eLearning course development is now central for all businesses and organizations, so it is becoming increasingly essential that eLearning developers not only understand best practices for creating content, but also how their decisions and actions ultimately affect the learning experience.
Not only must you be able to include specific information pertinent to both the business and the learner, but you need to ensure that you’re doing so in a way that engages and guarantees good information retention. Not sure how to do that? Don’t feel alone. Here are a few of the most essential tips for eLearning course creators in the modern age.
Animations and Video Trump Text
Sure, text is fast, cheap, and sometimes effective. The problem is that one word: “sometimes.” We retain only so much of the information we read, and most learners are so disconnected from the study material that they’re hard pressed to recall any of it once they get past the final test for the section. Animation and video can provide interactivity, fun, and improved information retention. Animation can be used on almost any scale, from long, animated sequences to interactive animated sections, and even short snippets that augment a student’s learning experience.
Get to the Point
There’s no need to belabor your point. You don’t need to write three pages of text to make a point that could be summed up in a couple of paragraphs. Short, concise learning moments actually have a much larger impact on the learner than long, drawn-out passages. Make your point, and then provide supplemental information to support that point through case studies, games, or other materials. (Read more here about MicroLearning on eLearning.net)
Give eLearners the Means to Explore
Most of us like to do things on our own, and the majority of the population learns better when discovery is self-directed. This can actually mix with eLearning course development quite well. Make modules self-directed, allowing learners to pick where they go, when, and how. Combine graphics and other visuals with the ability to move where they want at will. This can be done through hyperlinks to other related topics or information, through animation, through games, and many other options.
Provide a Way to Exercise New Skills in the Course
Don’t make learners wait to put their newfound skills to the test after completing the course. Give them a chance to flex those muscles right away in your eLearning course. You can design and build in scenarios that combine reality-based examples and problems, and require the learner to use his or her skills to guide the outcome. Not only does this provide a more engaging experience for the learner, but it ensures that they’re able to gain experience using those skills that can then be put to use more easily in the real world.
Make Content Relatable
If learners aren’t able to relate to the content of the course, they’ll struggle to retain the information, and engagement will be abysmal. Keep your content relatable to their experiences. This can be done in a number of different ways, but one of the best is to show learners how the material will address their needs before getting started. A quick “before we start” screen, animation, or video can go a long way toward creating the mindset necessary for real learning.
By following these tips, you will be able to create better course material, engage learners on a deeper level, and ensure better information retention long after the course has been completed.
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