Online training is an exciting option for both instructors and learners. This is because of its numerous benefits, such as saving time, effort, resources, and learning costs.
How To Design An Effective eLearning Course
As an Instructional Designer, in order to make your eLearning course stand out and exceed that of traditional classroom training, you must take certain factors into consideration. By doing so, you will be able to design eLearning courses that meet your learners’ needs. In this article, we’ll be looking at some factors you should consider before designing your eLearning courses for effectiveness.
Research Your Target Audience
To design an effective eLearning course, you must research and analyze your target audience. This will help you understand their needs, interests, styles, backgrounds, and motivations.
The more information you can learn about them, the better your chances of designing training that meets the individual learner’s specific goals. Here are some of the things you can consider while researching your target learners.
- Consider their level of knowledge
While some of your learners may be beginners, others may not. So, you must understand and keep the varying levels of your learners’ knowledge in mind while designing your eLearning course for effectiveness. For learners who have prior knowledge, you can provide them with an option that enables them to skip through the basics of the course.
- Tech-savvy skills
It’s also essential that you research your audience to learn whether or not they are tech-savvy learners. In case they’re not tech-savvy learners, you can consider giving them special training to access your course.
- Mode of accessing training
While most employees/learners in today’s world prefer to access training from their mobile devices, some still prefer to access it via PCs. So before designing your eLearning course, you must research their preferred mode of accessing training.
Understand Your Learners’ Training Needs
Understanding your learners’ training needs can go a long way in helping you design effective eLearning courses. But, how can you identify their individual learning needs?
It’s simple! One way to do this is by giving them a pre-assessment to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Apart from that, you can also make use of surveys, direct observations, or focus groups to get the right information. For the effectiveness of training, you should consider delivering your training resources when your learners need it, not when you want them to access it. As such, you should think about asking yourself the following questions before designing your training course:
- Is the online training course going to provide specific solutions to learners’ needs?
- Are there compliance laws that bound the type of training that employees/learners must learn?
- Can an enhanced quality standard help to improve learners’ productivity levels?
By getting answers to these questions and more, you will be able to design your eLearning course for effectiveness.
Plan Out Your Course Before Designing
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that by planning your training course, you will be able to achieve success. But how do you go about planning it? Well, planning your course requires that you consider all the activities and learning components that you will include in it. As such, you can make use of any of the Instructional Design models, including ADDIE, Merrill’s principles, Gagne’s nine events of instruction, and Bloom’s taxonomy.
The purpose of utilizing them is to enable you to cover all the bases of training activities and learning components. Having decided on the model, what’s next is to think about the instructional approach that will help you achieve the best results. While there are many instructional methods, you should consider using one that suits your learners’ needs.
Some of the situational factors that can affect the quality of your design include costs, quality, and access. In an organization, it’s rare to meet all these factors while delivering training. So, before going ahead with your eLearning course design, you must consider the situational factors and find a way of meeting them. In case you have a tight budget for a project, you must consider having a clear, upfront business plan that takes care of the cost. Also, there’s a need for you to consider how you can make the training course accessible to all your learners. By doing so, you will be able to design and deliver an effective eLearning course.
How You Can Evaluate And Measure Success
It’s when you evaluate your success that you learn whether or not you are getting the desired results. So, ensure you take into consideration your mode of evaluating success before starting to design your eLearning course. One way you can do that is through assessments and quizzes that test your learners’ knowledge. Apart from that, you can also measure your learning success through impacts on learners’ behavior.