eLearning development - key things to consider
The environment that eLearning is taken in is quite different to that of classroom training, in classroom training the learner is guided by an instructor and will have other learners they can turn to and discuss things with. In contrast eLearning is typically taken independently, the learner takes the training on their computer and most likely will not have someone closely guiding them.
As a result, there are a number of things you should consider when deciding to create eLearning course. Below are some of these considerations.
1. Navigation Placement
Navigation placement is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to developing eLearning. As the learner does not have someone they can turn to when they get stuck, being able to navigate and use the course easily is vital. When creating navigation, you need to make it as intuitive and obvious as possible, the learner needs to be able to know what to click on next without much guessing. When creating the navigation ensure that it is consistently in the same place, when the learner moves between pages having the Next button in the same place will help with familiarly. In addition to this ensure the next button is clearly visible and large enough that the learner can see it.
2. Out of scope
Another issue that you might face when developing eLearning is going out of scope and overloading the learner. When in a classroom session you have a set amount of time in which the training needs to be conducted and comes with limitations e.g. the room is booked for a specific time or learners need to leave at a specific time. With eLearning these limitations blurred, what started off as a short 20-minute module could easily balloon into a large course that has gone beyond the scope of what was originally planned. When developing eLearning try to keep the course content as close to the learning objectives as possible, have a clear goal of what you want to teach the learner and ensure the course focuses on that subject. If you realise you have more content that you need the learner to know you can always create another course which expands on what you are teaching them.
3. Device Considerations
When developing your eLearning it is important to consider the range of devices that the learners are taking the training on. In the past learners primarily used desktop computers to take eLearning, now they use a variety of devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. When developing your eLearning course try to consider how it would work on a range of devices, e.g. for smartphones you have a much smaller screen size than a laptop so may need to consider different layouts. A lot of authoring tools have responsive functionality built into them so it might be worth exploring this during the development process.
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