course

When designing and developing eLearning for your learners one of the key mistakes you can make is not spending enough time in the design phase for your course. A poorly designed eLearning course can be the difference between your learners enjoying and understanding the content you are trying to teach them and a difficult experience that leaves learners frustrated and annoyed. When designing your eLearning course there are a number of things you should consider including the design of the user interface (UI), the style of graphics, how your users will interact with your course and how your content will be displayed to the learner.


Below are some things that you should consider when designing your course so that you can create pleasant and enjoyable learning experience for your learners.


1. User Interface design


The user interface or UI is what the user interacts with and typically consists of deciding on the visual elements for your course. This can be anything from the colour scheme used in your course, to the location of the buttons and involves deciding on the overall look and feel that your learners will experience. One of the most important aspects of the UI is to determine the navigation and placement of buttons, it is likely that the learners for your eLearning course will have a variety of experience using technology, therefore it is important that your course remains as intuitive as possible. Consistency is a key factor in UI design, having consistent well placed and well sized buttons will ensure that your learners will be able to easily guess what they need to click on next, similarly for colours having well chosen and consistent colours will make your course look clean and familiar.


2. Graphics or Images


Graphics or images are going to be a key part of your eLearning but can also be challenging to incorporate in your course. When deciding on graphics you ideally should pick a certain style of image for your eLearning, for example you may decide that using real photographic images is most suitable for your course or maybe you decide that a cartoon style animated approach is better for what you are trying to teach. Regardless of what you decide, keeping to one style of image will make your course cleaner and will provide a level of consistency for learners. It is important to note that when obtaining images you only use royalty free images, paid for images or your images you own before inserting them into your eLearning course, using images that are owned by other individuals or organisations can be an issue if used in your eLearning.


3. Content


How you display your learning content in your eLearning course is very important during the designing phase and can save you a lot of time in the future if done correctly. How you display your learning content can be done in a variety of ways and may involve using text, images, audio or video. When deciding on the learning content for your course it is important to consider the design of each slide and what type of content you want to use, it can be tempting to use large blocks of text for your course as it is the easiest to write and produce however this can lead to the page becoming static and the learner loosing interest. If you have screens with lots of information try to make it more engaging through using audio, images or if possible turn the content into an interactive question the learner can take.


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